How High Can Cats Jump?

November 1, 2023
David Sunnyside

Cats love to survey their environment from a higher vantage point. They’re often seen balancing on top of furniture or cat trees, perching in a window, or even hanging from the ceiling. While there are plenty of stories of cats who have survived outrageous falls, they can also fall and break a bone just like any other animal. How high can cats jump, and how do they keep from falling?

The answer to how high can cats jump depends on many factors, including the size of your pet and their state of health. A kitten will have a harder time jumping as their bones, muscles, and joints are still developing. This is why it’s important to let young felines play safely and provide them with enough exercise so that they can develop into healthy adult cats.

In the wild, mountain lions and cougars have been known to jump up to 18 feet in one leap! Domesticated cats are descended from these species, so it makes sense that they are expert jumpers as well.

During a jump, a cat’s body uses over 500 muscles to push itself off the ground. Their hind legs are angled in to allow them to crouch down before pushing up into the air, acting like a coiled spring. Their front legs also stretch out, providing stability on landing. They also have powerful claws that can grip surfaces and absorb the shock from impact. This is why it’s so important to measure your cat if you need to place them in a carrier or give them a spot on the furniture (like a cat tree throne). You’ll also want to know how high they can jump so that you can make sure they’re not trying to scale an unsafe ledge or climb out of their enclosure!

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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