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How High Can a House Cat Jump? (Highest & Average Jumps)

Some cats are impressive athletes, while others prefer a leisurely nap that takes up most of the day. But most cats have impressive jumping abilities, whether they choose to use them or not!

But how high can cats actually jump? Let’s find out! Whether you’re interested in how high your average domestic kitty can jump or the highest jump ever recorded, we’ve done the research for you.

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How high can the average house cat jump?

As a rule of thumb, it’s thought that a cat can jump five to six times their body length, excluding their tail. With the average house cat having a body length of 188 inches, this means in theory, our cats should be able to jump 2.3-2.76 meters!

cat jump from the fence
Image Credit: Pixabay

Bear in mind that larger cats may be able to jump higher than this, and smaller cats might not be able to jump quite so high.

Equally, athletic and muscular cats will be able to jump higher than a sedentary and overweight cat of the same size.

Compare this average height to the world record for men’s high jump, which was set by Javier Sotomayer of Cuba in 1993. His record stands at 8 feet and a ¼ of an inch (2.45 meters). Now our cat’s jumping ability seems even more impressive, given that even at their tiny size, some cats can beat this!

Is there a cat jumping world record?

There’s not actually an official world record for the highest cat jump, and we’re sensing a gap in the market here!

But there is a Guinness World Record for the longest cat jump, which is currently set at an incredible 7 feet (213.36 meters). The proud holder of this accolade is one Waffle the Warrior Cat from Big Sur, California.

Why can cats jump so high?

two cats jump
Image Credit: Pixabay

The reason that cats can jump so high is all down to evolutionary biology.

Cats have a low body weight and extremely powerful back legs. Researchers found that it’s the combination of the strong muscles in a cat’s back legs and the relatively long length of those legs that make them such efficient jumpers.

As a cat prepares to jump, they tuck their back legs under their bodies, which allows them to create a sort of spring to power their jump. As they land, they actually use their back legs again to grip onto the surface and pull themselves up that last little bit.

Cats have been honing these jumping skills for thousands of years, so while your domestic cat might not need to catch their dinner anymore, they can still jump as high as if they did!

You can indulge your cat’s love of jumping by adding vertical interest to your house. Think cat trees, tall scratching posts, and shelves of various heights that your cat can jump between. If you have an outdoor catio, you can even place tree trunks in there for your cat to climb and jump on.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay