How High Can Cats Actually Jump?
Here's what you need to know.
We know cats have nine lives but have you ever wondered just how high your cat can jump? Many factors go into the distance a cat can jump including age, weight, agility, and overall health. Plus, a smaller kitten might not be able to jump as high as an adult cat and some breeds of cats with shorter statures may not jump as high as other breeds.
Most cats are adept at jumping up on furniture, the kitchen counter, or even the refrigerator, if allowed in the home. In fact, the "springs" in some cat's back legs are impressive.
How high is high?
An adult cat can jump five or six times its height on average, which is about 4-5 feet. Of course, there are exceptions. For example, you may have caught your cat jumping what seems like a great abyss, say from couch to chair in your living room.
A study that evaluated cat's thigh muscles reportedly video recorded a cat jumping to touch a suspended cotton ball that was 7-8 times their height. And according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest horizontal jump by a cat was 7 feet and is held by Waffle, the Warrior Cat from the U.S.
Should they be jumping?
Your cat is designed to jump from those springy hind legs, powerful muscles, and the long, sinewy tail which helps them balance and land on their feet, so curtailing their jumping habit isn't a great idea. However, you can redirect your cat's jumping to more appropriate areas if you don't want her on the refrigerator or countertops, for instance.
Indoor cat trees and cat furniture are great climbing and jumping structures. They even have kitty condos where your cat can settle in for a nap after he's jumped there. Or try sprinkling catnip in approved jumping spots to attract your kitty to those areas. It might also be a good idea to try keeping food off the counters, so your cat isn't attracted to crumbs or leftovers.
If your cat tries to jump into out-of-the-way spaces or behind furniture, she may have a reason. For instance, she could be trying to get away from some danger like another cat or dog in the house or may even be hiding because she doesn't feel well or is in pain. Pay attention to any unusual new jumping patterns and always talk to your vet about any concerns.
Meanwhile, jumping is kind of encoded in your cat's DNA so having approved jumping areas may go a long way to keeping her happy.