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

6. Summary

This table shows you the most important differences between jaguars, leopards, clouded leopards, ocelots, cheetahs and servals at a glance. Don’t forget: the word panther either refers to a black jaguar or a black leopard!


  • Family: Big cats
  • Body: Sturdy
  • Fur: Large rosettes, dots
  • Distribution: Central and South America
  • Habitat: Rainforest

Jaguar Jaguar - Photo: Mikadun/Shutterstock


  • Family: Big cats
  • Body: Slim
  • Fur: Small rosettes, no dots
  • Distribution: Africa, China, India
  • Habitat: Rainforests, mountains, savannah

Leopard Leopard - Photo: Eduard Kyslynskyy/Shutterstock


Clouded Leopard

  • Family: Big cats
  • Body: Long tail
  • Fur: Cloud-like rosettes
  • Distribution: South-East Asia
  • Habitat: Forest

Clouded Leopard Clouded Leopard - Photo: Sarah Cheriton-Jones/Shutterstock


  • Family: Felinae
  • Body: Thin, long tail
  • Fur: Small spots, black inside
  • Distribution: Africa
  • Habitat: Savannah, steppe

Cheetah Cheetah - Photo: Arnoud Quanjer/Shutterstock


  • Family: Felinae
  • Body: Sturdy
  • Fur: Rosettes, stripes
  • Distribution: Central and South America
  • Habitat: Rainforests, mangroves

Ocelot Ocelot - Photo: Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock


  • Family: Felinae
  • Body: Thin, large ears
  • Fur: Thick spots
  • Distribution: Africa
  • Habitat: Grassland

Serval Serval - Photo: Howard Klaaste/Shutterstock


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