How High Can A Cat Jump?

Most parents have watched their cat pets jump rather effortlessly over tables and countertops. If you allow your cat outside, you know that your fence is not going to stop your cat from getting to the other side of the fence. This has led many cat parents to ask, how high can a cat jump?

You will not prevent your cat from going to your rooftop because of the height. The main reason is the hind legs of your cat. They have very strong muscles and the tail provides balance. A healthy average cat has the ability to jump over a height of 8 feet. This is around 6 times its own height when standing on its hind legs.

Agility of cats is uncommon to many cat parents. You find your cat on top of your wardrobe with no furniture adjacent to the wardrobe on either side. This may surprise any new cat owner but after some time, you get used to the fact that there is no distance a cat will not jump. 


Falling from heights

Similar to their ability to leap over eight feet, cats have a similar ability when falling. A study done on 132 healthy cats showed that they can fall and survive five stories. There was one cat that fell 9 stories and was ready to walk again within two days. In the study, 90% survived but most required medical attention.

This is made possible by the ability of a cat to relax during a fall and spread its weight; thereby, landing on its feet.

Risk of your cat injuring itself from a fall

As such, you need not worry about your cat landing on its head when it falls from your wardrobe or countertop. As long as you have the answer to the question, how high can a cat jump? You are assured that it will manage a fall that is greater than that height it jumps.

This is due to the flying squirrel tactic that allows them to have superior balance.

How high jumps assist you and your cat

Most people keep cats as pets. However, cats are good hunters. They can be very good at hunting for rats, mice, or lizards. With the ability to pounce, you will find that it will get rid of that spider, get rid of the lizard that has made its way to your house, and get rid of any other insects that move around the house.

For instance, if you have some rats in the ceiling, all you have to do is open the inlet and the cat will use its jumping power reach the ceiling and get rid of the rats up there.

The same applies to coastal areas where snakes normally make their way into the house. They are looking for cool surfaces to hide away from the humidity outside. In such cases, the pouncing power that cats possess will make for good hunters in case a snake enters your home through an open door or window.

Among other hunting skills that cats have before they use their jumping techniques include Chattering. This is their predator instinct. It only happens when the cat cannot manage to hunt its prey.  For instance, if a cat is indoors and views birds outside through the window, it will make this noise. You can choose to let it out or choose to play with the cat to divert its attention.

However, if you want the cat to use these hunting instincts, you can release it outside and allow it to try to catch a bird. Alternatively, you can allow it to the roof to hunt lizards that may be found in your gutter. Always use your fur ball’s jumping skills to your advantage, as you also will be providing an opportunity for exercise.

Injuries after a Jump

If you happen to see, your cat tries to get on a countertop or wardrobe but miss and fall take the following action. Massage its legs and see if there is any reaction. If you find that, your cat pet retracts a limb that may mean an injury. Therefore, you need to rush your cat to your vet to ensure it stays healthy.

Jumping exercises outdoor to keep your cat fit

Jumping is a major way to provide exercise to your cat outdoors. You do not want a cat that will be fat and lazy, lying on the couch all day. With toys such as flexible rods with extensions, your cat will enjoy jumping at the dangling feathers and wands while outdoors. You can also use hoops and other such toys. 

With these toys, your cat gets the exercise they need to keep in shape and utilize their extraordinary ability to jump. Exercise toys such as the exercise wheel are okay if you want your cat to stay well groomed and stay indoors. However, if you want a free-spirited cat pet, you need to consider those jumping capabilities that exceed jumping over onto your countertop or wardrobe. 

Your cat will remain bored if you let it stay indoors all the time. This is because they are born hunters with the instinct to do so. As such, ensure that you provide this experience and allow them to enjoy jumping hoops and trying to reach dangling pieces of string.

Cats get bored easily and if your cat gets bored, it will be unhappy. You need to ensure that it utilizes its full potential by going outdoors and leaping up various heights. This will not only keep him fit, it will also feed your pet cat’s curiosity about the outdoor world that they keep viewing out through the window.

but after some time, you get used to the fact that there is no distance a cat will not jump. 

Muscles that help the cat jump this high

You need to know the muscles that help a cat do this when answering the question, how high can a cat jump?

The hind muscles include

  • The Gastrocnemius that extends the lower leg
  • The Gluteal that extends the cat’s hip
  • The Sartorius that raises the knee
  • The Bicep femoris that flexes or bends the leg

Other muscles that enable elevation to such heights include

  • The oblique abdominals that hold in the cat’s internal organs
  • The Dorsal that twist and curl the torso
  • The Trapezius that draws the shoulder up

Using these muscles, your cat, regardless of its breed type, will simply make that leap and never miss the targeted height. Often, you have seen a cat chased by dogs and get away without a problem by going over a wall or climbing up a tree. The muscles that help the cat (male and female cats), climb up that wall or tree also include the following.

  • The digital extensors that extend the toes and claws to help it clutch onto the stem of a tree or the bricks on a wall.
  • The triceps help straighten the front legs before pouncing on a countertop, wall, or tree.
  • The Deltoid muscles push the shoulder forward before making that lip using the hind legs.

Essentially, as a member of the cat family, this should not come as a surprise as most of the cat family members are great at jumping to great heights. The tiger is the one that has the greatest leap among the cat family members.

Rebecca Welters

Yes, I am that weird cat lady with 200 cats and live in the darkest corner of the city where no one dares to go! Joking! But I am a cat lover and have 2 Ragdoll cats called Toby, he's 3 years old and Dory, she's 8 years old. I'm 36 years old and live in the quiet town of Washington.

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