Cats Walking: The Stealthy World of Direct Registering

A cat walking during autumn
Just keep walking.

A lot of things cats do seems to have a deliberate action, although most of these seem lost on human owners.

A cat’s walking pattern is one such behaviour. Even this activity is subtly all about covering its tracks and remaining shifty. Time to read all about it.

Cats and Direct Registering

Although cats are adorable and whatnot, they have mysterious ways that often baffle us human beings.

Such as why they refuse to scratch the scratching post you buy them, instead preferring to shred your sofa.

But when not sleeping, cats also jump. But when not doing that, they’re also busy walking. And they do this in a very precise way.

Whereas most of us humans stumble about the place, cats do this thing called “direct registering”. This is how it works:

  • They place a hind paw in the print of the corresponding forepaw.
  • This minimises the noise they make.
  • It also limits the visibility of their tracks.
  • They also keep steady when walking across difficult terrain.

The impression of this is the cat leaves single file paw prints. It also ensures they’re as quiet as possible, not landing a rear paw noisily on a branch of some such.

So, it’s a very calculated walk. One developed over millions of years through evolution, one primarily designed to hunt prey (and fend off predators).

The cat is basically on a permanent stealth mission.

Although, these days, most cats don’t really have to do that. They’ll just pester you for king prawns, or some such.

Or they go and raid a catwalk and ruin a fashion show shindig. For shame!

Cats on the Catwalk

The next time your furry feline monstrosity is ambling about, take a look at the way it’s padding around.

Lots of people got to enjoy that in late 2018, when a cat invaded a fashion shoot.

This clip highlights several things we like about cats:

  • They really don’t give a crap about any human social structures and human behaviour.
  • They’ll kind of do what they feel like, when they feel like it.
  • They have a cool way of walking.

There we go! Short post on this, but we thought it was a neat insight into the world of everyone’s favorite pets (unless you’re more of a dog person).

What do you think? Got a cat? Noticed your cat walking the walk before? Let us know in the bloody comments!


  1. There is a cat at my back door right now which has arrived by this very stealthy means. However, the yelling for food that has followed is not subtle. The funny thing is it’s not my cat, it’s the neighbours, but I imagine the cat is thinking ‘my servants have not brought me food, I shall find more minions across the fence’.

    Liked by 1 person

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