Let’s be honest: Seeing the cheetahs at the zoo can feel a little disappointing. Unlike the National Geographic videos of cheetahs bolting across the land and pouncing on their prey, seeing a cheetah “in real life” tends to seem like watching a very large, relaxed house cat. Their spotted coat is impressive, sure. And their long, lean, and muscular bodies are a sight to behold. But, they don’t exactly look like the world’s fastest mammal. They’re still pretty darn fast, though. How fast? You’ll have to keep scrolling to find out. We’ve filled these cheetah coloring pages full of fun facts to share with your kids as they color.
Why coloring? As it turns out, coloring isn’t all fun and games. It’s truly beneficial to your child’s development. Coloring books or coloring pages can teach your kiddo several traits that are useful throughout their life. Take, for instance, coloring inside the lines. Learning to color inside the lines teaches kids self-regulation, as they have to learn not to make those big, broad sweeping motions they make when they scribble. Because coloring often includes smaller details, it also helps them learn to focus and concentrate. Being a good “color-er” is something that takes practice. It isn’t usually done while focusing on multiple other things. That’s why it’s also great for adults!
While coloring also helps your child work on their fine motor skills (like holding that crayon properly and making small strokes), it’s also a chance to work on their ability to create based on both reality and imagination. Yes, you could color a cheetah its natural orange-yellow color. But why not pink? What would a pink cheetah do and how would their life be different? For coloring sheets that feature lone cheetahs without a background, you can encourage your children to do some research. Task them with learning about where cheetahs live and “filling in the blanks” by creating their own background.
See? And you thought coloring was just a nice, quiet DIY activity for your kiddo to do while you call in to yet another Zoom meeting that could have been an email. *wink*
Free Cheetah Coloring Pages
1. Cheetah on the Prowl
This cheetah looks like he’s about to pounce! Cheetahs are carnivores, which means they eat meat. Since most wild cheetahs now live in Sub-Saharan Africa, they primarily feed on smaller antelopes, impalas, and gazelles. They will also occasionally eat rabbits, wildebeests calves, and other small creatures found in their habitat. Just like the proverbial cat-and-mouse, they will also occasionally find sustenance in wild birds.
2. A Simple Cheetah Face
You probably already know that cheetah spots help camouflage them. Did you know, though, that the black spots on their cheeks and under their eyes have a particularly unique purpose? The dark spots help reflect sunlight and make hunting easier for a prowling cheetah.
3. Cheetah at Attention
Ever wonder how many spots a cheetah has? It’s estimated that cheetahs have between 2,000 to 3,000 spots on their entire body. Now, who took the time to try to count a sleeping cheetah’s spots?!
4. One Fierce Cheetah
Look at this handsome devil! You’d never guess that he was dehydrated, would you? Most domestic cats are dehydrated, which often causes kidney issues later in life. Cheetahs, though, have learned to adapt to their arid habitat. They can go three to four days without drinking water. Think they get headaches on day four? You’ll have to ask and find out.
5. Cheetah Making Moves
This gal looks like she’s up to some serious stalking, and she’s probably doing it alone. Unlike other desert creatures that tend to travel in packs, female cheetahs are more solitary animals. Unless they have cubs, female cheetahs live on their own. (Get it, Miss Independent!) Male cheetahs, however, typically travel in a pack of two to three brothers. When a group of cheetahs is together, it’s called a coalition.
6. Posing On Rocks
Doesn’t she look sleek? Despite their dominance in the food chain, cheetahs are actually somewhat small. Most cheetahs weigh between 50 to 160 pounds. So, yeah, you might outweigh a cheetah… but they’d still win in a fight.
7. Cheetah Lookin’ Fly
Did you know cheetahs are one of the only cats that can change direction while mid-air? This has a lot to do with their lithe form and flat, muscular tails.
8. Look At Me!
We’ve told you a ton about wild cheetahs, but cheetahs at zoos lead pretty interesting lives and have some unusual friends, too. In fact, many zoos across America have turned to dogs to help train and socialize cheetah cubs. Yes, they learn to play together — and it’s every bit as cute as it sounds. But they’re also taught to follow the signals and commands that zookeepers use to communicate with the animals.
9. Two Cheetahs Leaping
So, how fast can cheetahs run? Shockingly, cheetahs can go from 0 to 68 miles per hour in just three seconds. That’s certainly faster than our old Dodge Neon, eh? They top out at around 70 miles per hour, which means they need practically no time to work up to their max performance. Dang, cheetahs — that’s impressive!
10. You Lookin’ At Me?
While female cheetahs may be particularly solitary, they do take a few breaks from that life. They keep their cubs with them anywhere from one to two years as they protect them and teach them to hunt and survive.