Tiger vs Leopard: Difference and Comparison

Tiger and Leopard are majestic cats belonging to the same family and genus Panthera. These big cats rank among the top predators in the Food Chain, and their roar imprints on one.


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Key Takeaways

  1. Tigers are the largest big cat species, with distinct orange coats and black stripes, while leopards are smaller, featuring golden-yellow fur with black spots and rosettes.
  2. Tigers primarily inhabit Asia, whereas leopards have a broader geographic range, spanning Africa and parts of Asia.
  3. Both tigers and leopards are apex predators, but they differ in their hunting styles, with tigers preferring to ambush their prey and leopards relying on stealth and climbing abilities.

Tiger vs Leopard

Tigers are large and have unique dark stripes on their orange coat. They are solitary animals and mainly hunt large prey such as deer and wild boar. Leopards, are small, with a yellowish-brown coat that has unique black spots. They are agile and are able to climb trees and swim in water.

Tiger vs Leopard

Another key difference is that tigers are significantly stronger, weighing around 300kgs than leopards, who, on the contrary, weigh only 90kgs. The tiger is also the biggest among the wild cats, whereas the leopard is the smallest among them.

 Tigers can be classified into 6 subtypes, mostly found in East and Southern Asia. In contrast, leopards have 7 subtypes and are mostly concentrated in the sub-Saharan area and Southern Asia.

Another crucial difference is that a leopard can climb trees and often be seen relaxing or preying from the tree tops, while tigers can be found mostly on the ground.


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonTigerLeopard
Design on furBlack stripesBlack dots
Fur colourStripes on Orange backgroundDots on light brown or golden background
Geographical locationEast and Southern Asiasub-Saharan area and Southern Asia
StrengthStronger than leopardsLess strong than the tiger
Sizebiggest among the wild catssmallest among the wild cats


What is a Tiger?

Tigers are the giant wild cat among the four big cats lion, leopard, tiger and jaguar. They belong to the genus Panthera and the feline family.

 Tigers are further classified into 6 species; these big cats weigh about 300 kilos. They are apex predators, primarily carnivores that feed on deer and wild boars.

Tigers have been announced as an endangered species, and their population is confined to East and Southern Asia, India being the host to the largest number. They are also listed among the most iconic and fascinating Charismatic Megafauna.

A tiger is 6 feet in length and 9 feet, including the tail. This majestic animal, no doubt, has been heavily intertwined with mystical mythology and Indian folklore.

Tigers are territorial and leave their parent’s shadow after 2 years of rearing in search of dominance. However, today tigers are on the brink of extinction mainly due to human activities such as hunting, poaching, and deforestation.


What is a Leopard?

Leopards also belong to the genus Panthera and other big cats, lions, tigers and jaguars. They are bigger than a pet cat but the smallest among the four wild cats.

They are known for striking looks carved out of vibrant black dots on golden or light brown skin. However, they are most feared for their sly and ferocious hunting techniques and speed.

Leopard leaves their parents when they are 12 to 18 months, and by 2 to 3 years, they start rearing their offspring.

Leopards are considered a mixed breed of lion and panther, and thus the name Leopard from “Leon” and “Pardus” combined. They weigh only 90kgs but are 6.25 feet long and 10.75 when measured with its tail.

They are, however, very adaptable and are found in both rainforests and deserts.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), they are found in sub-Saharan Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, southwestern and eastern Turkey, the Himalayan foothills and the entire Southern Asia.

Leopards are further subdivided into seven genres. They are ambush predators that can climb trees, and their dotted fur helps them even more to camouflage. They are independent creatures and depend only on mating or rearing.


Main Differences Between Tiger and Leopard

  1. The main difference between a tiger and a leopard is that the tiger has prominent black stripes, whereas the leopard is distinguished by its vibrant black dots.
  2. Another crucial difference is that a leopard can climb trees, and their dotted fur easily camouflages in the trees. At the same time, tigers can be found preying or relaxing mainly on the ground.
  3. Tigers are the giant wild cat among the four big cats lion, leopard, tiger and jaguar, whereas leopards are the smallest among them.
  4. Another difference between a tiger and a leopard is that a tiger is 6 feet long and 9 feet, including the tail, whereas leopards are 6.25 feet long and 10.75 when measured with its tail.
  5. A tiger weighs about 300 kilos, whereas a leopard weighs about 90 kilos. Tigers are also more substantial than leopards.
Difference Between Tiger and Leopard

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320708004503
  2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s13364-011-0038-9.pdf
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