General Question

simone54's avatar

Could a lion meow?

Asked by simone54 (7578 points ) February 17th, 2014

It is my understanding that house cats only meow to their human masters. They use chirps, hisses and most of all, body language to communicate with other cats. I am wondering, could a lion, or any other wildcat, meow if it felt so inclined?

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12 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Not as far as I am aware. Can a house cat roar?
Lions have many vocalizations and perhaps squeak and mew as tiny cubs but no meowing as far as I know.

syz's avatar

Lions make all kinds of noises, but I’ve never heard what I would call a meow. They grumble, grunt, moan, whine, and of course roar (also known as oofing). Tigers also chuffle

Not directly related to your question, the great cats roar but cannot purr (it has to do with a bony hyoid vs. a cartilaginous hyoid). Small cats (the largest of the small cats is the cougar) can purr, but not roar.

(I’ve never heard that “house cats only meow to their human masters”, and I’m dubious.)

syz's avatar

(If I was being a smart-ass, I’d answer with this)

syz's avatar

@Brian1946 I love cheetahs, but they’re such wimps!

Coloma's avatar

I love Cougars.

Brian1946's avatar

@syz I can tell from your photos that you’re saying that because you have a pro-tiger bias! ;-)

tobycrabtree's avatar

I don;t think so

keobooks's avatar

Here is a video of many many big cats making all their sounds.

My new favorite big cat is the sand cat. It’s smaller than an average house cat, but it’s still considered a big cat!

syz's avatar

@keobooks Generally, “big cats” (not an actual classification) are of the genus Panthera. The subfamily Pantherinae includes tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard, cougar, cheetah, Eurasian lynx, snow leopard, and clouded leopard. The subfamily Felinae includes the smaller wild cats, including the sand cat (Felis margarita).

(It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at classifications, I had to do a little research.)

Paradox25's avatar

From what I’ve read about big cats, lions, like most others, don’t meow. Even domesticated cats usually don’t meow unless they’re around humans according to what I’ve read about them.

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