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Quiz Facts on the Wild's Big Cats

It's no secret the Big Cats are the most studied wild animals, and the most watched wild animal documentaries are those of Big Cats. Similar to domesticated cats, humans are fascinated with the large wild cats.

One of the reasons an increasing number of people are fascinated with the Big cats is due to their bodily features. Think of the beautiful patterns and spots imprinted on the skins of leopards, cheaters, and tigers. Another reason, possibly, might have to do with the resemblance of their faces to the domesticated cats.

If only we could have them as our pets, we would be constantly excited to have with them us. But, because of their wild instincts, we can become one of their meals. And this is also true of the smaller wild cats, including the Big-footed cat that's two-hundred times smaller than a lion.

What constitutes a Big Cat depends on the criteria used to distinguish them from the other wild cats. You might talk about size, and many wild cats that are bigger than domesticated cats will fit this criteria. They include: lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, cheetahs, clouded leopards, sunda clouded leopards, snow leopards, and cougars. Or, you might base your definition of a Big Cat on whether it roars. The wild cats that would fit this criterion are lions, jaguars, tigers, and leopards.

How much do you know about these fascinating animals that have never ceased to satisfy humans admiration of them? Test your knowledge with the following quiz on the following Big Cats: ions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, cheetahs, clouded leopards, sunda clouded leopards, snow leopards, and cougars.

Facts on the Big Cats - Lions, Tigers, Jaguars, Leopards, Cheetahs, Clouded leopards, Sunda clouded leopards, Snow leopards, and Cougars

Before you attempt the quiz, the following are some facts on the above Big Cats.

a) The Level of Their Threat

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, also known as IUCN Red List, is "the world's most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of animal, fungus and plant species."

The organisation has so far assessed 142,517 species, and found 40,084 are threatened species defined by Safeopedia has "a plant, animal, or other living organism that is becoming rare and that may become in danger of extinction if current trends continue."

Depending on the criteria used to classify species in the Red List categories, the Big Cats, among other species, might fall under: Extinct, Extinct in the Wild, Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, Near Threatened, Least Concern, Data Deficient and Not Evaluated. According to IUCN, "Vulnerable, Endangered and Criticalt Endangered species are considered to be threatened with extinction."

With this in mind,

Cheetahs are classified as Vulnerable.

Cougar: Least Concern.

Leopard: Vulnerable.

Clouded leopard: Vulnerable.

Lion: Vulnerable.

Snow leopard: Vulnerable.

Tiger: Endangered.

Sunda clouded leopard: Vulnerable

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Jaguar: Near threatened



b) Weight


Males weigh 80 to 165 pounds while females weigh 46 to 132 pounds.


Adult male cheetahs are slightly larger than females.

An adult cheetah weighs between 75 and 125 pounds.


Male lions weigh larger than females.

Female lions weigh 270 to 400 pounds while males weigh 330 to 570 pounds.


Siberian tigers, also known as Amur tigers, are the largest subspecies of tigers, weighing up to 660 pounds while the smallest subspecies of tigers, Sumatran tigers, weigh 310 pounds.

Generally, an adult male tiger weighs 200 to 575 pounds while an adult female tiger weighs 170 to 390 pounds.


Males weigh more than females.

Adult males weigh 135 to 175 pounds while adult females weigh between 90 and 105 pounds.

Clouded Leopards:

Males are larger than females.

An adult clouded leopard weighs 24 to 50 pounds.

Snow leopard:

Males are slightly larger than females.

An adult male weighs 99 to 121 pounds while a female weighs 77 to 88 pounds.

Sunda clouded leopards:

Sunda clouded leopards are considered medium-sized cats though, depending on definition used to categories Big Cats, they can be classified as Big Cats because of their size.

An adult Sunda clouded leopard weighs 26 to 55 pounds.


The average weight of an adult jaguar is 80 pounds. Records exist of jaguars weighing between 288 to 333 pounds.

Males weigh heavier than females.

Adult males weigh 126 to 250 pounds while females weigh 100 to 200 pounds.

c) Kill Rates


One study put the animal's success rate in catching a prey between 40 and 50 percent, another at 58%, and another one between 25-40%


The success rate of leopards catching a prey varies from 38% "for individuals in north-east Namibia to 14% in the Kalahari" according to a study done on leopards. "A female with cubs has been shown to have a kill rate of 28%, while a lone male can only achieve one of 14%!" (Discover Wildlife)


The success rate of a lion catching prey is dependent on whether it's hunting alone, or in a group. An individual lion has a hunting success rate of 17-19% while in a group, the success rate increases to 30%. (Discover Wildlife)

According to ZME Science, 1 in 4 of lion hunts is successful.


