You may know a few facts about cheetahs or have seen one at the zoo, but have you ever wondered about how they grow? This lesson will take you along for the life cycle of Carrie the cheetah!

Life Cycle and Baby Cheetahs

A life cycle is the way a living thing is born, grows, and dies. All living things, including plants and animals, have life cycles. Let’s follow Carrie the cheetah to learn a little bit about the life cycle of a cheetah.

When Carrie was a baby cheetah, she was called a cub. Carrie’s mother found a special safe area with tall grass surrounding it and had her babies there so that they would be safe from predators.

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Since Carrie and all cheetahs are mammals, she was born as a live baby and not from an egg. Carrie was born with one brother and one sister. Most cheetahs are born in groups of three to five cubs.

Young Cheetahs

Carrie and her brother and sister stayed with their mom for about a year and a half. Most young cheetahs live with their mothers for 1.5-2 years before they go out on their own.

When they were with their mother, Carrie and her brother and sister learned how to hunt and played with each other in their home, called a den. Cheetahs are carnivores, which means that they hunt and eat other animals like antelope and deer. Carrie’s mother stayed with the cubs almost all the time, except when she left the den to hunt for food. Mothers care for the cubs, but father cheetahs are not there at all. Carrie and her brother and sister got milk from their mother.

Adult Cheetahs

By the time she was 2 years old, Carrie was fully-grown and ready to take care of herself. Adult female cheetahs like Carrie usually live alone, but male cheetahs like her brother usually live in groups of 2-3. When they are fully grown, cheetahs are usually between 3.5-4.5 feet long, not including their long tails, which can be over 2 feet long! Adult cheetahs weigh between 70 and 150 pounds.

In the wild, Carrie will live to be 10-12 years old. If she ends up at a zoo or other wildlife preserve, she can live to be even older!

Lesson Summary

The life cycle of an animal is the way that it is born, grows up, and dies. Cheetahs are mammals that give birth to live babies called cubs that stay with their moms for about two years so they can learn to hunt and take care of themselves. Cheetahs are carnivores that eat other animals like antelope and deer, and they can live to be 10-12 years old in the wild.