Why Are Cheetahs Scared Of Hyenas? Answered!

Cheetahs are one of the big cats in the wild, and they are also the fastest mammals. They use their ability to run faster to catch their prey and flee from predators. Although cheetahs are mighty, they are still scared of some animals, like hyenas. So, why are cheetahs afraid of hyenas? Let me give you a concise answer! 

Cheetahs are scared of hyenas because cheetahs know how strong the bite of the hyenas is. A hyena can easily bite and crush the bones of other animals, including the cheetahs. So the cheetah will not choose to fight against the hyena and rely on its speed to get away from the hyena to avoid severe injury. 

The Reason Why Cheetahs Are Afraid Of Hyenas

Cheetahs are afraid of any animals bigger than them or animals that are not running away. One of the most feared animals of cheetahs is the hyenas. Hyenas are ferocious animals with powerful bites that can crush any animal’s bones. 

There are two reasons why a cheetah is afraid of a hyena. The first reason is because of the powerful bite hyenas have. The second is because of the powerful muscular bodies of the hyenas. 

The hyenas have already killed many cheetahs, which causes trauma to other cheetahs. This is why cheetahs have learned to choose to run rather than risk their lives fighting the hyena. 

A cheetah’s body is built for running. They have refined bodies that are built for speed and aerodynamics. Cheetahs are not built for fighting and strength. They have long lean legs and bodies, smaller streamlined heads, and the muscles of a sprinter, not a wrestler. 

Cheetahs will only hunt animals that are skittish and animals that never fight back. They might also run away from aggressive prey like antelopes, zebras, buffalo, and other smaller animals that are aggressive, like badgers. Cheetahs are smart enough to think that it is better to flee away than to get an injured arm or limb. 

Adult cheetahs are all responsible animals that hunt alone. This is why they are so careful to choose what animal they will chase for their meal or midnight snack. Cheetahs are efficient hunters, but they are only 50% successful. Why? Because of the other large animals that steal their prey or kill.

Jackals and hyenas are the animals that steal the kills of the cheetahs. Hyenas get attracted by the blood or the kill’s sight, sound, or smell. When hyenas get attracted, they will follow that smell or sound and steal that prey. Hyenas often steal the kill of the cheetahs and force them to get away every time.

A hyena’s body is built for hunting, not like the cheetahs. Hyenas have powerful muscular bodies built for killing, not running. They are murderers of the jungles, and they often hunt in groups. Aside from muscular bodies, hyenas also have powerful jaws that can crush bones.

Cheetahs never like to fight hyenas because they are afraid of getting injured or losing one of their legs. When a cheetah loses one of its legs, they are like a dead cheetah already. Why? Because their legs are the only asset, they must survive in the wild. 

Lastly, there are also many hyenas in the jungle compared to the cheetah population. There are only 7,000 cheetahs left in the wild, and there are 27,000 plus hyenas left in the wild, which makes sense why cheetahs are afraid of hyenas.

It is good that cheetahs are scared of hyenas and flee away if they see one. Why? Because if all cheetahs try to fight with hyenas every time they see one, the population of the cheetahs will decrease, and they might become extinct. 

Hyenas are much stronger than cheetahs, and they also have much population compared to the cheetahs. It is a good thing that cheetahs are smart enough to choose to get away rather than feed their ego, fight the hyena, and get killed. 

Do Hyenas Kill Cheetahs?

Hyenas and cheetahs are two of the most ferocious animals in the wild. Both of them have different skills and gifts. Hyenas are adept killers, while cheetahs are fast runners. Both of these gifted species often get in conflict with each other, and hyenas are the ones who always win. 

Do hyenas kill cheetahs? Yep! Hyenas kill cheetahs. They are one of the reasons why the population of cheetahs is decreasing. Hyenas kill the cheetahs when they have a chance to do so. They also steal every prey caught by the cheetahs. 

Hyenas are bullying the cheetahs by getting the cheetahs’ kills and by attacking them. They try to show dominance over cheetahs every time they contact each other. Cheetahs often run away from the hyenas because they fear getting bitten by their powerful jaws. 

Hyenas do not only kill the cheetahs, but they also eat them. When a hyena sees a cheetah around, it will most likely chase the cheetah and kill it to make it their food. Luckily, cheetahs are fast runners. They can escape the hyenas effortlessly.

