Categories: Snow leopard

What do snow leopards sound like?

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.

Glorious snow leopard. Photo: Danny Sullivan

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.

Snow leopard piercing yowl long distance call


Close greeting

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.

Snow leopard prusten or chuff – close range greeting

Cough-roar

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.

Snow leopard cough-roar

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.

For how long are snow leopards pregnant?

"In the wild and in captivity, most young are born in May and June, following a gestation period of 94 ...
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Do snow leopards have predators?

Do snow leopards have predators? The answer is a clear, No, with one notable exception: the human. The reason is ...
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Do snow leopards kill humans?

No, snow leopards do not kill humans. In fact they rarely attack humans in the wild. There are only a ...
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Why are snow leopards called ‘ounce’?

Why are snow leopards called 'ounce'? It is quite a long and tortuous journey from Greek via Latin together with ...
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Snow Leopard’s Lifespan

The snow leopard lifespan for females, on average and in captivity, is 9.6 years (Ref: O'Connor T and H Freeman ...
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How many snow leopards are left in the world?

Globally, it is estimated, that there are between 4,080 and 6,590 snow leopards left in the world as at Sept ...
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Do snow leopards hunt in packs?

Snow leopards do not hunt in packs or groups. I could leave it there but I will add a bit ...
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Why do snow leopards have such long tails?

This is an easy question to answer. When you watch a snow leopard hunting on the steep, 40°, rocky slopes ...
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Do snow leopards live in the arctic?

No, snow leopard don't live in the arctic. No cats live in the arctic (arctic circle). Snow leopards live in ...
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Why Do Snow Leopards Bite Their Tails?

Snow leopards do not bite their tails to keep their nose warm as has been stated. Neither do they bite ...
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Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

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