Strongest Big Cats in The World (Top 5)

strongest big cats in the world

The feline species are spread all across the world. Whenever the term “feline” is brought up, our brain goes straight to those small cats found in homes and streets.

But if you ever wondered what are the strongest BIG CATS, you’re in a right place.

We have compiled a brief yet informative and exciting list of those most powerful big cats. These mighty cats live in a wide range of habitats, and each one of them is known for its distinct appearances and swiftly lethal hunting styles.

So, without any further delay, let’s get to know the top 5 strongest big cats in the world.

List of Strongest Big Cats

  • Liger (Panthera Tigris x Panthera Leo)
  • Siberian Tiger (Panthera Tigris)
  • Lion (Panthera Leo)
  • Jaguar (Panthera Orca)
  • Leopard (Panthera Pardus)

1. Ligers

Size – 9 to 12 ft (2.7 to 3.6 m)
Weight – 600 to 1600 lbs (317 to 725 kg)
Diet –Carnivorous
Bite Force – 900 PSI
Habitat Zoos and Animal sanctuaries
Lifespan – 18 to 22 years

Ligers wear a crown for being the strongest big cats on the planet. These giants are also the largest felines. They come as a mixture of a female tiger and a male lion and are only found in captivity as they are man-made hybrids.

The liger typically weighs between 600 to 1600 pounds, and apart from its enormous size, it is said that it is a docile animal that is known for its gentle behavior with handlers.

These big cat hybrids possess immense strength and power and are faster than both of their parents. Ligers can run at the speed of 50 to 60 miles per hour.

Unfortunately, male ligers are sterile, and because of that, they are not found anywhere in the world except in zoos and animal sanctuaries. It would be interesting to see how these cats would fit into the wilderness.

Taking into consideration their size, strength, and social behavior, these hybrid cats would be some of the most ferocious and lethal predators in any habitat.

2. Siberian Tigers

Size – 8 to 11 ft (2.4 to 3.3 m)
Weight – 200 to 700 lbs (90 to 311 kg)
Diet – Carnivorous
Bite Force – 1,050 PSI
Habitat Asia
Lifespan – 8 to 10 years

Siberian tigers, which are also known as the Amur tigers, or the Manchurian tigers, are the second strongest big cats in the world.

Adult male tigers weigh up to 700 pounds, while their body length is no longer than 11 ft. Tigers are the largest big cats in the world (not counting hybrid species).

They are extremely adaptable creatures that can live in various environments. However, tigers are typically found in colder regions of Asia, such as Russia, Northeast China, North Korea, and Eastern Mongolia.

This fierce predator has a solitary nature, and it is extremely territorial, defining its realm boundaries by spraying urine around it.

The Siberian tiger prefers hunting in the dark, utilizing its greatly developed night vision. They mainly eat water buffalos, antelopes, wild pigs, and other animals of similar size.

However, when food is scarce, tigers will go after bears, given the opportunity. Yes, bears! Which indicates the superb strength of a tiger.

Tigers can travel miles to hunt down their preferred prey. Using their striped coat as camouflage, they hunt their prey by stalking them cautiously and in an unobtrusive manner.

Once the prey is spotted, tigers will wait in the bushes and slowly creep closer. When they are close enough, they will pounce on their prey, inflicting a bite of death.

3. Lions

Size – 6 to 10 ft (2.4 to 3.1 m)
Weight – 200 to 600 lbs (90 to 272 kg)
Diet –Carnivorous
Bite Force – 650 PSI
Habitat Africa
Lifespan – 10 to 15 years

Despite their names “kings of the beasts”, lions are ranked in the third position of strongest big cats. Lions are typically found in Sub- Saharan African deserts and rainforests. They weigh approximately 600 pounds (272 kg).

Unlike the other feline species, lions do not prefer a solitary lifestyle, instead, they live in groups known as pride. The members of the pride come and go, and the most powerful lion among them rule the group forcefully. The rest of the pride consists of lionesses and their cubs.

Lion’s adaptations make these majestic creatures apex predators and rulers of the environment. Night vision, sharp teeth, muscular bodies, a strong sense of smell, large manes, and dreadful roars are some of the most known traits of these cats.