However, cheetahs will lose when both of them get into a one-on-one fight, with no running. As I said above, the bodies of a cheetah and a hyena are different. Hyenas’ bodies are built to kill, while cheetahs’ bodies are built to run. 

Both of these animals have different strategies to hunt their prey. Hyenas will use their powerful bodies and jaws to kill their prey. They often hunt in groups, which is why it is effortless for them to take down prey. 

On the other hand, cheetahs use their speed to chase down their prey. They also have strong jaws that can crush the bones of their prey. However, cheetahs are not brave as hyenas. There will be a tendency for they will run away from their prey if their prey is much more aggressive than them. This is the reason why cheetahs often hunt small prey only. 

Even though cheetahs are fast runners, they are less aggressive than most dangerous wild animals. Cheetahs are also smart. This is why they can still take down their prey even though they have some strength deficiency. They use their head every time they hunt. 

Do Cheetahs Eat Hyenas?

Cheetahs are fast animals that run at the speed of a Ferrari. On the other hand, hyenas are ferocious and violent animals. Both of these animals have some anger issues with each other. They always see each other in the wild, which is why they often conflict. If the hyenas can eat the cheetahs, can it happen vice versa?

Do cheetahs eat hyenas? No! Cheetahs do not eat hyenas. Cheetahs avoid hyenas and don’t want to attempt to kill hyenas. Because their method of killing will be ineffective on animals with a thick necks like the hyenas, a hyena can effortlessly kill a cheetah, which is why cheetahs don’t risk attempting to attack the hyenas. 

Even lions do not eat hyenas. Lions only kill hyenas but certainly don’t eat them. I think mammalian carnivores do not eat other mammalian carnivores. Why? Because all of these mammalian carnivores have an unhealthy diet compared to the herbivores, which are the usual prey of the carnivore animals. 

The favorite food of cheetahs is the antelopes. They like to eat smaller, less aggressive, and vulnerable animals. Aside from antelopes, cheetahs also eat springbok, steenbok, impala, and gazelles. They also sometimes eat the offspring of larger animals. 

Cheetahs never like the taste of the hyenas. They only love to eat animals that eat plants and animals that are less aggressive than them. Cheetahs are not aggressive animals. That is why attacking more aggressive animals than them is not a good idea.

Can A Cheetah Beat A Hyena?

In the wild, competition is usual. There is one exciting competition, and that is the competition between a cheetah and a hyena. As I have said above, hyenas are much stronger than cheetahs. However, is there any chance that a cheetah beats a hyena? 

Can a cheetah beat a hyena? Possibly but difficult. There is a chance that a cheetah will beat a hyena one-on-one, but it will be hard. When it comes to bite force, the cheetahs lose. The cheetahs need to avoid a 1000 psi bite force, while the hyenas need to avoid a 400 psi bite force and some sharp claws. 

However, even though it is possible, it may only happen occasionally. Cheetahs are smart and practical animals. They never like to risk their lives for just one kill. Besides, cheetahs can effortlessly kill another antelope if the hyenas steal their kill. So why should they bother?

Both of these animals live in a group. However, what we are talking about is a one-on-one fight. Check out the video below about a cheetah going one-on-one with a hyena for a kill.

Who Is Faster? Hyenas Or Cheetahs?

When it comes to speed, of course, cheetahs win. Hyenas are not fast sprinters as cheetahs do. However, hyenas have different skills, and that is their powerful bite. Hyenas can effortlessly kill a cheetah using their powerful jaw. At the same time, the cheetahs can flee away quickly when they encounter a hyena.

Final Words

Cheetahs are scared of hyenas because they do not want to get injured. The usual thing these both animals fight about is the kill or the prey. Hyenas are robbers, and they steal the kills of big cats. This is also the reason why most predators in the wild hate them. 

Hyenas often get the kills of the cheetahs. Cheetahs are practical animals, and they never like to get injured. This is why they always give way to hyenas on their kills. Aside from being that, cheetahs are also scared of hyenas because of their powerful bite. They do not want to lose their limbs or their lives just for one food. 

Jake Willhoite
Jake runs AnimalDome.com and has had cats and dogs his entire life. As a kid his family adopted several dogs from the local shelter which set him down the path of animal rescue.
Photo of author