How high can Cats jump?

A cat’s jump is a sight to savor. Almost everyone has seen cats jump from the triple story or above and run away smoothly at least once in their life. Their tiny size, in comparison to the height they can clear, makes it all the more astonishing. While natural, built, and characteristics of an animal define their ability to do physical activities, science can explain it easily.

How high can Cats jump

It will be interesting to know how cats can actually jump so high, and we will also put into perspective the comparison with humans. You will be astonished to know the numerical figures of a cat’s jumping height. So let’s jump right into the question of how high can cats actually jump?

How high can cats jump?

Understandably, the answer to this one isn’t going to be straightforward at all. It depends upon a host of factors like the cat’s age and size. It will also depend upon the cat’s individual level of health of the feline. According to experts at Hills Pet Blog, cats jump around six times more than their own height. That figure surely is lower than the maximum limit. A healthy cat measuring 1-foot can jump around a 6-foot height.

According to Wikipedia, “Cats average about 23–25 cm (9–10 in) in height and 46 cm (18 in) in head/body length (males being larger than females), with tails averaging 30 cm (12 in) in length.”

We can conclude from the above statistics that a cat measuring 46cm or 18 inches would jump around 7.5′ to 9′, which is HUGE! And these statistics are just for the average cat—no wonder how an average tiger can jump over 18 feet. The taller the cat, the higher it can jump. If you want your own cat to jump long distances, look for a more towering cat. 

To put it into perspective, the human record for the world’s highest jump was set at 8.5 feet in 1993 by Javier Sotomayor. But this jump just about clears the average cat’s highest jump. Human’s high jump Olympic World record just about equals an average cat’s jump, yes, that is true!

Why do cats jump and climb?

Cats are naturally hunting creatures, as you would know, by seeing cats like a leopard, lion, tigers, etc. They enjoy glancing at the ground from an excellent height to spot suitable prey that might be tasty to eat. Jumping from a height also helps them protect themselves from the attack of land-dwelling predators. 

While wild cats needed to jump from lang trees and branches as well as cliffs to run away from predators apart from attacking prey, domestic cats still retain some fraction of the inherent capability. Although domestic cats don’t need to jump and climb much, they still like to climb over and leap from tall buildings for food. 

Why are cats so good at jumping?

Cat’s physical built and their jumping technique is the driving force behind their astoundingly high jumps. According to a study on cat jumping by the Journal of Experimental Biology, the muscle mass of a cat’s back leg and the length of their legs are the major factors behind their superior jumping. Cats apply an intelligent jumping technique by crouching deep, lifting their legs and an astronomic springboard extension from their back legs.

Height from which cats can cats fall and survive

While the muscle mass supports the cat’s athleticism, proper landing is equally essential. The cat wouldn’t have survived jumping from the 2nd floor if the landing wasn’t appropriate. Cats have a righting reflex that lets them land on their feet even when they fall from very tall heights. You might be surprised to know that a higher fall equals a higher rate of survival and fewer chances of injuries for cats.

How high can Cats jump

Cats falling from a height between five to nine feet are most likely to get injured while those falling from a greater height just roll up and run away. You can attribute this survival rate to physics. When the cat falls down from a certain height, little air resistance or any other force is opposing the gravitational force. If the height from which they are falling is long, they would feel weightless for some time.

Cats use this time to plan their landing. It twists and rotates its body accordingly so that she lands properly on her feet. The longer the height, the better the cat can plan on its landing and let its instincts take control. The landing is less abrupt until, of course, the height is extraordinarily tall.

Falling is never a good thing for cats. It’s still a pretty dangerous and risky activity, and poor posture while landing may result in a severe injury even from a small height. The falls we have discussed here have more to do with survival than safety. A high jump may injure your cat but only to a small extent in such cases.

Journal of the American Veterinary Association carried out a study on the domestic cat’s ability to survive a fall. They tested a total of 132 cats who had been brought to a vet after sustaining a severe fall from high ground. The injuries and survival mostly depended upon the cat’s age, health, and size. Since the average domestic cat is small in size, its terminal velocity while falling down is mostly around just 60kmph.

This means that although she would sustain injuries, there are high chances that the cat survived the fall. Some cats survived after falling from dangerously high locations like the tower or top of a block. While some cats surprisingly did survive falling from 20 stories, it’s important to note that they sustained severe injuries, and you should never try this with your pet.

What’s the world highest jump by a cat?

While Guinness book of world records features the longest jump ever by a cat measuring 213.36cm or 7 feet by USA’s Waffle Warrior Cat, it has no record for the highest jump ever. While we know cats can jump five to six times their height, the highest jump ever is a topic of dispute.

Some users on the internet say that they have seen their domestic cats jump as high as 10.5feet, but that’s all about speculations and unverified information. You would still expect around 10 feet jump by a tall cat while wild cats like cougars have jumped as tall as 18 feet. While tall cats can jump higher, it’s not imperative every time as they also have a greater weight.

