Yes, jungle cats purr but please read on…I am referring to the species of small cat called the ‘jungle cat’ (Felis chaus) and not wild cats in general that live in the jungle. The jungle cat is a small non-specialised cat. Ironically, they are not normally found in the jungle but prefer swamps, tall grass, thick brush and reed beds. They have short, pale brown coat variants from sandy-grey to a rich tawny-red. Their legs and are faintly banded. Their fur reminds me of the Abysinian’s tabby coat.
They look similar to domestic cats but a bit larger and lankier. The disappointment that I have to reveal to anyone who wants to know if jungle cats purr is that I don’t know for sure.
This cat has not been studied very well. However, I can say with some confidence that the jungle cat does purr. Although some of the sounds that this cat makes will be alien to domestic cat owners, the feline purr is fairly commonplace among the small wild cat species. Although I have no hard evidence to support my assessment about the jungle cat.
For example the Asian-African wildcat (North African wildcat) is a similar species whose distribution is sympatric with the jungle cat. As expected this species of small wild cat does purr.
Eighty percent of the sounds made by small wild cats are similar to those made by domestic cats. The remaining 20 percent are rather strange, harsh and aggressive inline with the fact that they are wild and have to survive in a hostile environment. Listen to the strange sounds made by a kodkod.