How Strong Are Tigers? [Strength Facts & Comparison]

The largest cat species in the world, tigers are known for their strength, fearlessness, and military prowess. They are stronger than all other big cats and undoubtedly stronger than humans. But how strong are tigers?

Tigers have a bite force up to 1,050 PSI, which is about six times stronger compared to humans. They are also stronger than lions and leopards. However, a tiger’s bite force is weaker than that of a jaguar. Yet, tigers would still win in a confrontation with jaguars thanks to their larger bodies and stronger paw swipe force. 

Here are some quick tiger strength facts:

  • Tiger bite force: 1,050 PSI
  • Adult tiger teeth size: 3.6 inches
  • Tiger paw swipe force: 7,000 to 33,500 lb.-ft./s
  • Adult tiger paw size: approximately 7×7 inches
  • Adult tiger weight: 140 to 670 pounds

How Strong Are Tigers?

Tigers are undeniably the strongest big cats in the world. Even though jaguars have a stronger bite force, the larger size makes tigers stronger overall.

To understand how strong tigers truly are, you should know that the bite force of a tiger is approximately six times that of a human. The striking force of a tiger (calculated in pound-foot per second) is about 30 times greater than the striking force of the average person. Thus, an average man wouldn’t stand a chance in a head-to-head with an adult tiger.

While some tiger species are smaller than others, all of them have a similar bite force. However, considering that the animal’s mass and velocity determine the strike force, smaller tigers have a slightly lower strike force.

Tiger Strike Force By Species

SpeciesWeightAvg. lengthAvg. strike force
Siberian tiger440 - 660 lbs.200 - 370 lbs.10.5 ft.8.5 ft.27,500 lb.-ft./s14,250 lb.-ft./s
Bengal tiger395 - 570 lbs.220 - 350 lbs.9.5 ft.8 ft.24,125 lb.-ft./s14,250 lb.-ft./s
White tiger395 - 660 lbs.200 - 370 lbs.10 ft.8 ft.26,375 lb.-ft./s14,250 lb.-ft./s
Indo-Chinese tiger331 - 430 lbs.220 - 290 lbs.9.25 ft.7.9 ft.19,025 lb.-ft./s12,750 lb.-ft./s
South China tiger287 - 386 lbs.220 - 254 lbs.8.5 ft.7.5 ft.16,825 lb.-ft./s11,850 lb.-ft./s
Sumatran tiger200 - 300 lbs.180 - 280 lbs.10 ft.9 ft.12,500 lb.-ft./s11,500 lb.-ft./s
Malayan tiger104 - 285 lbs.52 - 195 lbs.8.6 ft.7.1 ft.9,725 lb.-ft./s6,175 lb.-ft./s
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Note: The average striking force above is calculated based on the average tiger weight multiplied by the maximum speed tigers can reach (50 mph). It should also be noted that white tigers are not a separate subspecies. Any tiger can have white fur, although most white tigers are Bengal or Siberian tigers. The white coloration is the result of a genetic mutation called leucism and is different from albinism. Albino tigers do not have stripes (are pure white in color) and have pink or red eyes. 

How Much Can A Tiger Lift?

Tigers are very strong animals and are able to carry kills up to twice as much as their body weight. This means that some of the largest tigers can lift over 1,200 lbs. Their strength explains how tigers can drag large prey like buffalos or moose.

How Strong Are Tiger Jaws?

Tigers have very strong jaws and a bite force that reaches up to 1,050 PSI. This is twice as much as the bite force of a lion, although slightly lower than that of a jaguar. Alongside their strong jaws, tigers also have long, sharp teeth that can slice through flesh and crush bone.

Their canines grow up to four inches long and play an essential role for the animal. Without them, the tiger wouldn’t be able to kill its prey despite the impressive jaw force.

How Strong Is a Tiger Paw?

The bite force constitutes only one part of a tiger’s strength. Most of the animal’s strength is in its body and limbs.

The striking force is almost as important as the bite force, allowing the tiger to bring down prey. Unlike the bite force, which is more or less the same for all adult tigers, the striking force varies from tiger to tiger based on its weight.

In addition to the tiger’s mass, the animal’s velocity can alter the paw swipe force – this force measured in pound-foot per second is given by the mass of the animal and its speed at the moment of the strike.

How Hard Can A Tiger Hit You?

Depending on the tiger’s size and speed, the feline could hit you hard enough to shatter your bones and kill you with a single strike.

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How Strong Are Tigers Legs?

