How Fast Can A Cheetah Run Mph?

July 22, 2021
5 minutes
Last Updated on 
July 26, 2021

What is the top speed of a cheetah?

It's no secret that cheetahs are the fastest animals on the planet.

Their top speed is over 70 mph, and they can outrun all other animals (except for the fastest land animal, the giraffe) in short distances.

As a result, cheetahs typically go after animals that they can easily run down, such as the impala, which they will chase until they outstrip its top speed of about 40 mph.

The fact that this speed has been clocked in captivity means that it is likely that it can reach its top speed in the wild as well.

Physical Features

Cheetah physical features include the following:

  • Nostrils: Cheetahs have a fairly large number of nostrils that allow them to better sniff out their prey. A cat has about 10,000 times more scent receptors than humans.
  • Ears: Cheetahs have very small ears that are capable of picking up sounds at high frequencies.
  • Gaze: Cheetahs have eyes that are set well back in the skull, which give them a wide field of vision. 
  • Eyes: The cheetah's eyes are small and deep-set. This gives the cheetah the appearance of always being sleepy.

Cheetahs' eyes have a reflective surface behind the retina that allows light to enter deep into the eye, where it is absorbed.

The reflective surface concentrates light onto the retina.

The retina has a large number of light sensitive cells. This gives the cheetah better vision in low light. The cheetah can see objects that are moving at 120 miles per hour.


Cheetahs are known for their quick sprints, acceleration from 0 to 70km/h in just 3 seconds, and their incredible stamina during a hunt.

To be able to survive in their habitats, they have to hunt for food.

Their main prey are Thomson's gazelle, impala, wildebeest, and springbok. Cheetahs hunt by using their speed to run down their prey and trip it up.

Cheetahs can be found in various parts of Africa, but the main range is in South Africa.

There are an estimated 7,500 – 10,000 cheetahs left in the wild.

How long can a cheetah run 70 mph?

Cheetahs are some of the fastest land animals on the planet, usually topping out at a top speed of about 70 mph.

Their extraordinary speed is made possible by the elasticity of their muscles and the elasticity of their tendons, which makes it easier for the tendons to stretch and tear.

Web MD explains that, at 70 mph, the individual cheetah can cover the distance from New York to Los Angeles in 17 minutes. 

It all comes down to the incredible strength and speed of cheetah.

The series of adaptations that allowed this small, stocky animal to scale the heights of the Serengeti plains of northern Tanzania in pursuit of prey is quite incredible.

Can a cheetah run 100 mph?

The cheetah is one of the fastest animals on the planet, and the top speed they can reach is around 120 mph.

This is more than twice as fast as Usain Bolt and more than three times as fast as Usain Bolt while dragging a soccer ball over a mile.

They are among the fittest of all animals, since they can achieve a top speed of only 70 mph for an average of 20 miles.

Their short, powerful legs give them an advantage over other animals in the savanna, allowing them to chase down other animals and escape predators at very high speed.

Why is the cheetah able to run so fast?

Cheetahs are able to run incredibly fast because of their anatomy and flexible spine.

This allows it to have more oxygen in its lungs and by extension more oxygen in its blood.

This in turn allows for a faster metabolic rate, which in turn allows for a faster sprint.

Their legs have long tendons that store energy from each stride.

The tendons stretch and then snap back to release the energy for running.

The adult Cheetah also has a large number of gastrocnemius muscles in its hind legs.

These muscles store and release energy.

When they release, they cause the legs to stretch out which gives the cheetah the extra power for running.

Cheetah conservation

For those of you who don't know, cheetahs live in the African savannahs of East and Southern Africa.

They are the fastest land animal alive today, often reaching cheetah top speed of up to 70km/h.

Yet despite the fact that they are one of the 15 Big 5 mammals, they are one of the most threatened species on the planet, with only about 7,000 left in the wild cheetah population in the late 90's.

Cheetah number is decreasing rapidly and there are less than 6,600 Cheetahs left in the wild and they are now classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

Cheetah cubs

Cheetah cubs are the cubs of the cheetah, and are born after two months gestation.

They are the first offspring, and initially they are blind.

They are born with black spots, but the spots are only visible in contrast to the white body of the mother.

The cubs have sharp claws, and they will scratch at their mothers when she licks them.

Cheetah cubs are precocial, meaning they are able to walk and climb up to their mothers immediately after birth.

Cheetah cubs, also known as leopard kittens, are one of the most fascinating and endangered species of the world.

These youngsters are born with a full set of fur, and their eyes open at around three weeks.

Cheetah cubs are highly endangered due to human destruction of the cheetah population, which has reduced their population from 100,000 to less than 4,000.


I'm Jordan and I Like to run! In fact, I love running so much that I became a Running Instructor! I teach people the correct form of running for weight loss, for physical fitness, endurance and stamina. Too often, I am asked questions about running and was born from that. I answer any and all questions about running, running accessories, running form, and just plain running. Hope you enjoy the site :)

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