Here are three audio files which tell you what snow leopards sound like. The sounds are unmistakably from a large wild cat. There is that raw and intimidating aspect to wild cat sounds, even those from small wild cats. Sometimes people expect wild cats to sound a little like domestic cats and there is an overlap in terms of the types of vocialisations but wild cats sound far more aggressive and a bit scary for some people which is a reflection of the reality of survival in the wild and the relative cosy safety of home life for the domestic cat.
Long distance call
The first sound is a long distance call, which the authors of Wild Cats Of The World would probably call a ‘piercing yowl’. The sound that you hear was made by a captive snow leopard standing on a rock looking out over a nice landscape that the cat should be enjoying. She calls out to the landscape for a mate, for company. Frankly, it is sad.
The first audio file can be accessed by clicking on the link immediately below. The one below that can be started by clicking the play button. The same applies to the other audio files on this page.
The second sound comes from a captive snow leopard in Florida (hardly ideal from a landscape type and temperature perspective). There are some faint sounds underneath the cat’s close greeting sound which is described as a ‘chuff’ or a ‘prusten’. These sounds are made by other large wild cat species in close quarter conversation. It is a greeting sound.
The third vocalisation I have assessed as being a ‘cough-roar’. It is provided by The Snow Leopard Trust. It starts fairly quietly so please keep playing it.
We don’t know what the ‘cough-roar’ is for. It is a sound that falls in-between the prusten and long range yowl in terms of volume and intensity.
Snow leopards also spit, hiss and growl but their anatomy prevents them from roaring like the big cats namely the leopard, tiger, lion and jaguar.
SOME PAGES ON THE SNOW LEOPARD. THERE ARE MANY MORE. PLEASE USE THE SEARCH TOOL TO FIND THEM.