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Cat and dog lovers love comparing the abilities of their animal companions as much as they love comparing their temperaments. But when it comes to jumping ability, Cats seem to be a clear winner. After all, cats jump regularly. They seem unable to resist the urge to put their jumping and leaping skills to the test. So, can cats jump higher than dogs?
An average cat can jump higher than dogs. Cats can jump about 6 times their body length and an average jump distance of 7 to 9 feet. Most dogs can jump up to about 6 feet. Small dogs, in particular, have more limited jumping, and even large breeds with good overall jumping skills can’t quite keep up with cats.
Of course, the distance or height of a jump isn’t the only way to measure it, and there are many reasons why cats are the best jumpers. In addition to a distance, cats tend to be able to jump more accurately and can land safely on more difficult surfaces. They only need a small space to land and the curves of a tree branch are no problem.
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Why cats are better jumpers than dogs
This is thanks to their anatomy. Cats of all sizes are predators that like to jump and pounce when they kill, and they have evolved a highly specialized body plan to facilitate this.
On the other hand, dogs are designed for a wide variety of different tasks and don’t need to be nearly like jumping cats. Since wolves, the ancestor of dogs, are group hunters, they can use very different tactics.
It’s all in the legs
One of the biggest differences between cats and dogs is that cats have a much wider range of motion in their legs. They also have a finer sense of balance, even using their tails to stay steady on their feet.
Think about it. Your cat can curl its paws under it and release a lot of the coiled tension in its paws and back very quickly. Their entire bodies are designed to provide plenty of jumping power.
Dogs have a more limited range of motion. And while their balance is exceptional, it’s not as good as most cats.
Since dogs are more capable of running on the ground and many breeds are designed for tasks such as herding sheep and hunting, they are much further removed from their ancestors who actively hunted prey.
Leaping Feline Evolution
There’s another reason dogs don’t tend to have the jumping power of cats. They descend from pack hunters, so they didn’t need to be able to immediately stun and kill prey. Dogs and their wolf ancestors could count on reinforcements to help them land their prey.
Cats, on the other hand, are mostly solitary hunters. Lions are by far the exception, not the rule. Domestic cats are all descended from desert cats, which were solitary hunters and had to have the physical abilities and fine reflexes to bring down their prey on their own.
There are a few things as effective as a jump tackle, a jump ambush, or hauling out prey from hiding in a tree. The jump gave the cats a serious advantage, so the trait persists today.
Should you let your cats pounce?
Many pet owners worry that letting cats jump too often is bad for them. If you’ve ever seen a kitten take its first shaky jumps (and the first dozen, and the first hundred, frankly), you’ll probably understand where that worry comes from.
It’s easy for cats to miscalculate, jump on a space that isn’t big enough, or decide that your grandma’s vase doesn’t need to be on that particular shelf.
However, your feline friends need to spend some time jumping, just as it is important for them to spend time sleeping, stretching, eating and running.
It is a stimulating exercise
Domestic cats don’t get as much exercise as their wild counterparts. But they are still designed to be predatory and to be relatively active for short periods of time. A cat that doesn’t get enough exercise is likely to be bored, moody, and even downright angry.
Jumping uses a lot of muscles and your cat also needs to think a little before jumping. The little wiggling motion most cats make before they jump is a way to check a ton of information to make sure it’s safe to jump.
While you are amazed by your cat’s cute behavior, your cat checks that his muscles are ready to jump, that the surface below is stable enough for the jump, and lines up to make sure he lands where he is. to want.
All of this work is very satisfying for your cat, even if it doesn’t do the kind of gravity-defying leaps it would in the wild.
It helps them stay slim
Cats carrying too much weight are a common problem. Domestic cats generally have access to much more food than their wild counterparts and have to work much less to obtain it. Letting your cat jump and play, especially when she starts putting on a few extra pounds, can help her stay leaner.
Although an overweight cat probably won’t run and jump as much, using a toy that helps him jump and run while he’s playing can help him lose weight.
How to Help Your Cat Jump Safely
While it’s essential to give your cat the ability to jump, sometimes it can be difficult to convince them to jump where you want them to. If your cat seems to find itself perched among your decorations and books, here are some things you can do to help it find the right spots.
Buy cat furniture
The first and often the easiest way to get a cat to jump where you want it is to buy a cat tree or two. Ideally, for active jumpers, you should purchase a relatively large cat tree with many different levels and platforms.
Bridges between different towers, lots of perches and even small cat hammocks are a fantastic way to convince your cat to jump on them their furniture, and less on yours.
Catnip, relaxing cat pheromones, or your cat’s favorite toy can be used to convince her to climb the cat tree for the first time.
You should also look for something that gives your cat places to hide and warm up and get some sleep. Both of these traits will appeal to your cat’s hunting and survival instincts, making it even more likely that they’ll spend their time on the cat tree and their jumping abilities climbing it.
Make trouble spots inaccessible
Even if your cat can reach a space (and it can), that doesn’t necessarily mean it will make the effort. If there are any particular shelves or areas that you would prefer your cat not to jump on, try to make them more difficult to access than other acceptable perches.
Making a place inaccessible usually means moving it higher, moving it away from other furniture, or cluttering it with heavy objects near the edges.
For example, shelves can be made more inaccessible by moving them away from sofas and other furniture and buying shelves that are all the same height.
Decorative shelves on your walls can also be moved higher, but you might want to invest in some extra small decorations, or even make yourself a fence out of popsicle sticks, to convince your cat there isn’t enough. space on the shelf for him.
Provide them with safe perches
If your cat always seems to be in trouble in a particular area and no amount of yelling, spraying, or distractions seem to keep him away, it’s time to think about what might be motivating him.
Are there any plants on that shelf that your cat likes to chew on? Are they able to watch you while you work on your computer from that particular perch?
Cats are willful creatures, and sometimes the best option is to find a replacement perch that works for both of you. For example, if your cat jumps on the top shelf of your desk, consider putting a cat bed or a tree nearby. Chances are your cat spends time on your desk not because he wants to be there, but because being there brings him closer to you.
If your cat seems to have a specific motivation for its jumping habits, try replicating that motivation elsewhere, and you’ll likely find it much easier to train.
Plants, specific toys or a way to feel close to their owners can all be provided. But one thing is true; you shouldn’t try to stop your cat from jumping. Owning a cat is often a matter of trade-offs, but with these tips hopefully you can find a jumping jack that works for you. and your feline companions.