All about cheetah cubs

  • Cubs are born with all their spots. Woolly hair – called a mantle – runs down their backs. The silvery mantle, combined with the black bottom, is thought to camouflage cubs in the grass – concealing them from predators. It makes them look much like honey badgers, which most predators do not want to mess with and avoid.
  • Cheetah cubs also have a sound camouflage. Cheetahs can do a ‘true purr’ – this means that they cannot roar! When calling out to their mother or playing, they chirp like a bird. If a predator is walking by, and the cubs are calling for their mother, the predator may not waste its time going for a bird.
  • Mothers move cubs to new hiding places every few days. They cannot see or move much until about 10 days old and so are helpless.
  • At 5 – 6 weeks, cubs follow the mother and begin eating meat from her kills.
  • Cheetah cubs grow at an accelerated rate because their speed is vital for their survival. By the age of six months, they can already reach speeds of up to 80km/h – which is fast enough to outrun any predators. The survival rate of cubs is extremely low in comparison to other predators. In certain parts of Africa, such as the Kalahari, only 5% of cubs will survive to adulthood. In the wild, cub mortality is especially high in the first six weeks (up to about 90%), due to them being left alone as well as their weak immune systems.
  • Cheetahs are one of the only cats that allow the cubs to eat first from the kill, before the mother.
  • When cubs are first learning to hunt (as early as 3 months old), they will stalk, chase and wrestle each other. Often, the mother will bring back young or injured prey for them to practice on.
  • At 6 to 8 months of age, cheetahs are about half their full size. They reach full size at about 18 to 24 months.
  • Only the mother raises the cubs. Cubs will stay with their mother until they are about 18 months, and then the mother will leave or chase the cubs off. All the cubs will stay together as they are usually not great hunters at this stage. Once the females start to reach sexual maturity (2 ½ to 3 years of age), the females will split off on their own but the males will stay together.
  • When the mother leaves her cubs, she is usually already pregnant again or ready to go breed.
  • Cubs are born with all their spots. Woolly hair – called a mantle – runs down their backs. The silvery mantle, combined with the black bottom, is thought to camouflage cubs in the grass – concealing them from predators. It makes them look much like honey badgers, which most predators do not want to mess with and avoid.
  • Cheetah cubs also have a sound camouflage. Cheetahs can do a ‘true purr’ – this means that they cannot roar! When calling out to their mother or playing, they chirp like a bird. If a predator is walking by, and the cubs are calling for their mother, the predator may not waste its time going for a bird.
  • Mothers move cubs to new hiding places every few days. They cannot see or move much until about 10 days old and so are helpless.
  • At 5 – 6 weeks, cubs follow the mother and begin eating meat from her kills.
  • Cheetah cubs grow at an accelerated rate because their speed is vital for their survival. By the age of six months, they can already reach speeds of up to 80km/h – which is fast enough to outrun any predators. The survival rate of cubs is extremely low in comparison to other predators. In certain parts of Africa, such as the Kalahari, only 5% of cubs will survive to adulthood. In the wild, cub mortality is especially high in the first six weeks (up to about 90%), due to them being left alone as well as their weak immune systems.
  • Cheetahs are one of the only cats that allow the cubs to eat first from the kill, before the mother.
  • When cubs are first learning to hunt (as early as 3 months old), they will stalk, chase and wrestle each other. Often, the mother will bring back young or injured prey for them to practice on.
  • At 6 to 8 months of age, cheetahs are about half their full size. They reach full size at about 18 to 24 months.
  • Only the mother raises the cubs. Cubs will stay with their mother until they are about 18 months, and then the mother will leave or chase the cubs off. All the cubs will stay together as they are usually not great hunters at this stage. Once the females start to reach sexual maturity (2 ½ to 3 years of age), the females will split off on their own but the males will stay together.
  • When the mother leaves her cubs, she is usually already pregnant again or ready to go breed.
By | 2018-03-10T08:45:14+00:00 April 2nd, 2017|Fact Sheet|0 Comments