Difference Between Jaguar and Leopard (With Table)

At first glance, you can easily confuse a leopard and a Jaguar. A Jaguar’s body is compact with a broad head and stronger jaws. You will find a jaguar to be more muscular.

The Jaguar has a shorter tail than the Leopards. Both their skins feature a rosette pattern but the Jaguar’s rosette has spots inside.

The two can be differentiated from where they live. Leopards are found in sub-Saharan Africa and some parts of Asia and the Middle East. You can find most of the wild Jaguars in the Amazon.

two animals are adaptable and can survive in varied environments. Jaguars
roamed California, Texas and Grand Canyon in the 21st century but
became extinct. Leopards originally lived in Japan and Hong Kong.

Jaguar vs Leopard

The main difference between Jaguar and Leopard is they live in two distinct places of the world. Jaguars (Panthera Onca) are found in middle and south America. Whereas, Leopards (Panthera Pardus) has seen in the African and some of the Asian regions. Jaguar is aquatically prepared; contrarily, Leopard is an excellent climber. The former weighs around 36 – 158 kg, whereas the latter is near 17 – 90 kgs. But Jaguar can run faster than the leopard.


Comparison Table Between Jaguar and Leopard (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of Comparison




The average size of a male jaguar is between 110 to 120 Kgs and females weigh between 85 to 90 Kgs

The average size for a male leopard is 40Kgs to 80Kgs and for a female is 20Kgs to 60kgs


A Jaguar has a broader forehead and a wider jaw.

Leopards have smaller forehead and a narrow jaw


Jaguars have a large barrel-like abdomen that looks as if they are well fed or can be mistaken to be pregnant .Their bodies are short a bit stockier build.

Leopards have a small built. They have a light and longer body. The body size varies geographically.

Tree Climbing

Jaguars rarely climb trees. Research shows that they only climb trees when they are confronted by people or dogs or when they are under pressure.

Leopards are quite agile and enjoy climbing trees.


Jaguars coats contain larger rosettes with spots at the center;

For the leopards the coats have with no spots


Jaguars become mature very early in their lives. The female Jaguars leave their mothers at between 14 to 15 A male jaguar starts to show signs of independence at around 18 to 20 months.

Leopards stay longer with their parents. A female leopard leaves its mother between 18 to 24 months while the males become independent at around 24 months

Sexual Maturity

Female Jaguars attain sexual maturity at around two to three years while the Male Jaguar matures between three to four years.

Leopards take slightly longer time to attain sexual maturity. Both males and females mature at the same age. They start reproducing at around three years.

Life Expectancy

Jaguar’s lifespan is uncertain but it is thought to be between 13 to 15 years in the wild.

Leopards can live for 12 to 15 years in the wild and some cases of up to 17 years have been reported


The jaguar is very strong and can deliver over 2000 pounds of force..

Leopards are not so strong among the cats


Jaguars are known to spend lengthy times in water.

Leopards do not like water and try so much to avoid it


Jaguars are not so keen on marking their territories and their homes are not so well managed. Male Jaguars do not show any territorial defence against Jaguars from other regions

Leopards are known to be very territorial. They take control of their space and fight off other leopards who might want to invade their territory.


Jaguars list of preys stands at about 85 species. They can adapt to feeding to whatever is in the area. Jaguars loves to eat different kinds of reptiles including turtles, snakes and tortoises

A leopard is a cat with the most varied diet. The list is almost 100 species.


What is Jaguar?

A Jaguar is a large member of the cat family and is mainly found in South and Central America. It has the strongest jaw structure. They live in wetlands and they are used to spending their lives crossing water even with their cabs.

They, however, do not spend much of their time on trees. They have shorter tails and this indicates that tree climbing is not so important in its life

Jaguars look very much like leopards and both belong to the big cat family, their environmental role and behavior is more similar to that of the tiger.

Jaguars are considered the most powerful in the great cats’ family even stronger that the Lion and the tiger.

What is Leopard?

A leopard belongs to the wild family. It has short legs, a long body, and a large skull. Its coat is marked rosettes. It looks like a jaguar but has a lighter physique, and its rosettes are generally smaller and densely packed and without central spots

They have a long tail that helps in keeping their balance whenever they climb on trees. A leopard feeds on about anything in the wild.

The environment where they live dictates their diet. They carry their kills to the trees to avoid other predators like the lion’s hyenas and wild dogs.



These comparisons
of these two animals go beyond the appearance and dive more deeply into the
design and behavior. 

Jaguar is considered to be the largest among the
animals in the cat family. They prefer a solitary life while they live and hunt
the males are quite aggressive and are known to protect their female and homes.

Leopards are said to be the smallest of the cat
family. They are strong but quite short in height. They also hunt in solitary.



  1. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/search/?q=jaguar
  2. https://blog.londolozi.com/category/leopards-of-londolozi/