Although cats spend huge amounts of their time lounging around doing nothing like lazy bastards, they’re also capable of incredible physical feats. Jumping is one such skill. It always amazes us to see an exceptional cat leap. So, we did some research and found out more about it. Behold!
The Cat Jump
Okay, there’s a bloke in Japan who began recording his house cat’s jumping skills. With some clever camera arrangements, the world was able to see the above chap giving it some proper welly, like.
And some of these jumps are enormous – 190cm is a six foot jump. And it looks bloody effortless. Whereas the likes of the Professional Moron staff struggle to jump a few centimetres into the air. Useless bloody humans.
Cats are inquisitive. But that would all be for nought if they didn’t have their dead good springy legs to launch themselves around. What’s going on here, then? Why can they jump six times their height?
It’s down to their back legs and overall flexibility. Ancient cats often spent much of their time in trees. As evolution took place, this led to cats possessing super strong back leg muscles and exceptional jumping precision. So it’s all pretty natural and bloody easy for them.
But if you watch a cat prior to its jump, it’ll perform a little shoulder shuffle of anticipation – almost as if it’s psyching itself up for launch day. Well, due to the force in which the cat launches itself off a surface, this little dance is actually a test of the ground it’s standing on.
Once reassured all is well, cat beast can enter launch mode. The cat will shuffle into the ground, tense its muscles, then perform a mighty (usually graceful) leap. The flexibility of a cat’s spine ensures it’s an elegant launch and it’s not uncommon to see a cat, say, hurling itself from the ground six foot up onto a precarious fence.
It’s a natural skill for them, but one they need to hone and perfect. So, if you’ve got some cats make sure they’ve got a load of stuff to launch themselves onto.
They don’t always get it right, though. Previously, in our Manchester cat cafe feature, we introduced Maru. This one really loves cardboard boxes. But you can also tell he’s not as athletically gifted as some of his peers – but that doesn’t stop him having a go.