How Fast Can A Cheetah Run?

You won’t believe how fast cheetahs can go 💨

how fast can cheetahs run

When someone asks you to picture the speediest animal on Earth, chances are you’re thinking of a cheetah.

These big cats aren’t just crazy cute — they’re impressively quick. But how fast can a cheetah run, exactly? And where do they stack up against other animals?

We’re here to help you get to the bottom of these questions with some fun facts.

Is the cheetah the fastest animal?

It depends on the context. According to Britannica, the cheetah is the fastest land animal — but only for short distances.

If we’re talking about long-distance runners, the American antelope takes that title because they can maintain a speed of 35 mph for several miles, and they can get up to 55 mph during sprinting sessions.

Meanwhile, the fastest marine animal is believed to be the black marlin, who can achieve speeds of 80 mph.

But the peregrine falcon takes the cake overall — these birds can dive at a speed of 200 mph, according to Guinness World Records.

So … how fast can a cheetah run?

A cheetah’s top speed clocks in at about 70 mph.

Such a high speed is impressive regardless, but what’s really wild about this feat is that cheetahs can go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds.

Most cars, on average, can’t even do that, just to put it in perspective.

How does a cheetah run so fast?

According to Wired and Discover Wildlife, there are a handful of things that allow cheetahs to run so fast so quickly, and they all have to do with the big cats’ anatomy and physiology:

  • Muscles: create enough power to reach top speed
  • Tail: is long and strong enough to assist with steering and balance
  • Claws: provide traction (similar to running spikes in track)
  • Spine: has flexibility to enable quick movements and long strides
  • Large lungs: breathe more air faster for increased circulation

How long can a cheetah run at top speed?

Like we said, cheetahs are only the fastest land animals for short distances. These big cats can only maintain these incredible speeds for about a quarter of a mile before they need a rest.

So while they may not be the fastest members of the animal kingdom, a cheetah’s speed can get way up there — and probably quicker than your own car can!