By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated 8 April 2011)
In contrast to dogs,which tend to run slower but have more endurance, cats are built for brief, intense sprints.
The fastest domestic cats can reach speeds of 30 miles (48 km) per hour. Lions have been clocked at 48-59 miles (77-95 km) per hour, but cannot go far at this speed before tiring.
Cheetahs, one of the fastest mammals on land, can run up to an estimated 65 miles (105 km) per hour. Impressively, cheetahs can accelerate from a standstill to 48 miles (77 km) per hour in 2 seconds.
For more cat facts, see the main Cats page.
Reference: Seidensticker, J., & Lumpkin, S. (2006). Cats: Smithsonian Answer Book. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Books.