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Home > Cats > 12 Fastest Cats in the World & Their Record Speed (With Pictures)

12 Fastest Cats in the World & Their Record Speed (With Pictures)

adult cheetah running full speed in the woods

If you are a cat owner, you have probably witnessed the lightning-speed abilities of your cat when they have the zoomies or flee after you make a loud noise. Their ability to run fast is almost a superpower, and every feline in the cat world possesses this admirable skill.

The world of cats is not limited to our domesticated companions but also the big cats that roam the grasslands and forests in the wild. While our pets are certainly sweeter and far less intimidating, they aren’t as fast as their wild cousins. In this article, we’ll discuss the fastest cats in the world, which includes a few domesticated species.


The 7 Fastest Wild Cats in the World

1. Cheetah

Cheetah standing on a dead tree stump
Image Credit: Glavo, Pixabay
Height: Approximately 30 inches
Weight: 90 – 140 pounds
Fastest Speed: 75 mph

The fastest wild cat and quickest mammal ever recorded is the cheetah. They can sprint across flat terrain at speeds of up to 75 miles per hour (mph), which makes them ideal for hunting down prey. Cheetahs are light on their feet because they have lightweight bones and a high muscle tone.

Along with a flexible spine and long, powerful tail, they can swiftly change direction and maintain balance during a high-speed chase. Another trait that allows the big cat to reach incredible speeds is that they can take up to 150 breaths per minute, so they don’t become exhausted too quickly.

2. Jaguar

a jaguar in the wild
Image Credit: carloroberto9, Pixabay
Height: Up to 3 feet
Weight: 150 – 200 pounds
Fastest Speed: 50 mph

Another wild cat that approaches prey with extraordinary speed is the Jaguar. The Jaguar is capable of 50-mph top speeds. Given that they can weigh up to 220 pounds, that is an amazing accomplishment. They are more like sprinters because they can only maintain their maximal speed for brief periods.

Jaguars are excellent sprinters because of their strong, muscular legs, which enable them to move quickly and turn sharply while chasing prey. Additionally, they have long, sleek tails that aid in balance, streamlined bodies, and retractable claws that add more traction. The Jaguar is not only one of the quickest cats but is also a skilled jumper, strong climber, and excellent swimmer.

3. Lion

a lion walking in the wild
Image Credit: Klinkow, Pixabay
Height: 3.5 – 4 feet
Weight: 330 – 570 pounds
Fastest Speed: 50 mph

Lions are one of the most well-known wild cats and are often depicted as the Kings of the Jungle because of their immense size and intimidating demeanor. They are also one of the fastest cats, reaching speeds of up to 50 mph. However, they can only sustain this burst of speed for a brief time due to their lack of endurance. They are also better sprinters than long-distance runners because their front legs are slightly longer than their back legs.

4. Cougar

cougar on a rock in a zoo
Image Credit: villagequirks, Pixabay
Height: 24 – 35 inches
Weight: 120 – 200 pounds
Fastest Speed: 40 – 50 mph

Cougars are as fast and agile as their other wild cat relatives. They are excellent jumpers and can run up to 50 mph, which is crucial for taking down prey. Cougars are better climbers than several of their rivals, and they can run and leap thanks to their huge paws and strong back legs. They have a classic, majestic appearance, but they are excellent hiders, which makes them an elusive species.

5. Serval

Serval Cat side view
Image Credit: gayleenfroese2, Pixabay
Height: 17 – 24 inches
Weight: 20 – 40 pounds
Fastest Speed: 45 mph

Servals are one of the smaller wild cats, but that doesn’t mean they are slower. In fact, they can reach speeds of up to 45 mph, which is only a few miles slower than the Cheetah. Servals are nimble and strong, which allows them to maintain their fast speeds. They also make outstanding jumpers due to their short stature and long, powerful legs. They have a Cheetah-like appearance but only grow to 17–24 inches tall and have large, erect ears. They are solitary hunters, focusing on smaller prey, including birds, frogs, and rats.

6. Tiger

Tiger in the snow
Image Credit: Pixel-mixer, Pixabay
Height: 24 – 43 inches
Weight: 350 – 500 pounds
Fastest Speed: 35 – 40 mph

Tigers are exotic and graceful wild cats that are athletic and powerful. They can only run short distances but reach speeds of 35–40 mph, which is impressive for such a large and heavy cat. Their long, powerful legs and flexible spine allow them to move fast, and their retractable claws provide them more grip on the ground. This makes them incredible ambush hunters. Tigers also possess admirable jumping skills and can leap as high as 16 feet in the air and jump over 30 feet.

