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The Cheetah People were a race of predatory, cheetah-like humanoids.


The Cheetah People had the heads of cheetahs and thick, spotted fur, distinctive golden eyes, retractable claws and sharp fangs. They also had an excellent sense of smell which they could use to track their prey. (TV: Survival) They were distantly related to the Cat-People. (PROSE: Invasion of the Cat-People)

The Cheetah People were originally a humanoid civilisation, and gained their beastly characteristic from prolonged exposure to the "power" pervading their planet and embodied in the kitlings. The same mutation would begin to overtake humans and even Time Lords if they spent too long on the Cheetah Planet; they would gradually acquire the characteristics of a cheetah. Their eye colour changed to gold, the pupils gained the feline slit shape and they developed fangs. As demonstrated by Karra, even fully transformed Cheetah People would return to humanoid form at the moment of death. (TV: Survival)


The Cheetah People had a symbiotic relationship with their world, as well as with the native kitlings. The planet was almost alive and was mentally connected with the Cheetah People. Its sources of water could heal them, and if they fought the planet would slowly start to destroy itself. The Cheetah People could also use the kitlings to find new sources of food since they could mentally control them and see through their eyes. They had the ability to teleport from planet to planet, but they could only bring back prey to their homeworld. It seemed, even worlds away, that they knew if one of their kind had died. (TV: Survival) Even after returning to their original species, individuals could sense those who were once Cheetah People. (PROSE: First Frontier)

They also had the indirect ability to change people in their own kind. Persons influenced enough that they had started to turn into Cheetah People included: the Master, Ace, Midge and the Seventh Doctor. Karra had been deeply affected by the planet's influence, which led to a full transformation. (TV: Survival) After being cured, Ace could still draw on the Cheetah People abilities, granting her increased speed. (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark)

Karra, riding a horse. (TV: Survival)


Cheetah People were a dangerous, but playful, race, with many traits associated with terrestrial felines. They were intrigued by shiny objects such as Captain Sorin's cap insignia which Ace wore on her jacket. They would only go after food which was moving and would attempt to make hunts more interesting. By human standards, they would have had a vicious way of life and would fight each other over spoils or kill helpless humans without provocation. They did seem to have some sort of respect for their own dead and would return to a world to come back for their fallen. The Cheetah People generally wore leather open-toed shoes and trophies from their hunts, using horses as mounts. (TV: Survival)


A "huge civilisation" of humanoids, as the Master described them, built their cities on the Cheetah World, covering the whole planet. They possessed an empire with fleets of starships, and developed their mental powers to a remarkable degree, including the power of telepathy and control.

They developed a mind link with the kitlings in an attempt to tame and exploit the inherent, eldritch power of the Cheetah Planet. However, the wilderness broke in on them and they became Cheetahs in mind as well as in body, an effect which soon spread anyone else who survived on the planet, regardless of whether they had formed a link with a specific kitling. Eventually their cities became ruins as the Cheetahs fought for generations, tearing the planet apart. (PROSE: Survival, TV: Survival)

Around 1989, the Master found himself on the Cheetah World. He used the Cheetah People in an attempt to escape, sending them to Earth to capture humans, planning to allow them to partially convert, then use their teleportation to escape to Earth. (TV: Survival)

At some point, the Master and the Cheetah People kidnapped a group of the Seventh Doctor's friends, as a lure for the Doctor, only for the Doctor to deceive them with his parlour tricks, and trap them in a net. (PROSE: Dr. Seventh)

The Master eventually escaped but returned to the Cheetah World to fight the Doctor. Though the planet was destroyed, at least some of the Cheetah People appeared to survive on a new world, the Doctor remarking that the hunt went on. (TV: Survival)