How many spots do cheetahs have?

Desmond Varaday counted the spots on his pet cheetah and came up with the total of 1,967. Obviously the number varies from cheetah to cheetah but this number provides us with a very good idea as to how many spots cheetahs have.

Cheetah spots
Cheetah spots
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Desmond’s pet cheetah was called Gara-Yaka. He wrote a book about his pet: Gara-Yaka: The Story of a Cheetah.

He writes:

“I examined the texture of the spots and found them to be like soft, Persian-cat fur, while the golden parts were mare like a dog’s hair.”

A cheetah’s fur has evenly spaced solid black spots. The general background color varies:

  • yellow
  • tan
  • tawny to greyish-white
  • bright rufus fawn

The undersides of the belly, legs, throat, chin and upper lip are white (full description).

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