Caracals Can Communicate With Their Ears

by Deborah-Ann Milettte
(New York)

Qe Tesh of the Nile (Egyptian for the God of Nature) surveys her domain

Qe Tesh of the Nile (Egyptian for the God of Nature) surveys her domain

Many people don't realize that before I owned my famous boy "Motzie" I used to rescue, safe-capture and relocate exotic felines. Yes, I am talking about lions, tigers, leopards (to a certain age), servals, caracals and any other kinds of cats that needed my help.

But many people don't know that living with 8 servals and 2 caracals you learn plenty and I was the first to ever notice that caracals are ear talkers. Caracals can communicate with their ears. Yes, they use their ears to talk to each other, which helps keep them safe in the wild.

I learned with my quite sociable Israeli Caracal, Tesha. She would flip an ear when I walked to the door. I labeled it acceptance. So I chose to take my fingers in a "V" shape and flip one finger back to her. She would reply with one ear flip then the other ear would flip, OK we had acknowledgment.

If Tesha flipped both ears at once she was unsure of who was there if someone else was with me. Constant flipping of both her ears, she was agitated by what ever either entered the room or something that happened.

This became a way of being able to communicate with them and when I would visit zoos, I was the only individual that could get the attention of caracals in there, because I could talk to them.

I even had one zoo employee ask me what I was doing and I told her and I was allowed to go to the back and meet a caracal named Duma and talk with him.

She said I was the first person that had actually been able to touch Duma without harm. I said you always have to ask first and gain the cat's respect by asking first. That is what I did and Duma accepted me.

Private owners learn and know their animals better than zoos. If you can't speak to the animal in it's language then why have the display. It was even funnier to see my Woodland African Serval, Motuka talk caracal talk.


Caracals can communicate with their ears to Wild Cat Species

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Caracals Can Communicate With Their Ears

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Oct 21, 2010 long ears
by: kelsey

COOL how long are caracals ears

Feb 07, 2010 Thats soooooooooooo cool!
by: Anonymous


Nov 15, 2009 Caracals have plenty of info just on their surface
by: Deborah-Ann

Caracal is the Turkish word that means "Black eared." When looking at a caracal from behind that is very apparant. Their hearing is not as sensitive as the serval's so they are felines that incooperate the senses of hearig, sight and touch.

When I had my servals and caracals living wih me, a serval could pounce quicker on something and faster than my caracals. Just living with these animals on a daily basis and watching what they did and interacted and acted with each other was amazing. I am sure over time they would have taught each other things if they were forced to live together in the wild, I know mine did.

Deborah-Ann Milette

Nov 15, 2009 WOOW
by: Anonymous

wow lots of information

Oct 20, 2009 Ears designed to communicate
by: Michael

The ears of a Caracal are designed for communication (as well as hearing) as they have long high contrast (black) tufts at the tips which magnify or amplify the movement of the ears creating a signal that is easier to see.

Oct 19, 2009 Good Point
by: Michael

Good point Rudolph. I think we can anticipate a lot through routines and I am sure that happens animal to animal. The tail is also a create communicator. Humans display piles of body language too. but not with our ears!

Oct 18, 2009 Animal communication
by: Rudolph.a.Furtado

Thanks for the practical first hand experience of your decoding of your pet caracals sign and body language.Since few private people, besides zoo keepers and animal laboratory veterinarians have the priviledge and interest in observing and recording their pets behaviour, very less is known about wild and semi-wild animals and birds. I understand the importance of "Animal behaviour and language" having observed race horses and my own personal pets and have come to the conclusion that most animals behaviour can be anticipated by their owners or care-takers.

Oct 18, 2009 smart!
by: B>Shaw

Wonderful story and very interesting facts.

Oct 18, 2009 Interesting
by: Michael

Hi Deborah, thanks for a really interesting article. I moved it to Wild Cats as I think it is really about how this wildcat communicates.

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