Can tigers meow?

Yes, tigers can meow in their own way. According to a true expert on carnivore vocalisations, Gustav Peters, tigers have several types of vocalisations. These include the meow. They also include the prusten, roar, growl, snarl, coughing snarl, grunt, moan, spit and hiss.

Tiger meow
Tigers can meow in their own way. Is it a true meow? Photo: Pixabay.

That's it. There is nothing more to say about tigers meowing but I'll go on! I had thought that they were incapable of meowing because they can roar. 

But it depends on how you describe the meow sound. It is a 'elastic' sound in that it varies so much. You can't expect a tiger with their voice box to meow like a domestic cat. 

There is a certain amount if imagination required to shoehorn the tiger meow into the category of sounds called the 'meow'. This is why it is a tricky subject to discuss.

I have just written a page on the wild cats which meow. And that was difficult because except for the wild ancestor of the domestic cat, the wildcat species, the meow/mew sounds of the wild cats are not what you might expect. 

Here is a video of a so-called tiger meow. As I said it is an elastic concept. If you can find me a better video of a tiger truly meowing please comment and tell me. The tiger meow has to be a deeper version in terms of its frequency compared to the domestic cat's and it is!

Sources: Gustav Peters: 1984 - A special type of vocalisation in the Felidae and in 1984 - On the structure of friendly close range vocalisations in terrestrial carnivores and in 1994 - Hyoid structure, laryngeal anatomy, and vocalisations in felids. All these sources are referred to in Wild Cats of the World by Mel and Fiona Sunquist.


  1. Hi, I found this here:


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