Young caracals can make extraordinary sounds. There is an audio track and a video on this page. The first is from the Reddit.com website. The young caracal makes a laser beam sound. He reminds me of the dinosaur raptors in one of the Jurassic Park sequels. I guess laser beams don’t make sounds but cinematically the sound engineer may add some sort of sound track and this is the kind of sound they add 😊.
The second video (which is really also an audio track) was made by me from audio tracks provided by a colleague. You might turn the volume down a bit! It’s too young caracals fighting over food and the violence, the noise, the aggression and the shrieking is almost unimaginable.
Turn the volume down for the one below, please!
Both videos remind us that small or medium-sized wild cats when they are young may look cute but they are quite definitely wild in character. You look at them on video or in photographs and you think how cute they are and I wonder whether that would make a nice pet for me? But if you lived with such an exotic cat, you would quickly learn that they are like domestic cats on crack. Unless you are a special kind of person it’s going to be impossible.
These sounds really do remind us that wild cat species, of which there are around 37 depending on taxonomy, need to be left in the wild where they belong; where their heightened sharpness, intelligence and aggressiveness can be expressed beautifully in their survival. You bring that wildness into the home and there is friction. It rubs up against the domesticity of the human environment. There is a clash of cultures.
There are two aspects to the medium and small-sized wild cats: their appearance which is beautiful and their character which is beautiful in the wild but normally, to most people, untenable in the home.
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The caracal has the usual cat vocal repertoire but on steroids a lot of the time. Their vocalisations include meowing like domestic cats but with a wild cat twist, gurgling, hissing, growling, spitting, purring and another vocalisation that has been labelled the wah-wah call. This call is also made by the lynx, puma, jaguarundi and serval wild cats including the Asiatic and African golden cats. The caracal can also make a harsh hissing bark.
It is difficult to describe wild cat vocalisations because what you hear on these videos don’t really neatly fit into the above classic descriptions.
Below are some more pages on the caracal.