Cheetahs put on a burst of speed to attack. Leopards (and jaguars and panthers/cougars/pumas/etc.) attack from ambush. Either way, the PCs won’t see them coming.
Cheetahs are the highly prized companions of the Llanfair elves of the veldt, who use the cats for hunting. Fleet of foot themselves, a Llanfair elf hunting party and its cheetahs can strike and vanish before game—or trespassers—can react.
A leopard has been menacing a grippli village. When they can’t bring the beast down themselves, the grudgingly ask for help from a neighboring human tribe.
The bandit puma has sleek gray fur and a domino-masked face similar to a raccoon. They are highly prized for their pelts, especially their striped tails. However, it’s said it takes two men to catch one—one man to hold the net, and a second man to kill the puma while it’s busy eating the first man’s face.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 40