Leopards are solitary animals and males have territories ranging from five to forty square kilometers (three to twenty five square miles). They are very defensive of their boundaries and their territory will overlap with the territories of several females.
Leopards have a light tan coat color, with the exact shade depending upon their location. They have a black rosette pattern across their pelt and a lighter underside. Melanistic or black leopards are less common than the spotted variant. They, along with black jaguars, are commonly know as black panthers. Though they appear to be entirely black their markings can be seen upon close examination. Female leopards are typically smaller than males.
Leopards are strongly built with a large head and strong jaw muscles. They are very graceful and stealthy. They are well known for their ability to go undetected, and are strong swimmers, agile climbers, and accomplished stalkers.
Leopard cubs stay with their mother for thirteen to eighteen months then leave to find their own territory. A male leopard takes no part in the raising of the cubs and forty to fifty percent of cubs do not reach adulthood.
Relations to Clan Cats
Leopards are present in Clan mythology as LeopardClan, an ancient Clan of the big cats who were swift and had black spots on their pelts like racing pawprints.
At a Gathering, a small cat beside Graypaw asks what TigerClan is. The gray tom explains that they were cats of the night, as big as horses, with jet-black stripes. He hesitates when trying to explain LionClan and the small tabby cat says he had heard of them; that they had yellow fur and manes the color of the sun. Graypaw then says that there was another one and their name was SpottyClan, or something close to that. Lionheart approaches behind him and tells Graypaw he was thinking of LeopardClan. He says that LeopardClan were the swiftest cats who were huge with golden pelts and black pawprint-like spots. He adds that they could thank LeopardClan for the speed and hunting skills cats possessed. The small apprentice asks why they should thank them and Lionheart says that there is a trace of the great cats in all cats today.
LeopardClan is described as swift, with black spots on their pelts. In the story "How LeopardClan Won the River" a LeopardClan warrior named Fleetfoot steps forward at a Gathering, and says that no boar, even the one the Clans call Rage, would be match for a LeopardClan warrior. Fleetfoot says she can kill the boar, and Swiftstar, the current LeopardClan leader, makes a deal with the other Clans that LeopardClan would have the river as their hunting grounds for a moon. Fleetfoot finds the boar and kills it, only to discover Rage's mate, Fury, waiting for her on the bank. For two nights and two days the leopard and boar fight, until Fleetfoot emerges victorious, Fury having tripped on the stepping stones and drowned. In exchange for Fleetfoot killing the two boars LeopardClan gains sole hunting rights to the river.