The cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal. They can run 70 mph (or 110 kph), which is as fast as cars drive on the highway. The cheetah can reach its top speed in just 3 seconds!
The cheetah has “semi non-retractable” claws (almost like dog claws) that work like the cleats on a football shoe to give the cheetah a lot of traction when running. The pads of most cats’ paws are soft, but the cheetah’s pads are hard kind of like the rubber on a tire. This also helps them grip the ground when they are running so fast.
The cheetah has a long, muscular tail that has a flat shape. The tail almost functions like a rudder on a boat because they use it to help control their steering and keep their balance when running very fast.
There are less than 10,000 cheetahs left in the wild, making the cheetah Africa’s most endangered big cat.