Like the rest of their bodies, tigers’ legs are robust and incredibly strong. Similar to all felines, tigers have the ability to jump high. In their case, over 12 feet into the air. A tiger’s leaping abilities are equally impressive. These big cats can leap forward about 25 feet in a single jump without a running start.

When it comes to speed, tigers aren’t as fast as other big cats. Most tigers reach top speeds between 35 and 40 miles per hour. Siberian tigers can run at speeds up to 50 miles per hour, but only for short distances. Comparatively, a cheetah can reach top speeds of 70 miles per hour.

But why do tigers have strong legs, and why have they adapted this way?

As you can imagine, a tiger’s limbs have adapted to the environment where the animal lives. Tigers are kings of the jungle, and as apex predators, they hunt a variety of animals. While they generally prefer large prey, tigers will sometimes hunt birds.

Their strong hind legs are slightly longer than the front legs, enabling them to jump higher up or over larger distances. At the same time, the robust front legs help them bring down prey.

How Strong Are Tigers Compared To Humans?

Are you wondering whether a human can fight off a tiger? Are tigers faster than humans? The answers are no and yes.

In terms of strength, tigers are undeniably stronger than humans. Their bite force is about six times stronger than that of a human (which is only 162 pounds per square inch).

Speed-wise, humans are also slower than a tiger. Although researchers claim that humans could reach a top speed of 40mph – the same as a tiger – the reality is that the fastest man on Earth has only managed to reach 28mph. And unless you are Usain Bolt, chances are you won’t run as fast.

This leaves humans at a disadvantage compared to tigers, meaning that the feline would always win in a head-to-head against a human.

How Are Tigers So Strong?

Tigers are some of the strongest animals on the planet and evolution is the main reason for their strength.

Tigers have roamed the Earth for millions of years. A fossil discovered in China is evidence that the oldest species of tiger (now extinct) dates back to about 2.5 million years ago. It is unknown whether tigers were apex predators back then, but their evolution to apex predators required strength.

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Nowadays, genetics and adaptation to the environment play a role in a tiger’s strength. However, due to illegal killing, a loss of habitat, and a shrinking food supply, all extant tiger species are endangered.

Tiger vs. Lion Strength Comparison

Tigers are stronger than lions. Their bite force is almost double compared to a lion, and the larger body also enables tigers to have a greater strike force. Not only are tigers stronger than lions; they are also stronger than all other big cats.

The table below compares lion vs. tiger strength characteristics:

Bite force1,050 PSI650 PSI
Paw size7 x 7 inches5 x 5.5 inches
Striking strength27,50033,500
Lifting (lbs.)1,0001,200

While they are both felines, lions and tigers have different physical characteristics. Tigers are larger and heavier than lions. Thus, they have a higher striking force.

Lions have stronger bones than tigers. However, tigers have stronger muscles. The bite force is majorly determined by the force of the jaw muscles. Hence, tigers have an advantage in this department, too.

Size-wise, lions have body lengths between 4.6 and 8.2 feet. Males are almost double the size of females, but they are still smaller than tigers. Depending on the species, tigers can reach up to 11 feet in length. Some of the smaller species are closer in size to lions, but they are usually heavier.

As far as their weight is concerned, the largest lions weigh about 550 pounds. Comparatively, the largest tigers can weigh over 700 pounds. These body size and weight differences, alongside the stronger muscles of tigers, make tigers stronger.

Are Tigers The Strongest Of All Large Cats?

Yes, tigers are the strongest of all large cats. Although the jaguars have a stronger bite force (about 1,500 PSI), their strike force is weaker, and tigers would still win in a head-to-head.

To End

Tigers are very strong animals and apex predators. They are the strongest big cats, and there are only a handful of animals that could fight them off. We hope this guide has helped you understand the true strength of this majestic creature.


Lion vs. Tiger –

Learn More About Tigers:

  1. Can Tigers Climb Trees?
  2. Do Tigers Hibernate or Migrate In Winter?
  3. Hyena Vs. Tiger
  4. Lion Vs. Tiger
  5. Hippo Vs. Tiger

James Ball

James has had a lifelong passion for animals and nature, tracing back to his childhood where he first began fostering intimate knowledge and connection with pet frogs and snakes. He has since honed this interest into a career as a trained Wildlife Biologist, specializing in Biogeography, sustainability and conservation. In addition to his professional pursuits, James maintains an active lifestyle, regularly indulging in outdoor activities such as hiking, and musical pursuits like playing piano and swimming.

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