From the Hindu word Chita meaning “spotted one”, the cheetah’s coat varies from a tawny to golden tone covered in a pattern of solid black spots. It is coarse to the touch rather than silky.
The throat and abdomen are a creamy white in color.
The Cheetah has a small head with high set eyes and short rounded ears tipped with white on the back. The most well known characteristic is the distinct black ‘tear mark’, which runs from the inside corner of the eye down to the corner of the mouth.
The King Cheetah has a fur pattern mutation, which turns the small rounded spots into large connected black patches. This mutation is caused from a lack of genetic diversity.
Written by Pauline Cameron & Katie Kemsley