How Do Cheetahs Communicate?

Cheetahs communicate through scent, sound and body posture. Cheetahs detect the presence of other cheetahs in their range by smelling the urine or feces left on trees, rocks and termite mounds. By smelling such substances, cheetahs can determine the health and reproductive status of the cat who left them. Cheetahs also communicate with others of their species through a variety of vocalizations and with postures of submission or intimidation.

Unlike other big cats, such as lions and tigers, cheetahs cannot roar. Instead, their vocalizations take the form of chirps, shrieks and growls. Cheetahs emit whines or growls when they are frightened or alarmed and may hiss when they are irritated.

Cheetahs are not very social cats, so they do not need many forms of communication. Most of their communication occurs between males that are temporarily traveling together, mating pairs and mothers and their young. Females only associate with their cubs or males during very brief mating encounters.

Cheetahs typically live about 12 to 14 years in the wild. Cheetah females become sexually mature at about 18 months of age. Cheetah females give birth to litters of two to six, and the young stay with their mother for about one year before seeking out their own territory. Males play no role in the raising of the young.