Skip to main content - The Animal Encyclopedia for Kids


Jaguar, Leopard or Panther - What’s the Difference?

How can you tell jaguar, leopard and panther apart? This article will tell you!

Jaguars and leopards look very similar. They're large predatory cats. And they all have spots. We’ll show you in simple steps and with large images how to tell jaguar, leopard, panther and clouded panther apart. They all have a unique appearance, behavior and their own habitats.

There is also a little aside about smaller predatory cats like ocelots, cheetahs and servals. They also have spots and aren’t that easy to tell apart. Finally, there’ll be a clear summary with pictures of all the spotted cats.

Leopard Photo: Foto: Maggy Meyer/Shutterstock


Mnemonic Trick

The best way to remember: the leOparD doesn’t have any dots in its flower-shaped markings. The two letters and D for "0" and "dots" (= no dots) are in its name!

Unique Characteristics:

Here you can see all the characteristics in which the animals differ. On the following pages we'll explain them. Also, we show you large pictures for each feature, on which we have marked the differences.


  • Coat patterns, spots, rosettes
  • Tail tip


  • Size
  • Weight
  • Head
  • Tail


  • Climbing
  • Swimming

Habitat and distribution

  • Vegetation zone
  • Geography

Find Out Here: Jaguar, Leopard or Panther?

LeopardLeopard - Photo: Eduard Kyslynskyy/Shutterstock


Pupils are welcome to use this information at school for animal profiles, fact sheets, essays, work sheets, presentations, posters or homework. All information appearing on this site has been precisely and thoroughly researched, nevertheless should you notice any errors, please do notify us via email.

See all topics on