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Friendly is not a word that we usually associate with cheetahs. So, are cheetahs friendly with humans, and are cheetahs friendly with other animals? 

Cheetahs are not naturally violent, but they are also not naturally friendly. They are predators in the wild that will protect themselves if needed.

However, they are the most sociable of the big African cats and are not known to attack humans.

Are Cheetahs Friendly?

Due to their similarities to domestic cats, cheetahs may appear nice and cuddly, yet appearances can be deceiving.

Cheetahs in the wild are aggressive, cold-blooded predators that often kill large animals.

It has been extensively documented that cheetahs exist in the wild. Females are a bit haughty as adults. They rarely interact with other cheetahs and, unless they are related, will avoid other females.

Females lead isolated, nomadic lives and only engage with males when passing through their territories or when in estrus.

Once a female has her own litter, she will care for them until they reach maturity. On average, cubs will remain with their mother for between 16 and 24 months before venturing out on their own.

As soon as the cubs leave the den, the males look for their territories. If females have sisters, they may either leave or remain close to home.

Male cheetahs will have solitary lives and establish their own territories.

This is especially true if they were the sole males in the litter. If a litter includes multiple males, they will move out together and live, hunt, and claim territory.

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Occasionally, an alliance may consist of unrelated cheetahs that were raised in the same region. Sometimes a coalition consists of single, unrelated males joining together.

The Cheetah’s Relationship to Humans

mother cheetah with her cubs

It is true that cheetahs are considered one of the friendliest species of large cats. This is despite being less social than other large cats within their species.

Lion prides, for example, range in size from three to thirty individuals. Cheetahs are primarily solitary or form small groups.

Leopards and tigers are solitary like cheetahs, but they are more aggressive. Tigers are notorious for attacking humans in the Sundarbans, killing around 50 to 250 people annually.

Leopards attack humans and are sometimes referred to as “man-eaters.”

Lions have been observed killing smaller predators, such as cheetahs, for dominance. In Tanzania, they murder up to 100 humans annually.

On the other side, there is no record of a cheetah in the wild killing a human.

Are Cheetahs Friendly With One Another?

Within a family or coalition, cheetahs are usually amicable with one another. When they see other familiar cheetahs, their behavior will be comparable to that of dogs. Additionally, they have been shown to create close bonds.

When a member becomes lost or separated from the group, they shout out to one another until they are reunited. 

However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as when a non-related male wants to join a coalition of related males; it will be subjected to times of hostility from the related males.

However, the moments in between are peaceful, and despite these aggressions, the “outsider” rarely leaves the coalition they have joined.

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How Tame Are Cheetahs?

Cheetahs are the most docile member of the cat family by a wide margin. This is seen in their natural conduct. Generally, cheetahs will avoid larger cats in the wild.

Unfortunately, this aversion may be a learned behavior. Up to 90 percent of cheetah babies are frequently pursued and killed by other predators.

Also, while cheetahs hunt, lions and hyenas frequently steal their prey.

Cheetahs in the wild learn the significance of avoiding other predators as they mature.

As a result, they will hunt during the day, in contrast to the majority of other predators that are either asleep or socializing in groups at that time.

Some likely motivations include avoiding competition for prey, preventing their kill from being taken, and for females, providing for their young while reducing the chance of losing them.

Can You Keep a Cheetah as a Pet?

a cheetah sitting and relaxing on a safari jeep - are cheetahs friendly

The domestication of cheetahs is possible. It is known that domesticated cheetahs exhibit dog-like behavior.

They will smell, rub their owners’ cheeks, and even lick them. Historically, cheetahs were tamed largely for hunting reasons, hence the term “hunting leopard.”

Throughout history, notable historical people such as Genghis Khan and Charlemagne kept cheetahs as pets.

Some cultures continue to view cheetahs as emblems of prosperity in the present day.

Nonetheless, it is essential not to underestimate the extent to which a wild animal can be domesticated.

It is not suggested to domesticate cheetahs or other wild animals, as they never totally lose their “wild” tendencies and could constitute a threat.

Do Cheetahs Like Humans?

Cheetahs do not constitute an active threat to humans and their history of aggressiveness toward humans is largely limited. It is a fallacy, however, that wild cheetahs prefer humans.

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The predatory tendencies of these cats may cause them to see humans as threats. Similar to how they perceive other animals.

Yet, human history and cheetah history are deeply connected. Since before 3000 BCE, they have coexisted harmoniously with humans while being regarded as symbols of monarchy.

Since cheetahs have been a part of human society throughout history, it is safe to argue that they are the least harmful big cats to humans because they are accustomed to their presence.

As a result, cheetahs will exhibit inquisitive behavior near guests in cars during Safari tours.

They will climb aboard or even insert their heads into vehicles with open windows. As naturally curious creatures, they will sniff about and explore what is occurring.

This may lead one to believe that cheetahs are sociable and like humans, but they are still wild and deadly animals.

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