Watch a Cheetah and Adult Lion Face Off

cheetah
© Henrico Muller/Shutterstock.com

Written by Colby Maxwell

Updated: October 18, 2023

Share on:

Advertisement


Key Facts:

  • Female lions are usually more agile and better at hunting, they would never really have a chance to catch an adult cheetah, the fastest land animal on Earth.
  • Cheetahs can run up to 70 mph while 50 mph is the best a lioness can do.
  • In a straight-up fight – a lion would win. Lions are significantly larger and are evolutionarily adapted to kill larger creatures.

We all love our cuddly cats at home, but even our gentle pets can trace their ancestry to the big cats that still roam this earth! Among the most famous big cats are lions and cheetahs. Both have their own evolutionary niche, even though they often live in the same places. Incredibly, one video shows what happens when these two big cats face down in a show of feline power. As you can imagine, it’s pretty incredible!

Make Sure You Check Out the Clip Below!

In a recent clip, we see what happens when a lion and a cheetah face off in a stunning battle. The video starts off with action as we see the two cats racing across the screen. There isn’t a lot of context to what is happening, but it’s clear that the lion is angry (or hungry) and is chasing the cheetah.

For the next few seconds, we see the lioness chasing the cheetah around, hoping to either catch it or chase it off (it isn’t clear which). Cheetahs are usually pretty wary of lions since they are so much larger, so it’s probably more likely that the lion is hoping to catch the cheetah. Another possible alternative is that the lion has some cubs nearby and the lioness didn’t want a threat hanging around too close!

The cheetah uses its speed to chase down prey, and occasionally to avoid becoming prey itself.

The cheetah uses its speed to chase down prey, and occasionally to avoid becoming prey itself.

©iStock.com/slowmotiongli

Lionesses are the primary hunters of the lion pride, although the males do sometimes get involved. The more agile female lions are able to chase prey for longer, while the beefier and stronger male lions are more suited to defending the pride from other male lions hoping for a hostile takeover.

Even though female lions are usually more agile and better at hunting, they would never really have a chance to catch an adult cheetah. As most people know, cheetahs are the fastest land animals in the world and can run up to 70 mph for short bursts of speed. A lion isn’t a slowpoke by any means, but it can usually only hit a top speed of 50 mph for a short burst. For a cheetah, the lion is basically moving in slow motion!

lions

Female lions are adapted to hunt prey larger than themselves.

©Adalbert Dragon/Shutterstock.com

As the clip shows, the cheetah gives the lioness some fancy feet (or paws) for a little while then trots away. The lioness finally gives up and is clearly heaving from the deadly game of tag. Throughout the whole clip, we never really see the cheetah turn it up to full speed since it didn’t have to. Whatever the reason the lioness had for chasing the cheetah, it would never have resulted in it actually catching it.

Lion vs Cheetah

In a straight-up fight, however, the lion would absolutely rock the cheetah’s world. Lions are significantly larger and are evolutionarily adapted to kill larger creatures. A full-grown lioness can easily clear 300 lbs, while a cheetah is closer to 180 lbs., or about half as large. Still, a cheetah would never let a lion get close enough to fight since its strengths lie in speed, not brawn!


Share this post on:
About the Author

Colby is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering outdoors, unique animal stories, and science news. Colby has been writing about science news and animals for five years and holds a bachelor's degree from SEU. A resident of NYC, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone about what birds he saw at his local birdfeeder.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.