Cheetah populations in the USA, in South Africa and Japan are threatened by three highly prevalent diseases bacterial gastritis, glomerulosclerosis and veno-occlusive disease - causing premature death of potential breeders. Poor breeding success, inappropriate captive management and a paucity of genetic variability are additional problems of captive cheetahs. Organ samples of 58 cheetahs were collected from 1980 to 2001 and retrospectively investigated to obtain a general overview of captive cheetah health within the European Endangered Species Program (EEP). Gastritis (55%) and renal lesions, like glomerulosclerosis (32%), membranous (46%) and. membrano-proliferative glomerulonephritis (18%), and interstitial nephritis (32%) were most frequently observed, whilst veno-occlusive disease was not found in Europe. Further priority was given to investigations concerning myelolipomas, which were found mainly in the spleen. In the future it would be important to initiate additional studies concerning husbandry and stress of captive cheetahs in order to gain insight into the aetiology of the pathological alterations.