- The Animal Encyclopedia for Kids

Jaguar, Leopard or Panther - What’s the Difference?

5. Clouded Leopard, Cheetah, Ocelot, Serval

How do other big cats differ from leopards and jaguars?

Clouded Leopard

Clouded leopards are big cats but they are very easy to tell apart from leopards and jaguars. They don’t have round markings, but large cloud-shaped markings - hence the name.

Clouded Leopard Clouded Leopard - Photo: Sarah Cheriton-Jones/Shutterstock


The cheetah isn’t a big cat, rather part of the felinae family. The typical, black tear-shaped stripes under their eyes make them easy to spot. They don’t have rosettes, but markings that are completely black in the middle.

Cheetah Cheetah - Photo: Arnoud Quanjer/Shutterstock


The ocelot is a felinae and can be easily spotted due to the unique, vertical black stripes on its forehead. It lives in tropical rainforests, mangrove forests and mountain forests.

Ocelot Ocelot - Photo: Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock


The serval is also a felinae. It doesn’t have rosettes, but thick markings that are completely black in the middle. The serval has especially long legs and a very slim body.

Serval Serval - Photo: Howard Klaaste/Shutterstock

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