How High Can Tigers Jump? Explained

A tiger can average leap 10-12 feet in the air. But some reports suggest that tigers can reach a massive 16 feet from the ground. Tigers are pretty ferocious beasts with incredible power and agility. Their leaping ability is truly astounding compared to similar big cats.

But how high can tigers indeed jump? The actual leaping ability of the tiger is still a compelling, unresolved question to scientists and animal experts. But let’s try to resolve it a bit.

How High Can Tigers Jump

How high can tigers leap?

Being the largest among the cat family, tigers are known for their flexible muscle and leaping strength. Tigers usually can jump about 3 meters.

But if needed, they can reach even 5 meters.

A Sumatran and a Siberian tiger would jump higher than a Bengal tiger. While the former two can reach up to 16 feet, the latter can reach 14 feet.

What’s more interesting is that a tiger raised in captivity can jump as high as a wild tiger.

Seeing these mammals jump to their full potential is not always possible. They will maximize their leaping power if they feel threatened or in desperate need.

A tiger can leap upto 16 feet in the air

Why can tigers jump so high?

Why can tigers jump so high than other mammals? Well, the answer lies in their physical structure.

A tiger can weigh up to 300 kg, most of which is pure muscle. Some scientists have reported that a tiger has only 7.7% body fat, and the rest are muscular. It makes them super agile.

However, the essential part of a tiger’s agility and strength comes from its legs. Hind legs are bigger than the front legs. The hind legs provide a sheer brute force to jump and propel higher.

And the bones of the legs are sturdy and rigid. Tigers usually don’t get hurt after falling from trees or high places. The tail works as a balancing unit for these big cats.

Tiger’s incredible jumping feats: Tales Across the Globe

Various incidents show the true leaping capability of a tiger. Several years ago, a tiger reportedly jumped over a 15-foot moat and 20 feet walls in San Francisco Zoo. The incident shocked the American Sanctuary Association (ASA), which recommended 12 feet of walls be enough.

One man was killed during the incidents, and two others were wounded. The ASA raised the standard wall size afterward to 16.4 feet with some extra precautionary measures.

In the dark forest of Nepal in 1974, another incredible feat was recorded by a researcher. He climbed into a tree to protect himself from a mother tigress. The tigress jumped nearly 15 feet with considerable ease and wounded the researcher.

In India, a shocking incident occurred when a tiger attacked a man sitting on an elephant’s back. Reaching an elephant’s back in one leap and wounding the man sitting there is an incredible jumping feat by a tiger.

Such incidents force scientists and tiger experts to rethink the leaping capacity of a tiger. And none has concluded the exact limit of the tiger’s jumping power.

Tiger vs Lion vs Deer: Leaping ability comparison

Tigers, lions, and deer are known to be some of the most agile creatures in the world. All three can jump up to incredible heights. But tigers can jump higher than both lions and deer.

A lion can jump around 12 feet in the air, slightly smaller than a tiger. And a deer can jump about 7 feet only, half as a tiger’s ability. But the deer’s horizontal leaping is far more excellent than a tiger’s.

Both horizontal and vertical leaping ability is compared in the chart here. The numbers are approximate in the table.

Leaping Ability Comparison Chart

Leaping Ability
(in feet)

Frequently Asked Questions

What animal is the highest jumper?

According to the researchers, cougars are the highest jumpers in the world, followed by impalas and mountain lions or pumas.

Can a tiger jump over an elephant?

Yes, they can. Recorded incidents show a tiger can jump to an elephant’s head in a single leap.

Final Words

The maximum strength of tigers is yet to be accurately measured. Their bouncing ability is extraordinary. Then how high can a tiger jump? Well, there is no direct answer. But the approximate numbers are between 12 to 16 feet, for sure.


Makda, Z. (2022, November 25). How High Can Tigers Jump (Facts Explained). Animals Research. Retrieved April 14, 2023, from

Wildlife Informer, (n.d.). HOW STRONG ARE TIGERS? (ANSWERED & EXAMPLES). Retrieved April 14, 2023, from

Toronto Star. (2008, January 9). How high can tigers jump? Retrieved April 15, 2023, from

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Team Animalia Facts

"Team Animal Facts" is an expert group of wildlife enthusiasts who are impassioned for mysteries of animal life and dedicated to exploring them.

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