Q:

Can big cats purr?

A:

Quick Answer

Many big cats such as lions, tigers, leopards and jaguars cannot purr because of a strip of cartilage that runs from the hyoid bones to the skull. The only big cat that purrs but cannot roar is the cheetah, which biologists place in a genus on its own, Acinonyx.

  Know More

Full Answer

Smaller cats such as the ocelot, bobcat, cougar and lynx are able to purr. Purring ability is one of the major factors that separates the two main genera of cats, Felis and Panthera. Purring is enabled by delicate bones that connect the back of the tongue to the base of the skull.

Learn more about Large Cats

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do cats purr?

    A:

    A cat purrs by a special mechanism in the cat's brain, which sends a signal to the muscles in the cat's voice box. This signal vibrates the muscles in the voice box, and the muscles act as a valve for air passing the voice box. This creates a continuous purr.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do cats purr?

    A:

    Purring is a non-verbal communication that originates in the laryngeal muscles stimulated by neuron activity, which causes the muscles in the throat to twitch at 25 to 150 vibrations per second. This vibration results in vocal cord separation and purring.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do lions like water?

    A:

    Lions generally do not like water and avoid swimming unless it is necessary. Lions only enter water when they are hunting prey or when they must cross the water to get from one point to another.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do lions come from?

    A:

    Lions are native to southern and sub-Saharan east Africa and small parts of India. At one time, lions roamed other parts of Asia and Europe, and they are now on the IUCN Red List because they are vulnerable to extinction.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore