Most people see cats as docile, calm and as masters at napping. But there is more to these furry wonders. They have an innate desire for action and adventure and an inner athlete just waiting to surface.
How far can a cat jump?
Cats can jump as far as seven feet based on the longest recorded cat jump made by Waffle the Warrior cat at January 30, 2018 in Big Sur, California. This earned him the Guinness World Record for Longest Jump by a Cat.
Most cats have long and slender bodies and powerful tails that add to their agility. They have strong limbs and they have tiny muscle groups along their flexible spines that contribute to their speed and grace. Cats are superior jumpers due to their limb length and the muscle mass of their back legs. They start their jump with a deep crouch and lift their front legs followed by an explosive extension of their back legs.
How high can a cat jump?
Cats can jump as high as five to six feet. Average adult cats can jump as high as five to six times their height that is measured from the ground to their shoulders. Adult cats usually stand at 12 inches in height. This goes to show that healthy adult cats can jump to a high of approximately five to six feet.
The following factors may affect a cat’s ability to jump:
- length of the hind legs
- age of your cat – kittens and arthritic senior cats won’t be able to jump high
- fat mass relative to lean body mass
- medical issues that may affect mobility and energy level
How high can kittens jump?
Kittens can only jump as high as a feet or so. They begin to explore their environment and their physical capacities when they are around three weeks old. They may be able to climb up on objects like the sofa. Their ability to climb and jump will improve at around six months old as muscle strength and coordination starts to improve. However, it will take a few more months before kittens start to approach the jumping ability of healthy adult cats.
Acrobatic and athletic abilities of cats
These are the other impressive acrobatic abilities of cats aside from jumping that showcase their extraordinary mobility and flexibility:
- they can curl into a perfect circle when they sleep and twitch their tails in a rhythmic way across their nose
- they can twist into unusual positions
- they can make sudden direction changes when in pursuit of their prey
- they can reorient themselves in midair and land on their feet
- they can narrow their shoulders and chest to squeeze through tight spaces
These are some of the most athletic cat breeds around:
- Abyssinian – medium-sized breed with muscular and lean bodies
- Bengal – very energetic and has an active lifestyle
- Somali – outgoing, friendly, agile and loves to play fetch and other games
- Cornish Rex – they have sleek and slender bodies, curious and friendly
- Devon Rex – affectionate, intelligent and outgoing breed
- Egyptian Mau – very agile and loves to jump, run and play
- Ocicat – very athletic and loves to jump into high places
- Japanese Bobtail – slender, athletic and loves to play in the water
- Balinese – very active and agile, loves to jump and climb
- Siamese – very vocal, active and loves human companionship
- Singapura – has kitten-like looks, active and friendly
- Oriental Shorthair- very extroverted, loves to play with toys and has a high prey drive
Cats may look docile and calm but they are also very agile and athletic. They can jump as far as seven feet and as high as five to six feet. However, their ability to jump may be affected by certain factors like their age, breed, gender, length of their hind limbs and if they have underlying medical conditions.
Image: istockphoto.com / Leoba