Cheetahs can meow. This cheetah also hisses and her meow is very gentle and kitten-like. Both these sounds are made by domestic cats as we all know. The excellent book I have on the wild cats does not refer to the cheetah meowing.
Big Cats are still cats pic.twitter.com/nelKVppUNQ
— Welcome To Nature (@welcomet0nature) December 28, 2018
There is an interesting overlap between the big wild cats and domestic cats concerning the sounds that they make. Curious people often ask whether the big wild cats made sounds like domestic cats and the answer is, yes, but the wild cats also make many more uniquely wild cat sounds some of which are noticeably aggressive and intimidating.
Cheetahs have a rich vocal repertoire. In addition to the hiss and meow, this relatively unaggressive large wild cat species yelps. This is a short high pitched ‘yow’ type sound which can be heard as far away as 2 kilometres apparently. The cheetah yelp is a long-range call therefore much like the lion roar (in terms of distance travelled). It is used by a mother to make contact with her cubs. It is also used by siblings to contact other siblings. You have probably heard it on television in one of those wildlife programmes.
When making the yelp the cheetah opens and closes her mouth rapidly. The effort causes the cat’s abdomen and head to jerk.
The cheetah ‘churr’ (or stutter) is another contact call. It is employed by mothers to call or encourage their cubs and by males to relocate their siblings and under other circumstances. This vocalisation can also indicate oestrus when used by a female. Males also make this sound when interested in a female.
Other cheetah sounds include the: gurgle (friendly close range), growl (aggression between cheetahs at kills), moan (when threatened or attacked by lions, leopards or other cheetahs).
Cheetahs also purr just like our fluffy kitties only much louder.