The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large-sized feline (family Felidae, subfamily Felinae) inhabiting most of Africa and parts of the Middle East. It is the only extant member of the genus Acinonyx. The cheetah achieves by far the fastest land speed of any living animal—104 km/h (65 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m (1,600 ft), and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to over 100 km/h (62 mph) in three seconds.
This cat is also notable for modifications in the species’ paws. It is one of the few felids with semi-retractable claws, and with pads that, by their scope, disallow gripping. Thus, cheetahs cannot climb upright trees, although they are generally capable of reaching easily accessible branches by leaping.