According to Carolina Tiger Rescue, tigers success rate for hunting is 10 percent.

Roaring Earth states, "Biologists say that tigers are only successful at hunting between 5-10% of the time, although the Amur tigers in Russia's Far East have higher kill rates when preying on deer and boar in snowy terrain."

Data for the other Big Cats hunting success rate is scarce, or doesn't exist.

d) Running Speed


Being the fastest land animals, cheetahs run at an average speed of 74km/hr (40mph). They can run up to a speed of 122km/hr (76mph) for a short sprint.

A cheetah by the name of Sarah, living in Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio, USA, was recorded running at a top speed of 98.2km/hr (61mph).

Cheetahs can accelarte from 0 to 96.6km/hr (60.0mph) in less than 3 seconds, that is, in three strides.

The top speed of an adult cheetah is 120km/hr (75mph). "Cheetahs reach their maximum speed on 30 seconds. Within half a minute, they may have chased their prey for. kilometer, although 600-700 meters is more common," states Africa Freak.

Furthermore, "After reaching their top speed," states Africa Freak, "cheetahs can cover eight metres in a single stride. During this sprint, there are times when none of the paws touch the ground as they glide effortlessly across the savannah."


One study indicates the maximum top speed of leopards is 58km/hr.

According to Africa Freaks, African leopards have stop speed of 56-60km/hr (35-37mph). They state that African leopards reach this top speed in just two or three strides.


The top speed of lions is 80km/hr in short bursts.

Generally, adult lions run at an average speed of 45-50mph.

Lionesses are typically faster than lions. "...much faster than lions averaging about 30% faster. Lions about 35mph lioness about 45mph," statss Realonomics.


The average speed is 40km/hr.

Their top speed is 65km/hr.

They can reach speed of 49-65 km/hr (30-40mph) on short bursts.


Their speed ranges from 55 to 72km/hr (35-45mph). Some put their speed between 40-50 mph, and others put their top speed at 80km/hr.

Cougars are adapted for short, powerful sprints rather than long chases.

Clouded leopards:

The top speed of clouded leopards is 40mph (64km/hr).

Snow leopards:

The top speed of snow leopards is 55mph. Others put their maximum speed at 35mph (56km/hr). And others at 60km/hr.

Sunda clouded leopards;

For Sunday clouded leopards, their top speed is 40mph. Others put their top speed at 40mph (64km/hr).


They run at speeds of 50-65mph.


For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Which of these Big Cats does not roar?
    • Cheetah
    • Leopard
    • Jaguar
  2. ______ is the world's heaviest cat.
    • Lion
    • Jaguar
    • Tiger
  3. ______ is the best cat climber among the wild and domesticated cats.
    • Cheetah
    • Clouded leopard
    • Leopard
  4. Which of these Big Cats has the largest canines among cats?
    • Tiger
    • Lion
    • Leopard
  5. ______ has the strongest jaw and bite among the cat family.
    • Tiger
    • Lion
    • Jaguar
  6. ______ is the laziest of the big cats.
    • Lion
    • Snow clouded leopard
    • Cougar
  7. Which Big Cat has the highest number of alternative names?
    • Cougar
    • Leopard
    • Jaguar
  8. ______ is the most social of all big cats.
    • Sunda clouded leopard
    • Lion
    • Cheetah
  9. A lion's heel doesn't touch the ground when it is walking ______
    • True
    • False
  10. Tigers are solitary animals ______
    • True
    • False
  11. All Tigers stripe patterns are the same ______
    • True
    • False
  12. A tiger's punch can kill an adult human ______
    • True
    • False
  13. The coat of cheetah cubs is different from the coat of adult cheetahs ______
    • True
    • False
  14. Which of these Big Cats is not shy?
    • Lion
    • Tiger
    • Cheetah

Answer Key

  1. Cheetah
  2. Tiger
  3. Clouded leopard
  4. Tiger
  5. Jaguar
  6. Lion
  7. Cougar
  8. Lion
  9. True
  10. True
  11. False
  12. True
  13. True
  14. Lion

Interpreting Your Score

If you got between 0 and 4 correct answers: Good!

If you got between 5 and 8 correct answers: Great!

If you got between 9 and 11 correct answers: Fantastic!

If you got 12 correct answers: Fabulous!

If you got between 13 and 14 correct answers: Perfect!

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