Difference between Tiger and Leopard

Key Difference: The main difference between Tiger and Leopard is that the Tiger is the biggest member of the cat family, whereas Leopard is the smallest member of the cat family. Tigers have a large muscular body with powerful forelimbs, which are used for hunting and climbing. On the other hand, Leopards are also large and muscular, but they have short legs, a long body and a large skull.

Differentiating between them is not a difficult task for anyone. In simple terms, tigers have stripes on their body, whereas leopards have spots on their body. Leopards are excellent in climbing trees, whereas tigers are not. Tiger are good at swimming, whereas leopards are not.

Tigers or Panthera tigris is a feline from the Felidae family that can reach a total body length of 11ft and weight up to 306kg. On the other hand, Leopards are the smallest feline members of the Panthera genus and belong to the P. pardus species that can reach a total body length of 6ft and weight up to 91kg. Tigers have a large muscular body with powerful forelimbs, which are used for hunting and climbing. The fur color of tigers varies between shades of yellow, orange and brown, with white around the stomach and a black stripe along the back. Whereas, leopards have solid black spots on the face, limbs and underbelly. The color of the coat also ranges from yellow to cream and gray in some climates.

Leopards were native to eastern and southern Asia and Africa and from Siberia to South Africa. However, due to hunting and loss of habitat they are now only primarily found in sub-Saharan Africa, with a small amount of population available in the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China. On the other hand, a tiger has nine subspecies, of which three are extinct. The Bengal Tiger (the most common), the Indochinese tiger, the Malayan tiger, the Sumatran tiger, the Siberian tiger and the South China tiger species still continue to exist, while the Bali tiger, the Caspian tiger and the Javan tiger have become extinct. Previously, tigers were found throughout Asia, from the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea to Siberia and the Indonesian islands of Java, Bali and Sumatra. However, today, tigers can only be found in India, Western China, Southeast Asia and Sumatra.

Comparison between Tiger and Leopard:







Scientific Name

Panthera Tigris

Panthera Pardus

















Up to 20 to 26 years in captivity

Up to 21 years in captivity

Conservation status




Solitary animals

Solitary animals


Tiger is the largest of all the four cats.

Leopard is the smallest one of all the big cats.


49 to 65 kilometers per hour

58 kilometers per hour


Bengal (Indian) tiger, the Indochinese tiger, the Sumatran tiger, the South China tiger, the Malayan tiger and Siberian (Amur) tiger. Tigers live in the wild in many regions throughout the globe, however, most can be found in Nepal, Tibet, India, South China, Sumatra, and Asia. Mostly, all of the present-day tigers descended from the tigers that were originally in South Central China.

Africa and tropical Asia, from Siberia, South and West Asia to across most of sub-Saharan Africa.


Tigers prefer to hunt at night.

They kill most of their prey while hunting between sunset and sunrise.


They only hunt large animals such as deer, buffalo, wild pigs, etc.

They will eat anything from beetles to antelope, depending on their habitat.


Tigers are very strong swimmers.

Leopards are good swimmers, but not as strong as tigers.

Climb tress

Tigers are not good climbers.

Leopards are excellent with tree climbing.


They have only one color that is brownish with black stripes.

The coat and spots of leopards also vary depending on the region. Leopards in East Africa have small circular rosettes, while leopards in southern Africa and Asia have a squarer rosette. The color of the coat also ranges from yellow to cream and gray in some climates.

Image Courtesy: hdwallpapers.in, johanhoekstraprints.wordpress.com


Thank you very much. The information was just what I needed and more.
M. Ford

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