Communication and Perception
Like other Felidae, clouded leopards have keen vision as well as good senses of smell and hearing. Captive clouded leopards mark their territories by clawing trees, urine spraying, scraping, and head rubbing, all of which are typical scent-marking behaviors. Vocalizations made by captive animals are characteristic of members of the family Felidae, which include growling, mewing, hissing, and spitting. Clouded leopards do not purr, but they do make a low-intensity snorting noise called “prusten” when they have friendly interactions with other individuals. Clouded leopards, Panthera tigris, Uncia uncia, and Panthera onca are the only felids that use this type of vocalization. They also have a long moaning call that can be heard across distances. The purpose of this call is unknown, but observers think it is a form of communication between animals in different territories, perhaps as a mating call or to warn other cats away from their territory. Clouded leopards also have vibrissae on their muzzles, which detect tactile stimuli, especially at night. (Sunquist and Sunquist, 2002)
- Sunquist, M., F. Sunquist. 2002. Wild Cats of the World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.