Snow leopard |Surprising Facts| Habitat & Cubs

There is a big cat that looks more like a tiger than a leopard. Snow Leopard is the beautiful type of leopards family. This beautiful cat is in the family Felidae. Let us know about them in detail in this article.


A long-haired Asian cat of the Felidae family also called a snow leopard or an ounce. The highlands of central Asia and the Indian subcontinent are home to mountain snow leopards. Their range in the winter is roughly 6,000 feet, and in the summer it is roughly 18,000 feet.

Snow leopard

The leopard with spots lives in the Asian mountains. In addition to their thick hair and fuzzy feet, they have long, thick strands of fur that act like snowshoes because they are covered in shades of grey or creamy yellow.

Snow leopards can jump up to 50 feet despite their size. The long, curved tails of these mountain cats help them stay balanced and protect their sensitive body parts from the cold. In the wild, these animals are usually shy and stay to themselves.

Physical Features:

Height: 22 – 26 inches

Length: 36 – 44 inches

Tail: 40 inches

The Snow Leopard’s Biology

This leopard is a reclusive and solitary animal.

Early morning and late evening are peak times for feline activity.

leopard’s territory can span up to 1,000 km2.

Females rear their pups entirely on their own for 18 months.

These leopard lives mostly in this dry, rocky, mountainous area.

If people are kind, leopard won’t attack them.

The cat mostly hunts ibex, argali, and blue sheep.

Characteristics of Snow leopard

Its pale grey body is covered by a thick coat of slightly longer hairs that are about 3 cm (1 inch) long. On its belly and back, it has a dark stripe.

Under its body, the fur can grow up to 4 inches long and is always white. It is about 7 feet long, including its tail, which is 3 feet long. Its measures approximately 0.6 meters (2 feet) in height and weighs between 50 and 90 pounds. Leopard hunts wild sheep, ibex (Capra), marmots, and domestic animals at night. The gestation period for a litter of two to four young is roughly 93 days.


It is now in the same family as lions, tigers, and other big cats. Its new name is Panthera. Some officials call the snow leopard the only member of the Uncia species because its bones, like its short skull, are similar to those of the Uncia genus. Scientists have found that leopards and tigers stopped living together about 3.9 million years ago.

Habitat of Snow leopard

  • These cats can be found throughout the mountains of Russia, including the Himalayas and South Siberia.
  • The Tibetan Plateau and the mountain range that runs from China into Central Asia are also home to a sizable population of Tibetans.
  • In rocky places with steep terrain and rocky outcrops, it’s hard to find food. These carnivores are so aggressive, they need a huge amount of space to graze.
  • A male leopard needs 80 square miles, which is bigger than three Manhattans. A female leopard only needs 48 square miles.
  • Adapted to their habitat, snow leopards live in perfect harmony
  • Like natural snowshoes, cats with extra-large paws do not sink into the snow.
  • The cat is less likely to lose heat because its ears and nose are small and round.
  • Cats have short front legs and long back legs. In one jump, they can send the cat 30 feet forward.
  • The leopard’s gray-white fur and dark spots make it very good at hiding.
  • As the tail wraps around the body, it keeps the cat warm and helps it keep its balance.
  • This leopard’s thick fur gets even thicker in the winter to keep it warm.

Diet and hunting of snow leopard

Leopards consume mountain ibex across their range in addition to bharal (blue sheep), and they hunt in Tibet and the Himalayas. Along with the larger prey, they may kill, these predators also consume smaller hare, marmot, and game bird species.

The behavior of the Snow leopard

  • A leopard is a shy cat that lives alone
  • Pattern of activity, typically seen around dawn and sunset, has been dubbed “crepuscular activity pattern” by researchers.
  • In their area, which spans hundreds of square kilometers, snow leopards are constantly on the lookout for potential threats.
  • This is possible to spot a mother with her cubs or a female and male during the mating season.
  • Around the age of 2, a cub will begin venturing out from its mother on its own.
  • This leopard communicates with other cats via landscape markings. They use scrapes and sprays of urine on rocks to demarcate their territory.
  • Leopards make a variety of noises, including purring, meowing, hissing, growling, moaning, and yowling. Leopards are unable to roar due to the way their throats function. Instead, they emit a sound similar to puffing, known as a “chuff.”
  • Leopards are not dangerous to people because they don’t attack. We don’t know of any time when a leopard attacked a person. Leopards are more likely to run away from a place where they are eating than to fight back if they are bothered while they are eating.

Life Cycle of snow leopard

  • These leopard’s breeding season extends from January through March. During this period, many couples go on vacation together and get intimate.
  • She gives birth to her cubs in June or July after being pregnant for 93-110 days in the safety of her cave. The mother bear works tirelessly to provide for her cubs’ needs, including providing them with food and a safe place to sleep. Snow leopards grow up quickly
  • Cubs are born defenseless and exceedingly small. They initially open their eyes approximately 7 days after birth.
  • Big Cats cubs can start eating solid food when they reach around two months of age
  • In the First three months of a child’s life are spent following their mothers and learning important behaviors.
  • Big Cats cub becomes independent between the 18th and 22nd months of its life.
  • Leopard females with two cubs are likely to be able to have their babies by the age of three, according to statistics.
  • Each Male snow leopard takes four years to reach sexual maturity.
  • In captivity, leopards have reached the 22nd decade of their lives. Despite worse surroundings, it is claimed that a snow leopard can live up to 12 years in the wild.

Prey of snow leopard:

Depending on where they live, leopards usually eat wild sheep and goats. Leopard eats blue sheep (also called bharal), Asiatic ibex (a giant goat), argali, and other animals (another wild sheep) . Survival of a cat is highly dependent on the accessibility of natural prey. 

