Sitting and watching my cats play today, I couldn’t help but admire their agility. My Maine Coons tore around the house, darting and weaving through the legs of furniture; skirting around corners; sliding under tables and launching over any other obstacle in their path. Our house is nothing but a giant playground for these two, and nothing is more entertaining.
I thought little of their usual antics until Charlie Bear launched from floor to the top of our shower screen in one move. No ladder. No friendly leg-up from Miss Emerald. Just a clean leap. My jaw dropped and I believe that I uttered some words of disbelief. (I’ll leave you to guess at what they were).
So how is it that our furry friends can astound us with these amazing feats? Well, it’s all thanks to a their ability to harness phenomenal amounts of power using their kitty strength and flexibility.
Did you know that cats have an extremely flexible spine? Think of all of those times your cat has contorted themselves into strange positions during play or for petting. It’s making sense now, right? Additionally, they have exceptionally strong hind legs thanks to ancestral needs for climbing trees with heavy kills in mouth. Put these two talents together and you’ve got a recipe for success.
By crouching close to the ground and drawing their body into a small ball-like shape, they are storing energy that is then released when they stretch out and push off from the ground. Imagine condensing a motionless spring and then quickly releasing it. The spring would be launched, right? Well, this action allows cats to propel themselves further in their chosen direction than many other creatures can.
In fact, did you know that cats can jump up to seven times the length of their tail? Need a little perspective? Well, that’s a mouse leaping around 28”. Or a kangaroo leaping up to 23’ or more!
I’ve always known that our cats were awesome, but now I know that they’re truly amazing! Check out the cat jumping action in slo-mo in this video … amazing!
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