Black panthers are not the biggest cats, but with well-muscled bodies, powerful limbs, and broad paws, they are the super athletes of the animal kingdom. They can jump straight up as high as 10 feet (3 m), leap as far as 20 feet (6 m) in a single bound, and run at a speed over 45 miles (72 km) per hour. For their size, black panthers are very powerful. They often kill larger and heavier prey than themselves.
Like many of the smaller cats and unlike most of the other big cats, black panthers are the strongest climbers of the cat family. A black panther develops tree-climbing skills at a very early age to avoid attack from deadly enemies such as lions and hyenas. It also uses this unique skill to bring their kills or carcass up to the fork of a tree. The black panther's prey often weighs as much as or more than the panther itself, but a black panther can manage to carry a kill up into a tree by using its powerful jaws and limbs and superb tree-climbing skills.
A black pantherís long and thick tail serves many purposes, one of which is to balance the body. That is the secret of the pantherís ability to walk on a branch of a tree with the ease of a tightrope walker. The black panther enjoys playing in water. It is a good swimmer.