Your Cat is a World-Class Athlete. Really.
Cats Can Run Faster And Jump Higher Than Any Human
When you see your cat amble across the living room and settle into her third nap of the day, it may be hard to believe that she’s actually a super athlete who can run faster and jump higher than any human, should it be required of her.
And those moments when she does zip through the house, leap across furniture and spring from countertop to top of the bookshelf in just seconds? That’s a mere glimpse of the total athletic prowess she could exude if she had to. In fact, without as much as a stretch or practice lap, your cat could out-sprint the world’s fastest human runner.
At their very best, the world’s most talented, well-trained athletes can run at a speed of 27 mph. Your average healthy housecat, however—with zero training, conditioning or carb loading—can bolt at an amazing speed of about 30 mph.
So how do our four-legged friends so quickly leave us in the dust? It’s anatomy! Although four-legged animals rely on the same materials to run as humans do—bones, muscles, and tendons—what makes the difference in speed is not how many legs we have or how fast we can move our legs, but how much muscle force the legs can exert on the ground. And cats have very muscular legs. Plus they also have very flexible spines that arch and straighten as they run, giving them an enormous stride.
Their muscular legs also give cats an amazing ability to jump vertically. Your average housecat can achieve a vertical jump to a height of five feet or more—without running—which may be as much as seven times the cat’s height!