What Sounds Do Cheetahs Make?

People also search for “what noises do cheetahs make” and “can cheetahs roar or purr?”. All these questions relate to the rich vocal repertoire that the cheetah possesses. Cheetahs have a wide range of vocalisations.

They have a yelp which is a brief, high-pitched “yow“. This sound is for long-range communication. A researcher reported that the sound could be heard from 2 km away. This sound is also described as a bird-like cheep, technically known as a chirrup.

When making this long-distance sound, the cheetah opens and closes its mouth rapidly. Its abdomen and head jerk with the effort. The yelp is used as a contact call most often between mother and cubs who have been separated from their mother or by young cheetahs who have lost their mother or siblings.

The bird-like cheep:

Cheetahs have another contact call which is the churr. It is used by mothers to call or encourage their offspring. It is also used by males to relocate their siblings or coalition partners. It is a general contact call and is used in other situations.

When used by a female the churr can indicate oestrus. They also make a sound called a “stutter” which can indicate the same status. The male may also make the same sound indicating an interest in a female.

This slender wild cat also makes a sound called a “gurgle“. This is a sound which is friendly and used in close range vocalisation.

This cat also growls during agonistic encounters at the killing of prey (encounters which are combative). They also moan when they are attacked or threatened by other cheetahs, leopards or lions.

After a meal and when resting or during friendly encounters the cheetah also purrs just like your domestic cat. It is, however, much louder.

As mentioned, some people ask “can cheetahs roar?” They also ask “can cheetahs purr?”. The answer to the former question is that they cannot because they are not equipped anatomically to do so and the answer to the latter is that they can.

I hope that this short article answers the question in the title, “what sounds do cheetahs make?”

The primary source for this information comes from the world renowned, Wild Cats Of The World by Mel Sundquist and Fiona Sundquist. Other sources: myself and YouTube.

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