How Strong is a Leopard? Are Leopards really Strong?

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How strong is a leopard? Are they really strong?

Yes, leopards are stronger as compared to a lot of big cats like Cheetah, Caracal, Lynx, etc.

They have an average body weight of about 95 kgs and can exert a bite force of anywhere about 621 Newtons very-very easily.

They have strong powerful leg and shoulder muscles that aid them to climb as high as 50-60 feet vertically upward without any support.

Due to the presence of strong, flexible, fast, smooth, muscular, dynamic, and medium-sized body physique they can even run as fast as 56-60 km/hr for a much longer time as compared to the other big cats.

Here, speed is not the notable factor, but how fast leopards achieve that speed i.e. leopards have incredible acceleration capabilities due to their strong and flexible body physique.

They reach this 56-60 km/hr top speed in just two or three long footsteps which is really very incredible.

If we compare it with the other large big cat species then we can say that if the tiger is ranked as the first most strong and the lion as the second most strong big cat, then a leopard is the seventh-most strong big cat in the world.

Leopards have great muscular strength and agility due to their smooth flexible body physiology that helps them climb up high in the trees and jump between the branches so well.

In fact, no other big cat is so much flexible and agile in order to climb much higher up in the trees and swing through the branches just like the leopard does.

Leopards are solitary living animals and that they have adapted to highly rely on their stealth and power in order to hunt for a living.

Leopard
Image: Colin Watts (@imagefactory)/Unsplash

Why are leopards so strong?

Adult male leopards are much stronger and can be up to 50% bigger than their female counterparts.

Leopard cubs are vulnerable to predators like baboons, lions, etc. and so are well-guarded by their mothers.

Leopards are strong due to their short-sized dynamic body that is built for great flexibility and strength.

They have enormous strength due to the presence of their long and powerful legs, flexible muscular bodies with great physical stature, strong limbs and shoulder muscles, great eagerness, body dynamics, and flexibility to climb and swing through the tree branches at their best.

Their great muscular physique with short limbs and a broad head with powerful jaw muscles and canine teeth give their body strength a boost.

They can exert a bite force of about 621 Newtons using their powerful jaw muscles equipped with very sharp canine teeth.

Overall if you say, their broad head equipped with strong jaws gives them the perfect physical dynamics to grab and prick their prey’s windpipe very easily with a huge leap leading to the death of the prey within a minute or so.

Their powerful and flexible limb muscles give them the ability to run at an extremely fast speed for a very long time period with a great amount of stamina to cope up with.

Their hind limbs are stronger enough to let them climb up a tree very easily along with their prey’s carcass that can be at least 2 to 3 times heavier than them.

This can be well-proven as they can be seen dragging their carcasses heavier than them at least 50-60 feet vertically up into the trees using their massive skull and powerful jaw muscles.


Which big cats can beat a leopard?

Big cats like tigers, lions, jaguars, and cougars can beat a leopard if they go one on one. These are more powerful big cats as compared to a leopard.

Tigers and Lions are much more likely to easily kill a leopard without much hardship as compared to the other two mentioned above.

However, leopards are the smallest in size as compared to these large big cat species. In fact, the leopard’s bite force is also lower than these big cats.

Leopards have an average weight of about 95 kgs only with an extremely shorter physique as compared to these big cats.

The only noticeable thing about the leopard is that they are the strongest climbers with great climbing capabilities among the other big cat species, and that no other big cat can climb so well, flexibly, and perfectly like a leopard can.

Can a Tiger beat a Leopard?

Yes, a tiger can easily beat a leopard. The tiger has more powerful legs and shoulders than the leopard.

In fact, tigers can generate a bite force of 1050 psi which is two times stronger than a lion and about four times stronger than a leopard.

Tiger will always win a fight with a leopard and can even kill it within minutes and prey upon it if the need arises.

Tigers are the biggest cats amongst all the other big cats and can weigh about 310 kgs on average which is about 3 times heavier than a leopard.

