Is a Jaguar Stronger Than a Leopard?

What is the Average Bite Force of a Leopard? We’ve all heard the age-old debate about which big cat species is bigger, badder, and stronger than the other — the jaguar or the leopard? Well, let’s cut to the chase: yes, the jaguar is generally stronger than the leopard. But strength is a subjective term that can be applied in many ways. In order to fully understand the strength of a jaguar compared to a leopard, let’s take a look at several physical features that contribute to their strength — overall size, muscle mass, bite force, claws, and brute strength.


With a much larger size than the leopard, the jaguar’s sheer mass gives it an advantage when it comes to strength. The adult jaguar typically weighs anywhere between 100 and 250 pounds, while the leopard maxes out at around 90 pounds. That extra body mass can be beneficial in scenarios like hunting, wrestling with prey, or even in a fight with another cat.

Muscle Mass

The jaguar’s body is naturally well-suited to its habitat, with short legs and a broad, thick body with more muscle mass than the leopard. That added muscle mass increases the jaguar’s strength, which also helps enable it to run a bit faster and take down larger prey.

Bite Force

One of the most important indicators of a big cat’s strength is its bite force, which is determined by the size, shape and number of teeth. With larger jaws and stronger muscles, the jaguar has a much stronger bite than the leopard. The average bite force of a jaguar is close to 2,000 pounds, while the leopard’s averages around 800-900 pounds. That’s more than twice the amount of force, which makes the jaguar far more powerful when it comes to biting and is one of the reasons why it is an incredibly successful predator.


The claws of both the jaguar and the leopard are retractable, meaning they can be partially extended or fully retracted depending on the situation. Although the leopard’s claws are slightly longer and sharper, the jaguar’s claws are thicker and more powerful — providing it with extra leverage and increased strength while attacking and holding onto prey.

Brute Strength

It’s not just size, muscle mass, and claws that make a jaguar a formidable predator — it also has an immense amount of brute strength. As an apex predator, the jaguar is capable of taking down large animals, like capybaras, and even caimans. Its powerful muscles and jaw strength gives it a distinct advantage in any type of physical confrontation.

Bottom Line

It’s clear that the jaguar is the stronger big cat species when comparing all of the characteristics that contribute to its strength — overall size, muscle mass, bite force, claws, and brute strength. The jaguar’s larger size and increased muscle mass give it an advantage against the leopard, while its powerful bite and retractable claws allow it to take down large prey with ease. In addition, its sheer brute strength allows it to dominate in any physical confrontation. So you can go ahead and put this argument to rest — it’s official, the jaguar is stronger than the leopard!

Practical Tips

If you’re interested in getting close enough to observe these powerful cats in the wild, you need to take the necessary safety precautions. Always keep a respectful distance, as these cats can be dangerous if provoked. It’s also important to remember that these cats are wild animals and should always be left in the wild and undisturbed. To get the best chance of seeing them, make sure to go on safari during the year’s cooler months, when the cats tend to be more active. Also, it’s best to avoid going alone and instead, hire a reputable guide who is knowledgeable about the area’s wildlife and knows how to properly handle the situation if a jaguar or leopard appears.

Lastly, when trying to get the best views of these cats, don’t forget to bring a powerful camera. Not only will this give you the breathtaking photos you’re after, but will also allow you to immortalize the incredible experience of seeing these fierce cats up close and in the wild.

Joe Edwards

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