Big Cat Quiz: Lions, Tigers & More!

After sharing with you the heart-wrenching, but incredible recovery of Andre the dog, and the death-predicting abilities of Oscar the cat, it is time for something a little more lighthearted –  another cat quiz. This time I challenge you to test your BIG cat knowledge! How well do you know lions, tigers, cheetahs, leopards, and more?

Answers are at the the end of the quiz.  (How many did you guess correctly? Were any of the answers a big surprise?)

Questions

1.  Which big cat cannot fully retract its claws?

 

2. This graceful American cat is known by several names including mountain lion. List four other common names for this New World cat.

 

3. Which cat has a trademark tuft at the end of their tail?

 

4. Which big cat does not roar, but purrs and chirps instead?  (Hint: the answer is NOT lions inhaling helium)

 

5. Which big cat has the largest ears and longest legs in proportion to their bodies?

 

6. Which big cat is known for its very long tail – a tail that can be as long as the body, thus doubling the length of this beautiful cat?

 

7. Which big cat gets to claim title of “the biggest of the big cats”?

 

8. How many subspecies are there of tigers?  Four, six, or nine?  How many of these are now extinct?

 

9. Which big cat has the most powerful bite?

 

10. Which big cat has throughout modern history taken a liking to human flesh?

 

Next: the answers

Answers

1.  Which big cat cannot fully retract its claws?

Cheetah. Intractable claws act like spikes and help the cheetah run faster.

 

2. This graceful American cat is known by several names including mountain lion. List four other common names for the New World cat.

Puma, cougar, panther, and catamount.

3. Which cat has a trademark tuft at the end of their tail?

Lions. Absent at birth, the tail tuft emerges around 5 months of age and is clearly identifiable by 7 months. Both male and female lions have tufted tails – and no one really knows why.

 

4. Which big cat does not roar, but purrs and chirps instead?

Cheetah. As odd as this may sound, one of the most charming vocalizations in nature is the sound of a cheetah chirping.  Last spring, I was at the Salt Lake City Zoo with my daughters and it happened to be the first warm spring day after many snowy winter weeks and the resident (and only) cheetah was so tickled pink with the defrosted weather that he was chirping and churtling to his hearts content — all the while acting like my house cat with a catnip toy. It was so very, very charming!

5. Which big cat has the largest ears and longest legs in proportion to their bodies?

Servals. With their big ears they listen for prey (most often rodents). Once they have fixed the location of their next meal, they use their unusually long legs to spring high into the air and then pounce downward on their unsuspecting prey. Interestingly enough, the serval’s unusual hunting technique is significantly more effective than their cat peers: their success rate of pounces is 50 percent while the average cat’s success rate is only 10 percent.

 

 

6. Which big cat is known for its very long tail – a tail that can be as long as the body, thus doubling the length of this beautiful cat?

Clouded leopard. There are two species of clouded leopard, both of which live in Asia.  Their long tail is used for balance and thus they are one of the best climbers in the cat family.

 

7. Which big cat gets to claim title of “the biggest of the big cats”?

Tigers.  Panthera tigris really is king of the jungle, as this magnificent striped feline can reach 11 feet (3.3 meters) and top the scales at 670 pounds (306 kg).

 

8. How many subspecies are there of tigers?  Four, six, or nine?  How many of these are now extinct?

There are nine subspecies of tigers: Bengal tiger, Indochinese tiger, Malayan tiger, Sumatran tiger, Siberian tiger, and the South China tiger. The remaining three species, the Bali, Javan and Caspian tigers, are all unfortunately extinct due to major habitat destruction and hunting.  Over the past 100 years, tigers have lost 93 percent of their historic range.

9. Which big cat has the most powerful bite?

Even by big cat standards, the jaguar has an extraordinarily powerful bite.  Jaguars thus use their powerful jaws in a unique way compared to other cats — they typically kill their prey with a death bite to the head which pierces the skull and then lethally penetrates the brain. Ouch!  Even a giant turtle’s gnarly armor is no match for a jaguar’s jaws. To the jaguar, the turtle’s shell is like potato chips!

 

 

10. Which big cat has throughout modern history taken a liking to human flesh?

Lions. Among the most famous man-eaters are the lions of Tsavo (the Tsavo Maneaters, as they have become known). In a nine month period, this lion pride devoured 28 railway workers who were building the Kenyan-Uganda Railway in 1898. The man-eating record however belongs to a pride of lions roaming Tanganyika (now Tanzania) in the 1930s and 1940s: they are thought to have killed and eaten between 1,500 and 2,000 people over the two decades!

 

More Cat Quizzes:
What Is Your Cat IQ?
Test Your Cat Knowledge
10 Tricky Cat Questions

 

Have you seen the new Adoptable Pets page on Care2? Check it out here! Please also share with your friends – we’d love your help in finding homes for these adorable animals!

131 comments

Sonia Minwer-Barakat Requ

Love all cats,big & small.Great quiz very interesting.Thanks for sharing

Carole H.
Carole H.3 years ago

Very interesting - thank you - I did not to my shame do very well but have now learnt some interesting facts. thanks again

Kayleigh Harter
Kayleigh Harter3 years ago

Thanks

Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Sue M.
Sue M.3 years ago

thanks

Mary Donnelly
Mary Donnelly3 years ago

Thanks for one of the best "Big Cats" posts I've read--clear, simple, understandable, interesting.

Veronique L.
Veronique L.3 years ago

Very interesting thank you!

naomi cohen
naomi cohen4 years ago

i thought i would know all the answers, but some were tricky. great article. thank you, cherise.

Maria Kovtun
Maria Kovtun4 years ago

Thanks for sharing some well-known and some new (at least for me) interesting facts about these adorable and so vulnerable creatures :)

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe4 years ago

Thanks for the information. I learned a lot more than I knew (LOL). .