Which are the highest jumping cats?

If we need to find the highest jumping cats, we need to look out of the domestic world and look into their bigger feline siblings. While lions and tigers make substantially long jumps, they don’t jump too high. Leopards can jump to an impressive length of 6m in a single bound. Lions can jump up to 7.5m in a single jump while tigers can reach a mighty impressive 9m mark in a single shot. But these numbers still fade in numbers compared to other feline species in terms of high jumping.

Which are the highest jumping cats

Cougars or mountain lions are the undisputed high jump champions among the feline species. Puma concolorous are known to reach magnificent heights in a single jump. They can touch extraordinary figures of up to 5.5m height in a single jump. The Puma even outnumbers Impala and the fabled klipspringer in terms of jumping height making them one of the highest jumping animals on this planet. It’s a good thing that your domestic cat won’t jump that high or you wouldn’t have been able to consign them inside the yard.

Puma can also attain tremendously high speeds of around 80kmph while running although those are only sporadic sprinting bursts. Puma’s powerful muscles in the hind legs are the key factor why they can jump so high.

Why do you need to know the cat’s jumping height?

Heavier weight can make it difficult to elevate and the cat needs to be lightweight, fit and agile. While it is an interesting fact to know a cat’s height of the jump, many users want to know this while fencing their yards. It’s essential to cat-proof your yards any other closed spaces through fencing. On the contrary, many users fence their yards to prevent their cats from jumping out of the yard.

While you would want your cat to roam around in fresh air, going out of the yard or garden can be risky. You need to protect your cats especially in areas where dogs and other such canines are around. Knowing the height of the cat’s jump will let you decide the height of the fence. Always keep the height at least two-three inches taller than the estimated height. This will give you more space and protection if your cat grows in height or acquires better jumping abilities over time.

Why do you need to know the cat's jumping height

Apart from fencing the yard, you also need to employ a few more protective measures. You should make the fence angled inwards at the top to deter her efforts of climbing. It would help if you get some hinged elements at the top of the fence that is going to bend inwards if your cat manages to grab it. You should also cover the enclosure with some strings, wires or protective mesh to make it completely cat-proof.

While this method might seem over protection, it’s essential for people living in the farm areas or who have a lot of animals in the neighborhood that can harm your cat. It’s important to ensure the safety of your cat even if it means being overprotective. Birds are surprisingly the most dangerous threat to cats as they can carry off kittens and young adults. Common birds like magpies, crows and gulls can be harmful to cats and have the potential to injure your kitty. Mesh or strings can go a long way in eliminating this threat.

How can cats jump so high?

House cats have changed little from their ancestors over time in terms of evolution. Speaking of wild cat’s ancestors, they spent most of their lives among trees in forests. These cats leaped out of trees, caught their prey and went back to protection among trees. Their powerful back legs helped them make long leaps and carry their prey back to the trees safely.

Flexible spine and strong back legs help cats jump with a great force to great heights. Cats have a large number of vertebrae as compared to 33 in humans which explains the flexibility of their spines. Cats are undoubtedly more agile and flexible than any other animals.

To ensure that your cat retains and enhances its ability to jump high, you should give her generously sized equipment that helps her utilize and grow her muscles. Leaving your cat in multi-tiered habitats and long cat trees would make her more agile and strong. 

Why are cats so much better at jumping than dogs?

The major reason why dogs can’t jump as high as cats is because of their body shape and size. Cats are quite sleek, mysterious and lightweight and. They naturally like to slip into tiny spaces and have very flexible and agile bodies. Dogs, on the other hand, are warm, silly and stiff. They live their hearts on their sleeves and have a very loving background.

While their ancestors are known to be fierce predators, wolves usually hunt in packs. They have the power game and endurance but don’t attack their prey silently. They like to stalking, tire and overpower their prey with sheer grit and power. Although dogs have become much friendly since they still carry some of the wolves’ traits.

Cats come from a very different background where the tigers and lions follow their prey silently and pounce on it at the right time. They can chase away prey to long distances all alone and they had powerful back legs to supplement their attacking instincts. Due to their strong reflexes and agility, cats traditionally jumped much higher than dogs and they have retained the trait to this time. 

Additionally, dogs neither have the shape nor the flexibility to either jump to great heights or land back safely. Cats can rotate and twist their body in the air to land safely but the same can’t be said about dogs. While dogs won’t be able to jump to great heights or from high grounds, they have a high chance of injuring themselves trying to do that.

What if a human could jump as high as a cat?

Domestic cats can easily jump up to 4 to 5 feet high while standing still despite their small height. If you get that kind of power in your hind legs and you scale 6 feet already, how high would you able to jump? It won’t actually be in that ratio because other than the strength in their back legs, it’s the ability of cats to twist their body, you would achieve a much less ratio if you don’t get that flexibility. If everything transforms, you are better off looking at a human-sized cat-like Puma or Jaguar and you already know what extraordinary height they can achieve!


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