In three to four days, a single leopard can finish off a tiny rodent or rabbit. The cat then defends its food from vultures and ravens while remaining around the kill scene and feeding every few hours until the carcass is bare. A snow leopard can kill a huge prey item in as little as 8–10 days.

There appears to be a slight difference in what men and females consume and how they hunt. There is evidence that snow leopards hunt sheep, goats, horses, yaks, and other farm animals, as well as stray animals that have been left behind. Snow leopards have reportedly broken into corrals and slaughtered several livestock. Domestic livestock may be more at risk from predators in the winter because of a lack of food and the difficulty of hunting due to cold temperatures and poor visibility.

The snow leopard lives where?

In the Himalayas and other high mountains in northern and central Asia, there are many different kinds of leopards. It lives mostly above the tree line in the Himalayas, at altitudes above 18,000 feet, where snow leopards live. There are twelve nations where they are found, including  Pakistan, China, Bhutan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Russia, and Bhutan.

How can snow leopards be called “ghosts of the snowy mountains”? “

They are called “ghosts of the mountains” because they are hard to find and their coats are a different color than the snow. Two snow leopards are so rare that no group noun can describe them.

Endangered snow leopards

Poaching and the loss of habitat are not thought to be a threat to snow leopards, but they are. There are several reasons why they have gotten worse. As the number of farms and ranches in their range has grown, the number of wild animals they eat has gone down. Herders and ranchers kill these animals when they hurt their livestock, and hunters and poachers use the bones and hides to sell illegally.

Survival threats

Land grazing has contributed to escalating territorial disputes as human populations have spread. If a leopard attacks or preys on a herder’s livestock, the herder has the right to kill it. Poaching, which is fuelled by the illegal trade of body parts in Chinese medicine, is another threat to these animals. So much so that at least 20% of these cats have vanished from the wild over the past decade.

The number of large mammals that cats hunt has gone down because habitats are disappearing and the population is going down. Scientists think that as temperatures rise around the world, the snow leopard will lose its alpine habitat and have to fight for food with other predators like wild dogs, leopards, and tigers. In light of this, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has declared the snow leopard to be at imminent risk of extinction.


Today, the leopard faces several dangers, including poaching and the destruction of its habitat. The threat to their mountain home has been amplified by climate change.

Poaching of Asian snow leopards is done for both the demand for their luxurious furs in the pelt trade and as a source of traditional medicine. The black market for snow leopard body parts appears to be growing.

When a leopard attacks a herder’s animals, the herders sometimes have to kill the leopard. Leopards eat more livestock because predators hunt and increase the number of livestock, which makes it more likely that livestock will be killed in retaliation.

As the number of people and animals grows, their habitat is shrinking, making it harder for snow leopards to survive. Roads and mines also cut up the rest of their range.

All of these problems for the leopard’s future will be exacerbated by climate change. Tens of millions of people’s livelihoods and quality of life are dependent on the integrity of these watersheds. 

The Average Age Of Snow Leopard

There is evidence that captive leopards can live into their 22nd decade. Leopards in the wild live shorter lives since life in the outdoors is so much more difficult.  The average age of them is 10-12 years

Preservation Of Wildlife

There has been renewed interest in the need to protect snow leopards in recent years. The species has been protected in sanctuaries in Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, two of the countries where it is found. There is a corridor for snow leopards through the mountains of Kyrgyzstan that connects their northern and southern regions. But this is only a short-term solution because protecting these big cats hasn’t made much of a difference. A study found that 40% of these protected areas are too small for the snow leopard to be able to move around freely.

Conservation organizations collaborate with livestock herders to prevent snow leopards from killing their cattle. Some promote their conservation because big cats are crucial to their ecosystem. Many other species will survive if they do. Snow leopards are the ecosystem’s flagship species. 

Snow leopards thrive in the extreme cold of the high mountains. As their thick fur is patterned in dark rosettes and patches, snow leopards are exceptionally well camouflaged in their rocky habitat (which differs between individuals).

Their beautiful coats’ dense, woolly underfur protects them from the cold.

Snow leopards are the only big cats with long tails. Since they can grow up to 1 m long, leopards use them to keep their balance on steep, rocky slopes. Leopards can also wrap themselves around them when they are sleeping to keep warm. 

Why Are Leopards Unique?

People often call snow leopards “ghosts of the mountains” because their fur matches their surroundings so well that they are almost invisible.

What is the number of snow leopards left?

Scientists think that there are between 4,080 and 6,590 snow leopards in the wild. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature puts them in a group called “Vulnerable” (IUCN).

What Is The Significance Of The Snow Leopard?

Leopards are significant because they are top predators, they demonstrate the health of their high-altitude habitat, and they are becoming increasingly vital indicators of how climate change is affecting mountain landscapes. Many other species including the world’s largest freshwater reserves will benefit if leopards thrive.

Snow leopards are called what?

The leopard (Panthera uncia), also called the ounce, is a mountain-dwelling cat in Asia that belongs to the genus Panthera.

Do Snow Leopards Eat Humans?

There is no proof that a leopard has ever hurt a person. Even if a leopard is startled while eating, it is more likely to run away than to defend its territory.

Is The Snow Leopard A Real Leopard?

They are related to tigers more than they are to leopards. Even though it is called a “snow leopard,” this big cat is more related to tigers than to leopards.


An Asian cat with long hair that belongs to the Felidae family; often known as a snow leopard or an ounce. Mountain leopards live in the mountains of central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Because they are the top predators, demonstrate the health of their high-altitude habitat, and are becoming significant indicators of how climate change is affecting mountain landscapes, and snow leopards are significant because they are the top predators.

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