How High Can A Cat Jump? Feisty Feline Abilities Explained For Kids

Gurpuneet Kaur
Jan 17, 2023 By Gurpuneet Kaur
Originally Published on Oct 24, 2021
Edited by Lara Simpson
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Young cat jumping over a meadow

Jump in straight to the article to know more about the abilities of our feline friends.

Cats are the oldest-known pets, and if you have ever petted a cat or a kitten, it is sure to have amazed you with its ability to jump and leap on and off the objects in the house. There is nothing a cat can't find its way onto, be it a shelf or a 6-8 ft (1.8-2.4 m) fence.

Cats and dogs are the most common yet popular pets. Since a pet is often our companion, we get to observe it closely.

Still, due to several differences, we can't communicate with it, and all we can do is make wild yet educated guesses to know what its habits or behavior convey.

You may find your cat making several movements with its tail, often that might not be very clear, but a cat tries to communicate using sign language by moving its tail. Likewise, a house cat and even a wild cat have several habits that can make you wonder how and why the cat does that?

Terrestrial animals worldwide are often found walking and running. Species like kangaroos either hop or jump to travel through the land. Similarly, cats are pretty active terrestrial creatures that are capable of jumping. Are you wondering how high can cats jump? Read further to know more about a cat's ability to climb and jump!

If you enjoy this article, why not also read about Why do cats thump their tails when lying down? and How high can a kangaroo jump? here on Kidadl?

How high can domestic cats jump?

Often, nothing is off-limit for a cat! Since cats can jump and watching them leap in the air is a fascinating sight to behold.

Cats are biologically able to jump and are pretty skilled at it, too. If your cat is healthy, it can leap as high as 8 ft (2.4 m) that is often five to six times the body length of a cat. Thus, a larger cat can jump higher than a small cat, leaping over an incredible height.

Likewise, a kitten will not be able to jump as high as an average cat. The house cat can jump higher than average dogs and humans, covering great distances.

You might not know, but cats are incredible yet impressive athletes. Although all cats can jump, it is up to the species of a cat if it chooses to utilize its remarkable jumping abilities.

While the average height of a man ranges up from 5.7 ft (68 in), Javier Sotomayer, at the height of 6 ft (77 in), created a world record in 1993 by covering a distance of 8 ft (2.5 m) by jumping.

Compared to the human world record of high jump, a domestic cat with an average body length of 18 in (46 cm) can jump about 5 ft (1.5 m) high, given the cat is healthy. Isn't a cat's ability to jump more impressive than Javier Sotomayer, given their differences in height?

The average cat can climb and leap over shelves, stair gates, garden fences, and many tall structures.

If you own a cat, do not keep valuables within their range as they may knock out fragile objects off the shelves or other heights. Also, temptations such as tasty food can instigate a cat to jump up high and leap over anything to satisfy its hunger.

A piece of advice: you, as a cat owner, can invest in a cat tree as the tree allows your cat to leap or jump freely without incurring any of your losses.

How high can wild cats jump?

Cats are carnivores that feed upon the meat of various small creatures. Imagine a cat sighting a bird flying low; what would it do?

A wild cat can jump up and catch it. Likewise, a native cat from Saharan Africa is recorded to jump up to the height of 15 ft (4.5 m) and can also catch birds in flight.

Wild cats also climb trees using their front claws for grip and rear claws for traction while they climb. Cats also build their muscles by climbing up trees and jumping from place to place.

Did you know that cougars, lions, tigers, and pumas are included in the cat family? A cougar is an agile, powerful mountain cat with strong back legs.

It is an incredible sprinter and one of the highest jumping animals. The cougar can jump as high as 18 ft (5.5 m). Perhaps not surprisingly, a cougar also spends a lot of its time stretching its legs like a marathon runner.

Two Maine Coon kittens playing and jumping in living room in front of sofa

Can a cat jump straight up?

You may not know, but cats are great athletic creatures with strong muscles and powerful hind legs. An average cat can jump up to significant heights by jumping about 5-6 ft (1.5-1.8 m) high.

While small cats cover small distances and reach lower heights, larger cats climb and leap up to great heights. The cat's ability to leap on the top of several vertical heights with no inclination can easily impress and amaze you while you watch!

A cat uses its claws to grip while climbing up on vertical heights. It also has powerful back legs to climb up small and high steep tops. Although all cats can jump, that doesn't mean they will always land on their feet.

Sometimes they will struggle to balance themselves after a jump. The tail of the cat helps maintain balance when it lands down on its feet. Thus, some cats are afraid to jump as they are insecure about securely landing on their feet.

How high can a cat jump down?

Cats often do not jump down as they do not always land on their feet. Likewise, jumping down and landing on their joints can be rough for older cats as they are not as strong as when they were young.

Therefore older cats or cats with medical conditions will not be able to jump down at all, unlike healthy cats. You should not force your cat to jump, but you should not stop them from jumping or climbing either.

If you ever find a cat stuck on top of any tall vertical height, help the cat climb down rather than making it land on its feet after jumping down. A fall or jump from a high place can injure the cat's feet and joints.

Can a cat survive a fall from any height?

Falling from a magnificent height might lead to death, while smaller heights do not significantly affect the cat's health.

If a cat falls from an apartment or a tree, it may die or may require serious medical attention, whereas, if it falls off a table, closet, or a lower height, a cat wouldn't be affected unless it is old or medically weak.

Can a cat jump higher than a human?

The world's highest jumper among humans was recorded to jump as high as 8 ft (2.5 m). A cat is also known to jump up to 8 ft (2.4 m) high, and at maximum, a cat can jump about six times higher than its body length.

Since a cat is relatively smaller than a human being, a human being, if made to leap six times higher than their height, will have to jump as high as around 29-35 ft (8.9-10.6 m), which is impossible.

Although if we calculate and compare the heights covered by a cat and a human being, a human being may jump higher. A cat's ability to jump cannot even be compared with that of a person if we consider the size and height of the jump.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for How high can a cat jump? then why not take a look at How fast can a wolf run? or marbled cat facts?

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Written by Gurpuneet Kaur

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gurpuneet Kaur picture

Gurpuneet KaurBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

As a skilled content writer, Gurpuneet has written and managed engaging content for multiple websites and companies. Driven by a passion for helping young people achieve their full potential, she brings a unique perspective to her work. She is currently pursuing a degree in Economics from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College Of Commerce. With extensive experience as a tutor, Gurpuneet has made a significant impact by providing guidance and academic support to students. Her dedication extends beyond tutoring as she has volunteered with Action India, where she offered medical assistance and educational aid to underprivileged communities. Additionally, Gurpuneet has contributed to the creation of student study guides for various educational agencies.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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