There is no question that the big cats of our world are nature’s apex predators. No animal exist on earth that can fend off every type of big cat. Even crocodiles and elephants are fair game for some big cats. When people think of big cats they tend to only think about Bengal tigers and African lions, but there are so many more large predatory cats around the world that are primed to hunt for the large prey of their given region. Each species of these animals are equally as dangerous to humans. Below is a list of the top 10 most dangerous cats in the world.
Number 10 – Eurasian Lynx
Length: 100 – 130 cm (39 – 51 in)
Weight: Males – 18 to 35 kg. Females – 8 to 21
Lifespan: 14 to 17 years
Found in Asia, Poland, and Europe
Their biggest asset is their eyes, they have really great eye site and therefore they hunt at night. These cats also don’t use the trees to climb to pounce on their prey, they hunt while on the ground and can jump over 2 meters high, and as far as 5 to 7 meters in length. The Lynx are very poor runners and get very tired very fast. They are very territorial and can kill a predator that is three times its body weight. The Lynx also needs at least 1 – 2 kg of food every day to survive.
Number 9 – Cheetah
Length: 110 – 150 cm (3 ft 7 in to 4 ft 11 in)
Weight: 21 to 76 kg (46 to 168 lb)
Lifespan: 10-12 Years
Found in: Africa and Asia
Their biggest asset is their speed. The cheetah can run as fast as 120 km/h (75 mph) but it can only run at this speed for a short distance. With its slender body and lightweight, it can easily reach speeds of up to 75 km/h (47 mph) without even trying. Cheetahs are one of the fastest animals on land, it can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 3 seconds. They don’t climb trees and they hunt during the day, they start hunting as young as 7 months old. And one other thing about Cheetahs that is different than other cats is that their claws do not retract.
Number 8 – Leopard
Length: 158 cm (62 in)
Weight: Male – 37 – 90 kg (82 – 198 lb) Female – 8 – 60 kg (62 – 132 lb)
Lifespan: 12-17 Years
Found in: Africa and Asia
Leopards like the trees and spend a lot of their time in them. Not only do they sleep in the trees they also eat their fresh kill in the trees so that they won’t be bothered by other animals like vultures and hyenas while they are eating. Out of all wild cats, the Leopard is the most mysterious and the most difficult to see how they live. They are also very hard to see in the grass with their yellow bodies and black spots. A black panther is actually a leopard, they just have a lot more black pigment in their bodies that make them appear black this is called melanin and if you look close enough you can actually see their black spots because their hair isn’t completely black. They are endangered.
Number 7 – Amur Leopard
Length: 107 – 136 cm (42 – 54 in)
Weight: Male – 32.2 – 48 kg (71 – 106 lb). Female – 25 – 42.5 kg (55 – 94 lb)
Lifespan: 10-15 Years
Found in: Asia
They are the most endangered out of all big cats, there are only around 26 – 35 still in the wild. Humans are the main reason for their extinction but also deforestation, poaching, military, and even inbreeding of the species. These cats attack prey by surprise and jump on them from a great distance. They mostly hunt sika deer and hare but will eat other small game such as young Asian black bear. The Amur Leopard is also the only subspecies of all leopards that adapt to cold weather. While the females prefer habitats near hinds with their young, males prefer habitats near sika deer.
Number 6 – Cougar
Length: 1.5 – 2.75 m (4.9 – 9 ft)
Weight: Male – 53 – 100 kg (115 – 220 lb). Female – 29 – 64 kg (64 – 141 lb)
Lifespan: 8-13 Years
Found in: North America, Canada, and South America
Cougars are the type of cat that surprises its prey such as deer, livestock and even rodents and insects. They don’t usually hunt humans but it has been documented that they have attacked and killed them. They have very large paws and hind legs that give them the ability to jump pretty far and run really fast at take-off. They can run up to 50 mph for a short time but are better at short, powerful sprints. Cougars are also very good climbers, which helps them to escape chasing predators.
Number 5 – Snow Leopard
Length: 75 – 130 cm (2 ft 5.5 in – 4 ft 3.2 in)
Weight: 27 – 55 kg (59 – 121 lb) Sometimes up to 75 kg (165 lb)
Lifespan: 15 – 21 Years
Found in: Asia
The snow leopard can jump farther than any other wild cat, they can leap as far as 15 meters (49 ft and 2.6 in). And they use their long tails to help balance themselves when they jump. Their back legs are longer than their front and are what helps them to leap so far. The cats also have short and very wide paws that help them to maneuver in the tall snow. Although the snow leopard diet consists of goats, birds, boar, deer, they also consume plants, grass, and tiny twigs. Evan though this cat bears the name of the leopard, it is more in common with the tiger.
Number 4 – Jaguar
Length: 112 – 185 cm (3.7 – 6.1 ft)
Weight: 50 – 148 kg (110 – 326 lb)
Lifespan: 12-15 Years
Found in: South and North America
A lot of people think that the jaguar is more like the leopard but they have more in common with the tiger. They also have the strongest jaws of all wild felines. They were also worshiped and used as cult objects by the Aztecs and the Mayans. Jaguars can climb trees but it prefers to hunt on the ground, and like most other big cats they have to surprise their prey to catch them. They can run pretty fast but they shortly run out of steam. Jaguars also aren’t afraid to hunt big game like; tapers, peccaries, and capybaras but will never pass up easier prey like tortoises, birds, caimans, and fish. If Jaguars are really hungry or ever feels threatened, they will hunt and kill humans.
Number 3 – Bengal Tiger
Length: Up to 370 cm (12 ft)
Weight: up to 388.7 kg (857 lb)
Lifespan: 15 Years
Found in: India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal
The Bengal tiger is on the endangered species list. They hunt mostly at night, they hunt for water buffalo, sambar, chital, gaur, barasingha, serow, nilgai, takin, wild boar hog deer, grey langur, hares, peafowl, and porcupines. After a tiger kills its prey they will carry it a few hundred meters before they will start to eat it. Evan Though elephant isn’t on a Bengal tigers menu, it has been recorded that two Bengal tigers did attack and killed a full-size elephant. Tiger’s eyes are six times better than any humans.
Number 2 – Siberian Tiger
Length with their tail: 348 cm (11 ft 5 in)
Weight: 384 kg (847 lb) to 465 kg (1025 lb)
Lifespan: 16-18 Years
Found in Primorsky Krai, Russia, China, and North Korea
Among a few things, black bear and brown bear are the tiger’s choice of food. They will attack from a high rock or a big tree. The Siberian Tiger is considered one of the largest of all wild cats. They will up to 27 kg of meat in one night but not all the time, they will usually consume about 9 kg (20 lb). These beautiful animals are also close to extinction because they are hunted for their fur by poachers and they are also killed for traditional Chinese medications.
Number 1 – Lion
Length: 170 – 250 cm (5 ft 7 in – 8 ft 2 in)
Weight: Males – 189.6 kg (418 lb) Females – 126.9 kg (280 lb)
Lifespan: 10-14 Years
Found in: South Africa and India
Nicknamed “king of the jungle”, the lion will hunt in a group so they can bring down larger prey, a single lion could not kill a big buffalo. They mostly hunt at night by sneaking up on its prey, they will then share their kill then after they are done, the lionesses will eat and after them, their cubs. An adult lion has to consume up to 7 kg of meat per day to survive and they can see in any type of lighting conditions because their eyes adjust so fast. Lions are also the only cats that live in a herd. They are also known to be manhunters, which a movie called “The Ghost in the Darkness” was written from a true story about a group of maneless lions that killed over 130 humans for food, day and knight. They were killed and are now located in the Chicago Museum