The Amazing Agility of Cats

03 May, 2020
This quality among felines has to do with their bone structure and their muscles, which are developed in an incredible way. Today, we'll look at the amazing agility of cats.

Why are cats so agile?

Cats are capable of climbing, running, jumping, and hiding in the most amazing ways. But what’s the explanation behind the agility of cats? Well, cats have the gift of great flexibility as well as a physical and muscular structure that gives them this gift. The structure of their skeletons plays a very important role in their capabilities.

Would you like to discover more about why cats are able to twist and turn the way they do? Well, we’ll tell you all about the formation of their bone structure.

A cat's skeleton.

The skeleton and muscles of cats

The discs between the vertebrae are thicker in cats. This means that the connections between one disc and another are less rigid than in human beings and in most other animals. Therefore, this lack of rigidity allows felines to move with greater flexibility.

Cats have that habit of walking on their tiptoes. With the passing of time, this has allowed the bones of their feet and their legs to become longer. This allows them to take longer steps. At the same time, by supporting themselves only on their tiptoes, they have a greater impulse to jump and to push off when running and scurrying as well.

What’s more, feline muscles function like springs, possessing greater flexibility than those of other animals. They’re similar to a bungee cord, having the ability to stretch and contract. And this allows cats to jump long distances, several times their height.

For example, when a cat wants to jump, the muscles in their rear extremities–which consist of diverse fibers–contract in an incredible way. When they relax, they behave like a catapult, giving the animal an amazing impulse.

A kitten pouncing.

How far does the agility of cats go?

Thanks to the agility of cats, these animals are able to perform many movements that are unheard of in humans and other animals. These include:

  • Climbing. Cats are among the few pets that have the ability to climb a wall, a tree, or anything else in their path. It’s not rare to find them on top of a shower curtain, for example.
  • Jumping and running. Given that their muscles behave like strings, cats can reach amazing speeds. And walking on their tiptoes, as we said earlier, gives them a tremendous thrust when they jump. In fact, they can reach up to five times their height in a single leap.
  • Stretching. If you’ve ever observed a cat while it’s stretching, you’ll have notices how long it can make its body. This demonstrates the broad flexibility cats have, thanks to their spring-like muscles and the forms of their bones.
  • Falling on their feet. This is perhaps the most famous characteristic of cats, after their curiosity. We know that what regulates balance is the inner part of the ear. And for cats, this part is very developed, allowing them to even maintain balance while in the air. A cat’s spinal column also plays an important role here. It’s capable of becoming level with the neck, creating a sort of parachute effect that slows that cat down as it reaches the ground. Amazing!

So, what do you think now about the agility of cats? These animals are truly mysterious and they’ll never cease to amaze us.