Home Animals How Strong Are Jaguars?

How Strong Are Jaguars? [All Facts: Bite Force & Strength]


Jaguars may be small, but their strength is anything but. While they may not be the largest cats out there, they are certainly one of the strongest – and definitely the strongest of the big cats native to the Americas. But how strong are jaguars? 

With a bite force of 1,500 PSI, this king of the Amazon jungle can take down large prey such as wild boar and other animals many times its size. Almost as impressive as their bite is their paw swipe force. Having enough power to rival a human bodybuilder pushing about 500 pounds off their chest, jaguars have no problem defending themselves against apex predators or subduing large prey in their habitat. 

Indeed, with nine times more strength than humans have to offer, these majestic creatures are some of nature’s true marvels.


Overview of Jaguar Strength Facts:

  • Jaguar bite force: 1,500 PSI
  • Adult jaguar teeth size: 2 inches
  • Jaguar paw swipe force: 5,500 to 15,000 lb.-ft./s
  • Jaguar paw size: approximately 4×4.8 inches
  • Adult jaguar weight: 150 to 300 pounds

jaguar Strength Profile

Jaguars are undeniably powerful animals; however, despite being the strongest big cats in the world when measured by body size, they are still significantly smaller than other large cats. 

While they have incredibly strong jaws that can generate forces of up to 1,500 pounds, which is more than enough to crush a human skull with a single bite, their maximum size is still much smaller than lions and tigers. 

In fact, male jaguars typically reach an average length of around six to seven feet – comparatively small to their massive relatives. 

Adult jaguar males are amongst the larger of the big cats, with an allegedly average weight of 220 pounds. This figure is impressive, yet even more so when taking into account that the largest jaguar ever recorded still only weighed a meagre 328 pounds in comparison to African lions and tigers which can weigh up to 550 and 650-plus pounds respectively. 

Due to this size and weight discrepancy, it can be said that the actual strength of a jaguar often depends on its presence in comparison with other species rather than its own respective skill set; as like most big cats, huge disparities exist between male and female jaguars in terms of size and subsequent power.

The table below compares the size, weight, and strength differences between a jaguar male and vs. female:

The following table examines the size, weight, and strength disparities between male and female jaguars:

Average length5.3 – 7.9 feet3.7 – 6.1 feet
Average weight150 – 300 lbs.110 – 175 lbs.
Paw swipe force7,500 – 15,000 lb.-ft./s5,500 – 8,750 lb.-ft./s
The swipe forces shown above are estimated using the average lower and higher weights of male and female jaguars, as well as a top speed of 50 miles per hour. It should also be mentioned that the Americas are home to 34 distinct jaguar subpopulations. Jaguars in Venezuela and Brazil are generally larger than those on Central Mexico’s Pacific coast. The weight limitations listed above take into account all jaguar species.

How Strong Are Jaguars Jaws?

How Strong Are Jaguars

Jaguars are amongst the most powerful predators in the world, thanks to their strong bite force which outweighs that of even the largest bears and lions. In fact, jaguars have a bite force of around 1,500 PSI – almost three times stronger than a lion’s at 650 PSI! This incredible strength means that an average 220-pound jaguar can generate a jaw force of 1556 PSI. 

Their bite is so strong it cuts into the bone with ease and gives them tremendous killing power. However, what is more, impressive about these cats is not necessarily their size but their agility in comparison to other big cats such as lions and tigers; they are incredibly precise hunters thanks to their sharpest-in-the-cat family reflexes. 

With teeth that measure around two inches in length, they possess enough sharpness and strength to tear through thick layers of tough hide – even tough enough to puncture a crocodile’s thick skin or a turtle’s hard shell. 

This powerful bite force also makes it easy for jaguars to snatch up all kinds of prey; if they’re starving, they’ll make short work of almost any animal in their sights. Along with its sharp claws, the jaguar is recognized as one of the most formidable predators in the animal kingdom and can hunt down its prey with ease.

How Much Can A Jaguar Lift?

Jaguars are amongst the most powerful of all cats, with a remarkable set of musculature in addition to their impressive jaws. It has been estimated that they are capable of exerting a lift force of more than 700 pounds, and can deliver a strike of close to 500 pounds of force. 

Enough to crack skulls or winter bones with ease. Though their ability to take down large prey such as tapirs appears effortless, few studies exist on the full extent of their strength, an impressive feat for such fierce and formidable predators.

Tapirs are a powerful sight to behold, weighing in at an average of 500-800 pounds. However, the common jaguar is capable of killing even these impressive creatures and then dragging their bodies around or even hoisting them up trees, raising the estimated minimum weight they can lift to an incredible 700-800 pounds! 

Why Are Jaguars So Strong?

Jaguars are admired by many for their strength and agility, but few know quite how they evolved to become such apex predators. These big cats originated some three million years ago and adapted over the millennia to become the formidable hunters we see today. 

For example, jaguars were able to grow so powerful thanks primarily to their diet of large herbivores that once populated their environment in pre-historic times. A wide range of these animals provided a more diverse set of prey than what is found in ecosystems today and, as a result, allowed jaguars to hone the impressive strength that has made them survivalists for thousands of years.

However, scientists have hypothesized that the jaguar has been able to stay around for so long thanks to its willingness to adapt and flexibility in terms of meal choices. Rather than hunting large herbivores, the jaguar tends to look for smaller prey like wild pigs, giant anteaters, caimans, and even capybaras. 

These animals are less likely to attack back or run away as quickly as larger herbivores would, and thus make it easier for a jaguar to survive in the wild. Furthermore, by avoiding large creatures like bears or tapirs, a jaguar decreases its chances of being killed if another bigger carnivore is hunting in the same area.

They often choose their prey not according to their body mass, but rather based on availability, the size of herds, and the desired weight range. 

This can help them save energy when hunting and increase their chances of success, no matter how small or large the intended meal may be. However, this impressive predatory adaptation is currently at risk due to environmental deteriorations such as deforestation, illegal hunting practices, and a lack of wild prey options. 

In light of these worrisome factors that threaten the jaguar population, the species was recently reclassified as nearly threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). We must take concerted efforts to protect jaguars from further harm so that they can continue being part of nature’s delicate balance in the wild.

How Strong Is A Jaguar Compared To A Human?

Jaguars are undoubtedly incredibly powerful creatures compared to humans. Not only can they bite four to nine times harder but their bulkier structure allows them to push through obstacles we could never imagine. This means that their strike carries more force and has greater lift capability than any human.

Furthermore, considering that jaguars typically weigh anywhere from 70 up to 350 pounds meanwhile the average human weighs just 160 pounds makes them even stronger. To truly understand this magnitude of strength, the fact that a jaguar’s bite can generate 1,500 PSI while the average human has only 162 PSI gives us an even clearer picture of how strong these animals really are.

In addition, they run at speeds up to 50 miles per hour for short distances, but their strike force is a whopping 500 pounds, which is over three times more power than an average person can generate. 

Furthermore, jaguars can lift more than 700 pounds in comparison to humans lifting a meagre 175 pounds in most cases. These characteristics give the jaguar an immense advantage against an untrained human in a one-on-one confrontation and make it clear that humans wouldn’t stand a chance against these powerful cats.

Are Jaguars The Strongest Cats?

Although jaguars are the strongest cats in terms of bite force, their smaller frame means that they may not come out on top against other large cats. Lions and tigers have larger bodies that provide a wider strike radius, as well as longer teeth and larger claws which can be decisive factors in their favour during physical confrontations. 

Theoretically, a jaguar has greater strength than its opponents due to its substantial bite force; however, when put in the context of size or speed, the odds begin to shift away from them. Even if the jaguar is technically stronger than either a lion or tiger, it might not survive a one-on-one confrontation with either one without any help.




Author Profile
Jeevan Kodiyan
Zoologist | Wildlife Conservation at Animals Research

An animal enthusiast with an interest in zoology, studying the behavior and activities of animals in the wild habitat. I work on research projects related to species conservation and endangered species protection. I also leverage zoology to become an educator, educating others about the importance of protecting our natural environment and the beauty of animals in their natural habitats.

Previous articleHow Strong Are Pythons? [All facts explained]
Next articleWhat Animals Eat Tomatoes? (10 Animals With Pictures)
An animal enthusiast with an interest in zoology, studying the behavior and activities of animals in the wild habitat. I work on research projects related to species conservation and endangered species protection. I also leverage zoology to become an educator, educating others about the importance of protecting our natural environment and the beauty of animals in their natural habitats.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here