Cheetah – Spirit Animal, Totem, Symbolism and Meaning

Cheetahs are large cats that live in Africa. Some species of this magnificent cat also live in Asia. Probably the best known characteristic of a cheetah is her speed and ability to pass long distances in only several seconds. Cheetahs are considered to be one of the fastest animals on the planet that can catch almost every prey. This skill helped them survive in difficult living situations in deserts and dry areas, where there isn’t much life at all.

Cheetah’s symbolism is also very interesting, but since it inhabits only few places on Earth, most of its symbolism was created by cultures that live in this region. Many tribes used to adore cheetahs and consider them to be a symbol of elegance and great agility.

Animal symbolism is often underestimated, but when we look deep in our character we can notice that our behaviors sometimes resemble the ones of animals. We have one goal, just like them, to survive in this difficult thing called life.

Back in times when people knew little about nature and the living beings in it, they thought that animals were actually personifications of deities that needed to be worshiped. We lived with a much tighter bond to nature that surrounded us and we respected every living being that lived together with us.

Spirit Animal and Totem

Fragments of our personalities can be seen in animal behavior. We are seeking for a more meaningful purpose in life, but our main goal is to survive and wake up the next day.

Animals have the same principle in life, but their survival is much harder than ours. Spirit animals and totems can make us closer to animals and nature that surround us. We might have moved on from beliefs that animals are personifications of deities, but we still need to feel that connection with nature in order to be stronger.

Spirit animal is going to guide you through life and make your worries and problems much smaller. When it gets hard in life, you seek for that inner strength and you look up to the spirit animal that can show you the way out of any situation. When you know your spirit animal, it is easy to find life’s purpose and sail on a journey without looking back. You can determine your spirit animal by looking at your life and what surround sit. Your spirit animal is the animal that has always been close to you and to which you felt a great deal of connection.

Totem animals also give us strength but they are more accurate representations of our character. We call upon our totem animals to send us strength and power to push through and persevere. Ancient tribes and some do it even today, used to call upon their totem animals to send them power and strength to survive problems they had. Totem animal shows you your character and the way you deal with things in life that aren’t so pleasant. You can discover both your positive and negative characteristics, by only looking at your totem animal.

Spirit animal

As a spirit animal, cheetah is best described by these words:

  • Speed
  • Survival
  • Flexibility
  • Opportunity
  • Expression
  • Evolution
  • Progress
  • Perception
  • Adaptability
  • Assertion

All of these words give you a general idea about your life path and your beliefs. You are a person with a great sense of who you are and what you are capable of accomplishing. People often underestimate you because you seem like you are not interested or invested in something, but the truth is you are planning your next move smartly and preparing to strike when others least expect it.

Another thing you enjoy is making progress. It is hard for you to stay in one place because you feel bored and unmotivated. It is more interesting to you to keep on pushing and fighting in life, than just everything being still. Action is what drives you, but you are never going to do something irresponsibly or make a mistake because of your desire to take action.

Even though you like when things are moving in your life, you still take plenty of time to think about your actions and moves. In your life it is all about expression of emotions and passion. You are very devoted to your partner and once you fall for someone nothing and no one can separate you from this person. You believe in love and your emotions in general are much stronger than in other people.

Adapting to new situations and people is easy for you because you see it as a challenge. Whenever you are in a new situation you feel like there is a lesson to be learned ahead of you. Being courageous is a great trait to have, and other respects this in you very much.

Another great characteristic about you is your ability to be assertive in various situations. You love motivating people to do something and to accomplish their goals. This assertiveness is present in your life as well, and you are not afraid to jump into a challenge and take on some work.


As a totem, cheetah combines explosive energy, speed and change in one character. Person born under the cheetah totem is very assertive and explosive. This straight-forward nature can sometimes cause problems in your life, because you tend to get overwhelmed with emotions. There is no point in calming you down when you are provoked, because you need to get all of the emotions out of you immediately.

Cheetah totem is also a symbol of great passion and movement. Once you get excited about something, it is hard to keep you away from this project. You spend every free moment working on an idea you had, and you give 100% effort to make this thing happen.

Others might see you as a little bit pushy or aggressive, but you are simply too passionate about life and people. Sometimes even a small thing can push you off balance, and you can have a hard time keeping your emotions in check. When you love someone, you give more than they deserve sometimes, but when you don’t like someone, you will definitely show them that.

Symbolism and Meaning

Cheetah symbolism got transferred into culture, literature and art. Cheetah symbolism was mostly created by cultures that used to live next to these magnificent animals and got a chance to get to know them better. In an oil painting called Bacchus and Ariadne, a Dionysus chariot was depicted and it was drawn by two large cheetahs. This painting symbolizes great power and strength of the Greek God Dionysus.

Belgian painter Fernand Khnopff represented a myth of Oedipus and Sphinx. This myth represents a woman’s head with a cheetah’s body, and often the cheetah’s body is confused with leopards.

In a book The Spotted Sphinx, Joy Adams wrote a story about her pet cheetah called Pippa. Also, in a novel called “Hussein, An Entertainment”, Patrick O’Brian told a story about royalty and their tradition of keeping pet cheetahs in their palaces. They were always a symbol of wealth and power of the nobility.

In popular culture, cheetahs are often portrayed as symbols of power and strength. Many people choose cheetahs as their motifs for tattoos. Cheetah tattoos symbolizes speed, adaptability, energy and strength.

Dreams about Cheetah

Seeing a cheetah – If you saw a cheetah in your dream, this means you are in high energy currently. You have a lot of drive to accomplish things and make some difference in your life. This dream can also mean that you are going to be cheated by someone or betrayed. Someone close to you is not as honest as you think, and this is going to cost you very much.

Riding a cheetah – When you saw a cheetah in your dream, this means something bad is going to happen to you. Perhaps this negativity is going to appear in your personal life, and perhaps the negativity is going to be linked to your career. Either way be careful or watch out for any sign of danger.

Fighting against a cheetah – IF you had a dream about a cheetah fighting with you, then you are going to be very prosperous in the upcoming period. Things will simply be going your way and nothing will be able to stop you. This is a good period to invest in projects and to try your luck with lottery. Perhaps the luck is going to bring you a big fortune.

Cheetah attacking you – Dream about a cheetah attacking you is a symbol of a bad sign. You are going to get in some kind of danger and it can be linked both to your personal and private life.

Dream about being a cheetah – If you had a dream about being a cheetah, this dream symbolizes your desire to move forward in life and to make things happen for you. Perhaps you rare feeling too restrained and bored with the current situation in life and you want to see some change.


Cheetahs are, without a doubt, powerful animals with a lot of great qualities. Their speed and perseverance is what makes them survive in the tough animal world. People noticed these traits early on and began respecting them for that same reason. Cheetahs might be predators, but the agility they poses is more important than that.

Cheetahs are symbols of power, speed, change, motivation and assertiveness. Their energy is extraordinary and they can move mountains with their enormous passion. They love with their entire heart and hate as well. Nothing about them is moderate and this is the number one characteristic of these extraordinary animals.