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How can cats jump so high?


Cats fascinate with their incredible abilities; for example, the room tigers can jump amazingly high. With a stone's throw you can reach places that are two to three meters in height. This is about five to six times the body size of an average domestic cat. How do our velvet paws do that? "Hahaaa! Take that, you mouse!" - The jumping power of the cats helps them when hunting - Shutterstock / Rita Kochmarjova

Cats are born athletes: they jump in relation to their height as high as no human pole vaulter could ever do. They are usually so clever that they land unerringly even on the smallest area. Not only do our small domestic cats have this unbelievable jumping power and certainty of aim, but also their wild relatives and big cats - after all, they need these skills for hunting. But it is also important to be able to jump as well in order to get to safety quickly on a tree.

Strong hind legs help cats jump up

If you look at the anatomy of the cat's skeleton, you will notice that the hind legs are not as straight as in humans, but are bent. In addition, the hind legs are longer than the front legs and the muscles are directly connected to the pelvis. When cats "fold" their hind legs, they stretch the muscles on the knees and ankles like the rubber band on a catapult. If you clamp a stone into a catapult and let go of the rubber band, it is thrown forward with enormous force and speed. Following the same principle, cats are thrown up or forward with great force as soon as they jump off.

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Movable joints and a fine sense of balance for a short hop

The reason why cats can not only jump high, but also unerringly is because of their mobility and their sense of balance. The cat skeleton is made up of about 240 bones (for comparison: the human skeleton consists of 208 to 212 bones), but they are not as firmly anchored as in humans. This allows them incredible flexibility, with which they can correct their posture while jumping or in free fall so that they land as precisely as possible. Their tail helps them steer the direction, much like the rear rudder on a boat. Her remaining senses and her coordination center in the cat's brain help her to keep her balance.

The cats' ability to jump is in their cradle, but they still have to train their strength as kittens and have to practice again and again throughout their lives so as not to lose them again. When kittens start to fight and fight with their siblings at three to four weeks, their first jumps look quite clumsy and clumsy. Before they can jump as well and as high as their adult counterparts, they have to learn a bit more. A stone's throw can also occasionally go wrong; For example, if cats misjudged a distance or the surface is too slippery. Before the jump, cats wiggle their buttocks to distribute their weight, find their balance and aim. If you have underestimated how little hold you have on your starting area, it can often turn out as in the video:

After all, not every cat can jump as cool, elegant and graceful as Bengal Cat Boomer in the following video: