Clouded Leopard

Clouded Leopard Size Guide: Not Your Average Cat – Facts and Fun 2024

Last Updated on March 16, 2024 by themubbi63

One of the more ancient but overlooked species of cat, the clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is found throughout the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India to south China and southeast Asia. They’re called ‘leopards’ even though they belong to a different genus and aren’t part of the Panthera genus. This is because of the marks on its body which looks almost like a leopard’s spots.

Clouded Leopard Length and Height

Clouded Leopard Length and Height

Clouded leopards kind of fall into a middle space that makes them hard to classify. They aren’t as big as the big cats (tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard and jaguar) but they’re not bigger than small cats. However, they’re more closely related to the former than the latter. They’ve got very big paws and long tails that help them navigate the forests that they live in.

Females usually measure in at 27 – 37 inches in length, from head to flanks (tail not included). Males are longer, usually measuring between 32 and 43 inches. The height of both sexes from paw to shoulder is 20 – 22 inches.

Clouded LeopardLengthHeight
Males32 – 43 inches (81 – 109 cm)20 – 22 inches (50 – 55 cm)
Females27 – 37 inches (68.6 – 94 cm)20 – 22 inches (50 – 55 cm)

Clouded Leopard Weight

For pretty big sized cats, clouded leopards are on the lighter side. They’re definitely much more lithe than leopards or lions. They’ve got short legs, as compared to other cats, with their front legs being shorter than their hind legs. All of this helps them jump and climb trees better.

A fully grown clouded leopard weighs between 44 and 55 lb. Females are just about half that weight, measuring about 22 – 30 lb. Thus, it can be pretty easy to tell the two apart since the males are much bigger than the females.

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Clouded LeopardPoundsKilograms
Males44 – 55 20 – 25
Females22 – 3010 – 13.6

Clouded Leopard Tail Size

Clouded leopards have some pretty long tails. In fact, in most cases, the tails are almost as long as the rest of the body. Females have tails that measure in at 24 – 32 (61 – 82 cm) inches while males have even longer tails of 29 – 36 inches (74 – 91 cm).

They’re an extremely dextrous species of cat. In fact, they’re one of only two species of cats that can climb down a tree trunk headfirst. (The other kind is the marbled cat.) The long tail of a clouded leopard is essential for their balance.

Clouded Leopard Litter Size

The litter of a clouded leopard usually has between one and five cubs, with three cubs being most common. Litters of more than five cubs are extremely unusual, especially since the males aren’t involved in child rearing at all and all the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the mother.

Clouded leopards can begin reproducing at the age of 2 years and females can have one litter a year. The gestation period is just over 3 months. 

Clouded Leopard Cub Size

A newly born clouded leopard cub is blind for the first ten days. Their eyes only open after the tenth day. At birth, cubs weigh around 4.9 – 9.9 oz or 140 – 280 g. Clouded leopards grow up fast. By the time they turn five weeks old, they’re quite active and they are weaned off by the time they’re three months.

The coat patterns of the cubs are darker than that of an adult. They attain adult spots at six months. By the time they reach ten months, they’re fully independent and go off on their own.

Clouded Leopard Size Comparison to Humans

Clouded Leopard Size Comparison to Humans

Numbers don’t always give a good idea of size. Thus, it’s essential to see a comparison. If we compare a clouded leopard to a human, we’d have to see both the height and length. Standing on all four legs, a clouded leopard is about 20 – 22 inches. That’s just under 2 feet. Meanwhile, an average human is around 5 feet 7 inches – 5 feet 9 inches.

Standing on its hind legs, the clouded leopard can be anywhere between 27 and 43 inches (2 feet 3 inches – 3 feet 7 inches). That still puts it at a much smaller height than an average human. No wonder it doesn’t really fall into the big cat category. Tigers and lions, by comparison, can easily cross 6 feet.

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Clouded Leopard Vs Leopard Size Comparison

Clouded Leopard Vs Leopard Size Comparison

Clouded leopards, despite the name, aren’t really a kind of leopard. They’re a completely different species in the same way that leopards and snow leopards are different species. They’re also much smaller than the leopard and their spots are different. Leopards have small rosettes marking their bodies while clouded leopards have large cloud-like blobs.

Leopards are much bigger at 24 – 28 inches height at the shoulder, 36 – 72 inches head to body length and an average weight of 80 – 90 lb. The only way that clouded leopards might compare are their tails, which at 24 – 36 inches isn’t that far off from the leopard’s 26 – 40 inch tail.

Clouded Leopard20 – 22 inches (50 – 55 cm)27 – 43 inches (68.6 – 109 cm)22 – 55 lb (10 – 25 kg)
Leopard24 – 28 inches (60 – 70 cm)36 – 72 inches (92 – 183 cm)45 – 159 lb (20.5 – 72 kg)

Clouded Leopard Vs Cheetah Size Comparison

Clouded Leopard Vs Cheetah Size Comparison

Poeple might often confuse the cheetah with the leopard or with the clouded leopard. They all have dark spots or rosettes on a tan body. Cheetahs and clouded leopards are only similar insomuch that neither of them fall in the big cat (Panthera) category. However, many people think they are big cats. 

Cheetahs are on the taller side for big cats, since they have very long legs. At 26 – 37 inches, it towers over the clouded leopard where height is concerned. It also has an impressive body length. Weight-wise, cheetahs compare with leopards, weighing around 46 – 159 lb.

Clouded Leopard20 – 22 inches (50 – 55 cm)27 – 43 inches (68.6 – 109 cm)22 – 55 lb (10 – 25 kg)
Cheetah26 – 37 inches (66 – 94 cm)43 – 59 inches (109 – 150 cm)46 – 159 lb (21 – 72 kg)


Clouded leopards occupy a unique size niche. While not “big cats,” their powerful build and agility make them formidable rainforest predators. This guide explores their size compared to humans and other wild cats.


How big are clouded leopards?

Clouded leopards are medium-sized cats, bigger than housecats but smaller than lions or tigers. Males measure 32-43 inches long and weigh 44-55 lbs, while females are 27-37 inches long and 22-30 lbs.

What’s the size difference between clouded leopards and humans?

Clouded leopards stand around 2 feet tall on all fours, compared to a human’s average 5’7″. Their jumping ability lets them reach 3.7 feet on their hind legs.

How do clouded leopards compare to leopards and cheetahs?

Clouded leopards are smaller than both leopards and cheetahs. They have similar tail lengths, but leopards are heavier and taller, while cheetahs are taller and have longer bodies.

Are clouded leopards dangerous?

While clouded leopards are wild animals and can inflict serious injuries, they are not typically considered dangerous to humans. Their size (smaller than big cats) and usual prey (small animals) make them less of a threat. However, it’s always best to avoid contact with any wild animal.

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