When it comes to animals, cats are very exceptional.
And I am not talking about your domestic cat only but all the animals from the feline family.
From the leopard itself to your little buddy you keep at home for a pet.
These animals are naturally very athletic. They are strong, flexible, and stealthy.
Their ability to make their bodies go through unbelievably tiny spaces and the way they land softly on their fours after an incredibly high jump leaves a lot to be asked.
How in the world? According to a study, cats are endowed with the ability to jump six times the length of their bodies.
What Makes A Cat Jump So High?
The ability to jump high depends on the structure of an animal’s hind leg, spinal column, and tail.
It is impressive that even overweight cats can jump high.
This means that a cat’s agility is not dependent on weight; it has a lot to do with various body muscles.
1. Muscles In The Rear Legs
Cats generally have strong hind legs muscles that allow them to jump high.
These muscles are designed to give the cat more force, resulting in an energetic jump.
Compared to humans, the way cats jump is more proportional and higher.
During a jump, there are two phases to it.
First, the cat must enter a preparatory mode where its muscles are coiled, ready for release.
It is just the way a spring works. After a tight recoil of the muscles, the cat goes into an engaged mode to release the muscles in an agile move that propels it to the air.
2. Flexible Spinal Column
For an excellent high jump to happen in cats, it is not solely dependent on the leg muscles alone.
The spinal column has a huge role in this athletic activity.
The spinal column has the central nervous system. When the cat is about to jump, the spinal cord relays the information to the brain.
Besides producing nerve impulses, a cat’s spinal column is designed flexibly to give it the appropriate agility to jump.
This explains why if something small alters the spinal cord be it of a cat, human, or any other animal, the mobility is ceased, and they go into a paralyzed mode.
3. The Tail
If there is anything that gives the cat great balance when jumping high, it is its little twitch, the tail.
The tail also works as a counterbalance in cats, especially when walking or jumping to unlikely places like a very high thin tree branch.
Did you know that your cat is the only one from the cat family that can hold its tail vertically? Despite all that, the cat can leave perfectly normal if its tail must be amputated.
It is precisely how life has to go on if a man has his leg or hand amputated for one reason.
4. General Physique
The general body structure of a cat plays a significant role when it comes to jumping high.
Its flexibility, agility, and strength come from a cat’s entire body.
Cat can squeeze its form through places like tiny spaces and holes. This means it can contract and relax its body to suit a situation.
As mentioned earlier, a cat can jump six times the length of its body. If a cat is taller than average, it will jump to higher places, unlike cats of normal heights.
5. Motor Skills
Young cats will not jump as high as their superiors. Their muscles and body are still underdeveloped for huge leaps.
Their legs need to grow long and muscle stronger for jumping.
However, their skills, balance, and muscles develop as they grow older. It is just the way a two-year-old baby cannot run like a 15-year-old boy.
How Far and High Can Cats Jump?
Did you know that the Guinness World Book record holder for the longest jump by a cat is Waffle the Warrior Cat, who can leap 7 feet?
A healthy adult cat can jump approximately five to six times his body length vertically and horizontally.
If you notice that your cat does not jump that much as a cat owner, you might want to consult a vet.
A cat can be motivated to jump when they know where the bag of kitty treats is, no matter how far it is; you may walk into your kitchen one day to find your cat munching on his favorite treats.
Why Do Cats Jump?
Most cats jump up high to find the best place to rest. It is important to note that cats are very territorial and love having their personal space.
This territorial behavior in cats is an instinct passed down by their wildcat ancestors who, out of trying to survive, found quiet places away from predators and other disturbances.
Cats jump for a feeling of safety and the ability to gain a good viewpoint of everything around the house.
If a cat sees a rodent up in the wall or something that excites them, it might jump just for curiosity to assess the surrounding environment.
As a cat owner, you should not let your kitty use your home as a jumping gym.
Unlike human beings, cats don’t know when cooking stoves are on or off, so allowing them to jump near heated appliances can get them burned to death.
It is important to keep safe and appropriate jumping gadgets for cats, like cat trees, cat stairs, and jumping ropes, in a designated area for cats to jump and play without risking their lives.
Lastly, positive training for cats is important, especially for cats that jump into dangerous spots. If certain areas within the house are off-limits for jumps and leaps, try teaching your kitty to avoid such high spots.
Purrfect n’ Pawesome is the brainchild of Amanda, who has been into researching and writing about pets to help other pet parents in nurturing their adorable pets. Currently, she runs Purrfect n’ Pawesome along with her team of experienced and dedicated pet experts. Along with being an awesome writer and entrepreneur, Amanda is a cat mom to two innocently spoiled cats, Balanca and Scruffy.
She has been writing about pet care and nurturing and wants to share her readers’ experiences, learnings, and knowledge.
Over the years, she had the opportunity to work with various pet owners having multiple breeds, and that exposure gave her experience and the lessons of a lifetime.
Her family, her entire universe revolves around her two cats, who give her endless support and inspiration to move ahead with her objectives in life. Amanda is a live example of a balanced approach to all parenthood questions we all face in life.