The Panthera Leo follows a strictly carnivorous diet which consists of large herbivores found in their habitat. Their unique hunting style allows them to hunt down animals triple their size. Their most usual prey includes antelopes, zebras, buffalos, and sometimes even giraffes.

Usually, the females are the ones in charge of hunting since they are proven to be more proficient hunters. Since lions live in groups, they tend to hunt in groups, as it proves more effective.

An individual hunt by a lion has a 17% to 19%| success rate, while a group hunt succeeds 30% of the time. (source) Apart from hunting, they are also likely to scavenge the remains of the most successful hunters in Africa (hyenas), their number one food competitor.

4. Jaguars

Size – 4.5 to 7.5 ft (1.35 to 2.3 m)
Weight – 110 to 288 lbs (50 to 130 kg)
Diet – Carnivorous
Bite Force – 1,500 PSI
Habitat North and South America
Lifespan – 12 to 15 years

Jaguars are incredible creatures found in various open terrains. However, they most usually inhabit tropical and subtropical forests and wetlands, in places of Central America, New Mexico, the United States to Argentina, and Paraguay.

These slender and powerful felines are territorial in nature and hence, very protective of their boundaries. They prefer being alone unless they are mating or raising their young cubs.

The hunting style of the jaguar is distinct and discrete. These stalk-and-pounce cats will ambush the prey, quietly lurking their potential meal before striking a deadly jump.

Unlike most felines, jaguars do not target the prey’s neck when attacking. Instead, they bite their prey by its head, piercing through their skull with the dreadful bite force of 1500 PSI.

Jaguars, are also together with lions, the fastest (nonhybrid) big cats. However, due to being less heavy than lions, jaguars have much more stamina and can keep the pace for a longer time.

As for their diet, jaguars are obligate carnivores, hunting different kinds of live prey. Some of the most preferred meals include capybaras, giant anteaters, marsh deer, and often turtles and caimans.

Read Also: Do Big Cats Meow?

5. Leopards

Size – 4.25 to 6.25 ft (1.2 to 1.9 m)
Weight – 70 to 180 lbs (31 to 82 kg)
Diet –Carnivorous
Bite Force – 300 PSI
Habitat Asia and Africa
Lifespan –
12 to 17 years

Weighing around 120 pounds on average, the leopard is the smallest of the Panthera genus. These majestic felines are recognized by their beautiful patches and patterns.

The dark spots on the leopard bodies are also known as rosettes. These dots camouflage their bodies and help them stay almost invisible while moving through grass and trees.

Leopards are one of the most widely distributed felines in the world in a geographical sense. Ranging from the deserts of the north and southern Africa, rainforests, and rainforests of central and East Africa, to the Southeast and central areas of Asia.

Similar to their Felidae species, they prefer solitude, socializing only for mating and then going their ways. So, securing food is a lonely action.

Yet, despite that, with a success rate of 38%, leopards are crowned as the number one hunters of all big cats. These cats are experts in making themselves blend with the environment.

They would stalk their prey while being covered in thick bushes. Getting closer and closer to their target with slow and discrete steps. Then, when the opportunity arises, they pounce on and bite the prey’s neck inflicting a fatal bite with their razor-sharp fangs.

Pound-for-pound leopards are by far the strongest big cats, which comes as a surprise for many people.

These cats are the most agile and skilled predators, known for their athleticism both on land and in water. In addition, leopards have extraordinary strength (in body-size ratio), being able to carry their prey up on trees that are double their size.

As for their carnivorous diet, leopards are not picky eaters. They prey on all kinds of live prey, such as monkeys, birds, wild boars, pigs, hog deer, macaque, rodents, porcupines, goats, cattle, poultry, and even fish.

In Summary!

And that’s about it, you’ve come to the end of the strongest big cats article.

Whether the results have surprised you? Or, did you did get amazed with some of the facts about these majestic cats? I was certainly stunned by many details while I was preparing for the piece.

Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed the article. At least you have learned something new today and upgraded your wildlife knowledge.

At the very end, I would like to recommend you a similar read: Strongest Bear Species

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaguar

https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/facts/tiger

https://www.awf.org/wildlife-conservation/leopard

https://www.britannica.com/animal/lion

https://bigcatrescue.org/liger-facts/