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How High Can Cats Jump and Fall Safely?

cat jump

How high can cats jump?

This is a question often asked by cat lovers. Watching cats jump in the air is quite inspiring, especially when you consider how much the little ones are in comparison to the authorization they get when they jump! Cats are biologically constructed to be fairly competent in this area. House cats jump much higher than dogs, and can descend incredible distances, even compared to humans. Especially when you take into account their tiny statues! The ability of a cat to jump up in the air and get such huge clearance is certainly something that I have found myself envying our feline friends for in the past! But how high can cats jump?

How High Can Cats Jump? 

Cats can jump as high as five or six times their own body length. Take the statistics on the average house cat from Wikipedia: Cats are on average 23-25 ​​cm (9-10 in) tall and 46 cm (18 in) head/body length (males are larger than females), with tails of medium length 30 cm (12 in.).

This means that the average cat will be 46 cm / 18 inches in body length, and therefore: The average cat can jump from about 2.3m (7.5 ‘) to a whopping 2.76m (9`) !! It’s a lot of clearance! And it’s just for the average cat! The bigger the cat, the more the cat can jump normally, so it depends on the cat breed and thus get a cat long enough in the race and you are on your way to a cat easily clearing up on 10 or 11 feet!

Put that in perspective … How bad is this really? The world record for the men’s high jump was established in 1993. At the time, Javier Sotomayor of Spain set the record – 2.45m / 8 `.5″! It is incredibly high! however, it is just barely higher than your average house cat can jump – let alone relatively large house cats.

So if you thought cats could jump high enough compared to the average human, you’re not only right, but you might be surprised to learn that your average domestic cat can jump really high compared to the average high jump Men’s Olympic Athlete! Crazy level of skill and absolutely incredible biology, if you ask me! 

How High Can a Cat Fall Safely?

“A cat always falls on its feet”: this is what the formula says. But all cat owners once had a fright when they saw their cat jump from the top of the wardrobe, from a tree, from the window, etc.. But how high can a cat fall safely?

Minimum Height

To understand this, you have to differentiate between a jump and a fall . When these little cats plan their jumps, they are generally successful…. Usually !

But in the event of a fall, it is the cat’s instinct that makes it turn around and land properly. However, it needs a reaction time. Studies on the righting reflex show that it needs at least 1.50 m in height to position itself correctly and land on its cat paws safely most of the time. So your pet is more likely to be injured by falling from the dresser or table than from a first-floor window sill. Of course, we are talking about a free and unimpeded fall.

What About the Maximum Height Then?

The study suggests that there is not really a maximum height , and the records are quite impressive. Indeed, to date, a cat holds the record for the highest fall after having rolled down 32 floors and escaped alive (mainly with trauma to the chest and snout). In New York in 2009, a little cat fell from the 26th floor , and got out with a broken tooth. Fortunately, he received medical treatment at a veterinary clinic. The distance covered during the fall was impressive!

So There Really is no Limit to a Cat Fall?

Of course it is, and unfortunately for that matter. In 1988, a study identified and studied 132 cases of falls. These had taken place in 5 months, and the average age of the specimens was between 2 and 3 years. We are therefore talking about adult cats . In this study, the scientists measured the degree of trauma of the cat and the nature of these according to the height of the fall. So :

  • Trauma soars from two to seven stages of fall, reaching a peak between five and seven.
  • From seven floors, on average, the cat’s injuries are less serious, and will mainly concern two areas: the cat’s mouth and its chest.

Here’s how scientists interpret it: as long as they don’t reach a certain rate of fall , the tomcats do everything they can to land on their feet . However, it would take about seven floors for a cat to reach its maximum fall speed. Beyond that, it no longer accelerates.

Once this speed is reached because of the height of the fall, the cat no longer tries to land on its feet. On the contrary, he will tend to push them aside, a bit like what a skydiver in free fall does. This change of position thus spares the cat’s legs, and explains the concentration of injuries at the ribs and muzzle . This landing method saves his life, even if it results in injuries that can be very serious. Veterinary care is therefore essential for an observation of the cat’s health. So do well to take your cat for constant checkup so it can have a clean bill of health and enjoiy life while making you happy.

So what the study and scientists are sayings is that if your pet falls from a great height, know that it has a good chance of surviving. Their feline fearlessness will always surprise us!

If you have ever asked the question how high can cats jump? You must by now be surely impressed with a cat’s jumping ability and also its landing ability.