Do the big cats purr?

Lions and tigers, do they purr?

Based on a National Geographic documentary I’ve seen, the answer is… lions DO make a sound that almost any human would desribe as purring. But zoologists say it ISN’T really purring, because the way they produce the sound is rather different from the way housecats produce their own purrs.

Do Big Cats Purr? (by Big Cat Rescue)


Video prevents a surprisingly decent scientific answer for a youtube video.

ETA: For those that don’t want to watch the video, there’s a discussion about the flexibility of the hyoid bone in different species and its effect on whether that species can purr or roar, and that some big cats can make a purring-ish sound but only on exhale, and the debate about whether or not that’s a true purr. Video contains lots of other info including a discussion of some of the other sounds that big cats make (roaring and chuffing).

Bears don’t.

Cheetahs do.

Indescribably awesome video of a lion “chuffing.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lugqyjbENME

Bears are not cats.

Lions and tigers and …

(oh my!)

If you still didn’t get the reference, he’s making funny about the Wizard of Oz.

There’s a Calvin and Hobbes strip about this. Calvin is reading a book…

Calvin: It says here that big cats don’t purr.

Hobbes: We don’t.

Calvin: What do you call it, then?

Hobbes: Growling friendly-like.

Mountain Lions purr, I’ve gotten one to do it.

Mountain lions (= pumas, cougars, etc.) are considered the largest of the small cats. Small cats can purr, big cats can roar.