Cheetahs aren’t just fast; cheetahs make all sorts of soft, sweet sounds, too. This Toronto Zoo video shares their “wide ‘vocabulary’ of noises: from purring and hissing typical of a house cat, to trills, chirps, and yips which are almost bird-like!”
Hear Patonga purring, Dougie & Flash chirping, and Bakari yipping and churring.
Why can’t cheetahs roar or make big cat noises? From BBC Wildlife Magazine:
“The bones of the cheetah’s voice box form a fixed structure, with divided vocal cords that vibrate with both in and out breaths. This structure is the same for all the ‘small’ cats. While this design enables these cats to purr continuously, it limits the range of other sounds and prevents them from being able to roar.
“Just because cheetahs are relatively large, that doesn’t mean they can roar – they still have small-cat anatomy despite their size, and it’s exactly the same for pumas/mountain lions.”
Watch this next: Cheetahs on the Edge—Director’s Cut.