7. Rusty Spotted Cat

Rusty Spotted Cat on a pieace of wood
Image Credit: Vladimir Wrangel, Shutterstock
Height: 14 – 19 inches
Weight: 1.8 – 3.5 pounds
Fastest Speed: 50 mph

One of the smallest cat species in the world and by far the tiniest cat in the wild is the Rusty Spotted Cat. They are about half the size of an average domestic cat. However, they certainly make up for their size with speed! These tiny cats can run at high speeds of up to 50 mph!  Although we know that they are a very fast and agile breed, little is known about their capabilities because they are solitary and seldom seen in the wild.

The 5 Fastest Domestic Cat Breeds in the World

8. Egyptian Mau

egyptian mau on white background
Image Credit: MDavidova, Shutterstock
Height: 7 – 11 inches
Weight: 8 – 12 pounds
Fastest Speed: 30 mph

The Egyptian Mau dominates the domestic cat breeds for agility and athleticism. These amazing felines can run up to 30 mph and leap up to 6 feet in the air from a standing position! Egyptian Maus enjoy perching high to take in their surroundings, and they usually present themselves as having total command of the environment. They are very active, strong, and muscular and are incredible jumpers and climbers, but they have a well-balanced and sweet temperament.

9. Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat
Image Credit: Osetrik, Shutterstock
Height: 12 – 16 inches
Weight: 8 – 12 pounds
Fastest Speed: 30 mph

Given its slim and streamlined form, it may come as no surprise that the Abyssinian is one of the fastest domestic cats in the world. At almost 30 mph, its top speed is almost as fast as the Egyptian Mau. The Abyssinian is quite athletic and curious, and you will see them dart away in a matter of seconds if they see a rodent or bird.

Because of their outstanding climbing abilities, small birds typically have very little chance of getting away. The Abyssinian is a lively, active cat that is very simple to care for. They spend hours playing with their toys but also value the time spent playing with their parents.

10. Bengal

bengal cat sitting on tree trunk
Image By: Jane Koshchina, Shutterstock
Height: 13 – 16 inches
Weight: 8 – 15 pounds
Fastest Speed: 30 mph in short bursts

Bengal cats were created by crossing an Asian Leopard Cat with various domestic breeds, including the Egyptian Mau and Burmese. This gives the Bengal an exotic appearance with the nature of a domestic cat. They are admired for their energy and athleticism and are also one of the fastest domestic breeds, reaching 30 mph in short bursts.

They are excellent sprinters because of their strong back legs and wild genes. As a pet, the Bengal cat is an active feline that needs to run, jump, and climb around in order to be happy.

11. Savannah

savannah cat in front of a cat tree
Image By: AJR_photo, Shutterstock
Height: 14 – 17 inches
Weight: 12 – 25 pounds
Fastest Speed:
Up to 30 mph

The Savannah cat was created by crossing a Siamese with the wild Serval, which we know is one of the fastest wild cats. That would explain why the Savannah is one of the fastest domestic cats. The wild genes are instantly recognizable in Savannah. They have an exotic spotted coat, long legs, and erect ears like the Serval, and their nature is very much like their Siamese parent, making them excellent companions.

Savannahs are large, active cats that enjoy climbing, jumping, and playing in water. This intelligent breed can also easily be leashed and trained to enjoy an outdoor adventure with their owner.

12. Ocicat

Image By: dien, Shutterstock
Height: 9 – 11 inches
Weight: 6 – 15 pounds
Fastest Speed: Up to 30 mph

The Ocicat is a cross between an Abyssinian and a Siamese. Their appearance resembles a wild Ocelot, which gives them a wild cat’s exotic spots and gorgeous coat. The Ocicat is another hybrid that makes the list of one of the fastest domesticated cats. They are loved for having a more dog-like nature and being sociable with family members and strangers. The Ocicat may not be a big cat, but they certainly have the personality and presence of one.



Wild cats are undoubtedly the champions when it comes to speed and catching prey, but any cat owner knows that our domestic friends are not far off. They have the same abilities to balance, change direction, sprint, climb and leap like most of their wild relatives. The fastest cat in the world is the beautiful Cheetah, which can reach a top speed of up to 75 mph. The fastest domestic breed, the Egyptian Mau, can run up to 30 mph. While wild and domestic cats may differ in size, hunting abilities, and habitat, they share the same characteristics that make them top predators and sprinters.

Featured Image Credit: Danita Delimont, Shutterstock

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