Difference Between A Jaguar And A Panther

When it comes to predatory wild cats, some of the famously known animals are the jaguar and the panther. In fact, those who have seen these two wild cats can hardly note any difference between them. This is because these animals are both intelligent and agile animals. If you check closely, they are usually active at night. In addition, they are both beautiful and more powerful.

Finally, these cats are associated with the old native American culture. That said, there are some differences that set these animals apart. We shall take a closer look at these animals for better distinction.

What is a Panther?

To start with, this is a collective term that is used to describe any big wild cats with black pigmentation. Some of the animals with this characteristic include jaguars, tigers, jaguars, leopards, cheetah, cougars, and so forth. In addition, this term can be used to describe a black panther. The difference is more or less the same. Like we mentioned above, panthers are known to be both powerful and beautiful. As far as their prevalence is concerned, these creatures are very common in Asia, America, and Africa.


Like we mentioned above, panthers are very agile and intelligent animals. They are usually very active at night and spend the better part of their day on tree-tops. The good news is that their appearance enables them to camouflage and can therefore catch prey with ease.

At birth, the cubs of these creatures are usually blind. However, these cubs can see 3 weeks after birth. During this period, their mothers are very protective and can be very hostile if provoked. However, the female panthers usually abandon their young ones after 2 years. Consequently, the young cubs are able to start life on their own in the jungle.

What is a Jaguar?

The above-mentioned wild cat is a panther that has black spots on its body. You will note that this wild cat is commonly found in tropical rainforests of South and Central America. As far as the Felidae family is concerned, this wild cat takes the 3rd position in terms of body size. When it comes to its appearance, it resembles the leopards found in Africa and Asia.


One incredible characteristic of jaguars is that they are able to swim and catch prey. From fish to turtles, there are many water creatures that this animal can catch at any given time. Besides this, this animal usually preys on tapir, deer, peccaries, capybaras, and so forth.

Once the jaguar gives birth, its cubs take two weeks to open their eyes. However, after three years, the female jaguar usually leaves its cubs for them to start their own life in the jungle.

Differences Between a Jaguar and Panther

Now that we have defined the animals mentioned above individually, time is ripe to know the differences that separate them. Here are some differences that set the two animals apart:

  • Definition: As we mentioned above, a panther is basically a general term used to refer to any big cat belonging to the genus panther. On the other hand, the jaguar is actually a panther. The only difference here is that a jaguar is rather a species under the genus panther.
  • Origin: The panther can readily be found in Asia, America, and Africa. On the other hand, the jaguar is usually found in South and Central America.
  • Weight: When it comes to weight, these animals are worlds apart. A panther can weigh up to 330 kgs. However, the jaguar can only weigh up to 100 kgs. Therefore, a jaguar is lighter than a panther.
  • Colour: The other element that sets these animals apart is their color patterns. The jaguar usually has yellow to reddish-brown colors with black spots. On the other hand, panthers normally has different color patterns ranging from dark brown to black color.
  • Lifespan: The lifespan of a panther ranges between 12 and 17 years. However, that of a jaguar is about 12 to 15 years. Therefore, a panther can live longer than a jaguar.

Final Thoughts

Although these animals are closely related, they have some differences, like the ones mentioned above. From their origin to their lifespan, there are many differences that set them apart. It is true to say that the differences mentioned above will help you distinguish between these two wild cats.