Can a Lion beat a Leopard?

Yes, chances are very high that a lion can beat a leopard. In most of the scenarios, it has been reported that both lioness and leopard have a 50% chance to win the fight, with the lioness being able to sometimes dominate the leopard.

While, if we talk about a male i.e. a lion, then it’s damn sure that a male lion is just enough to kill an adult male leopard very easily while getting little to less injured by the leopard.

In terms of speed efficiency, leopards are faster than lions. And, in terms of strength efficiency, lions are more powerful and aggressive than leopards.

READ MORE: Lion vs. Leopard: What’s The Difference? (Fight, Strength, Habitat, and More)

Can a Jaguar beat a Leopard?

Yes, a Jaguar can also beat a leopard with ease. They are much heavier and stronger than leopards and with a greater bite force.

However, in a fight between a female jaguar and a male leopard, there are more chances that the leopard will win. And, in a fight between a female leopard and a male jaguar, the jaguar will win with ease.

Jaguars have bulkier, larger heads, rounder faces, and stronger physique with an average body weight of about 120 kgs as compared to those of leopards that have an average weight of only about 95 kgs.

Can a Cougar beat a Leopard?

Yes, both a male and a female cougar can beat a female leopard in some rare case scenarios.

However, in the case of a male leopard, a male cougar would have to fight a lot in order to take the male down.

And if there is a fight between a male leopard and a female cougar, then the female can be highly injured and the fight will be of almost equal strength between the two.

Cougar is slightly large than a male leopard and can weigh only about 10 kgs more than a leopard. It is faster, stronger, a bit heavier, bulkier, and muscular as compared to a leopard.

The leopard is less bulky, robust, and agile with a large head size as compared to a cougar, and this adds a lot to the leopard’s advantage.

On the other case, a cougar is a bit bulkier, stronger, and also with a lot stronger bite force as compared to a leopard, and this adds to the cougar’s advantage.


How do leopards kill animals larger than they are?

Leopards can camouflage so well into their surrounding by matching with the environmental backdrop consisting of green and yellow grass that they remain almost hidden from the preys’ vision.

This camouflaging ability gives their hunting skills a big boost as they can spy over their prey while hiding in the tall grasses and dry scrub forests. This aids them in stalking over their prey with ease without the prey being able to notice them.

And, as it reaches about 4 meters near to the prey, it can attempt a short charge on its prey by running at a speed of up to 56-60 km/hr maximum after taking only a few footsteps, and then leaping at a considerable distance of about 6 meters in one single bound to grab the target prey and knock it over.

It will then grab the prey using its powerful claws and will bite its throat to kill the prey by breaking its neck (windpipe region) and suffocating it to death using its powerful jaw strength.

After the kill, leopards can use their powerful jaws and neck muscles to pull the carcasses that can weigh two to three times heavier than them by climbing vertically up to the trees without any hassle.

This indicates how strong leopards are to be able to make a run at such a high speed, leap at such a far distance in one bound, hunt by grabbing the prey, climb up the tree carrying the heavy prey animals, and how they have adapted to highly rely on their stealth and power in order to hunt for a living.


How strong is a leopard bite?

The bite of a leopard can exert a bite force of about 600 Newton with a Bite force quotient (BFQ) of about 119.

They have strong jaw muscles to generate such a powerful bite force that can break a buffalo’s thigh bone in a two to three bite with ease.

Their bit force is so strong that they can easily kill a mature Wildebeest within a minute or so by breaking its windpipe and suffocating it to death.

Amongst all of the big cats, Jaguars have the strongest jaw muscles and strongest bite force that can generate a bite force equal to about 887 Newton with BFQ of about 118.6 with ease, which is just enough to break a crocodile’s skull in just one bite.

The variance in jaw muscle strength and bite force generation between jaguars and leopards is because they both live in different environments, and so they have different kinds of adaptational features for taking down different prey animals.

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