Cats are actually famous for their phenomenal survivability and adaptability to any life conditions and troubles. Cats are also famous for their numerous superpowers. In particular, they are reputed to be excellent jumpers. Both in length and in height. Surely you’ve heard in passing that cats survive the fall from a very great height, when it seems there is no chance of salvation. And the cat calmly gets up, shakes himself off and goes on his own cat business. How high can a cat jump straight up?
How high can a cat jump vertically?
A cat’s jumping ability depends on many factors: age, weight, health, and so on. Colleagues from The Hills Pet Blog assure that cats, if necessary, can easily jump to a height six times their own height. In other words, the average healthy cat will jump as high as 1.8 meters. Cats seem to take great pleasure in exercising. Even domestic cats like to climb somewhere high and quietly survey their surroundings. If necessary, they will stone down. Outdoor cats like to climb trees, fences, and other similar places. One glimpse of something interesting, and the hunt begins immediately, without any preamble. After all, our pets have not lost their predator instincts!
Colleagues from The Journal of Experimental Biology took apart the cat’s jumps literally piece by piece. As it turns out, cats are excellent jumpers thanks to the muscle mass of their hind legs and the length of their front paws. Cats literally put all their strength into a jump. At first they sort of squat and then push off vigorously with their front paws. This is followed by a breakaway provided by the powerful and strong hind limbs.
The feline straightening reflex
The feline straightening reflex is what allows cats to survive falling from very high heights. According to Wired Magazine, the main paradox is the following: the higher the fall height, the greater the chance of survival. The practice is as follows: if a cat falls from the roof of a classic five-story building, it will most likely survive, but will be injured. But falling, for example, from the twelfth floor gives more chances. No magic, just pure physics. Falling down, the cat feels weightless for a moment. Those seconds are enough for the cat’s natural survival instincts to kick in, regroup and assume the only correct landing position. Now you know how high a cat can jump up.
Why are cats so jumpy?
The fact is that our pets have not moved that far from their wild ancestors over thousands of years of evolution. Wild cats still live in impenetrable jungles and forests, spending most of their time in trees. Just imagine having to jump quickly and safely out of a tall tree, get their food and come back with their prey. And so on in a daily routine. Take a closer look at the cat’s incredibly powerful hind legs, the main source of outstanding leaping ability. They allow you to fly up from almost any surface and do it fast and with very big force. The flexible spines of cats are much superior to human spines. For example, the feline spine consists of a total of 53 vertebrae, including the tail section (for comparison, a human “only” has 33 vertebrae). That is an order of magnitude more than any other animal. That’s why any domestic cat can jump really high.
How to keep a cat from jumping
- Remove food from the kitchen table. Cats have a much keener sense of smell than humans, so if they smell something tasty they will jump on the table to steal a piece. A stolen piece can be dangerous for the cat. If you keep the kitchen table clean by cleaning up food and crumbs, your pet will lose the urge to jump on it. If your pet shows a heightened interest in what you’re cooking for dinner and is constantly hanging around the table, simply close it in another room until you’re done cooking.
- Close the curtains. Cats love to jump on window sills and admire the view out the window. If you don’t want your pet to jump on the windowsill, just turn off the cat TV – close the curtains. But leave at least one window for the cat, because cats love to look at life around them.
- Find a replacement. A cat play set will provide your cat with the opportunity to jump, exercise and satisfy his curiosity. Rekindle the cat’s interest by changing the toys and boxes it hides in and tossing crumpled pieces of paper that it will chase. Be creative! Tower houses are also great for practicing jumping and climbing. It is important not to deprive the cat of the ability to jump. The ability to jump is built into the cat’s DNA and is inherited from ancestors who had to climb trees to flee from predators and track their prey before jumping. By setting up a special place for jumping exercises, you can wean your pet off other places where its presence is undesirable.
- Clear the shelves. Cats are naturally curious. A pen, a bunch of keys, fragile knickknacks can attract the animal’s attention and make it jump up to examine the toy. If you keep the shelves tidy, you will lessen the cat’s interest in places where it does not have to be. In addition, this way you can save your belongings, because pets are known for their habit of pushing objects from a height, but they do not have the habit of taking a broom and dustpan to clean the floor.
- Use double-sided tape. Cats hate it when duct tape gets stuck to their paws, and this simple method will help teach them not to jump where they shouldn’t. If you use this trick often, stick double-sided duct tape on the stand so you can move it around easily.