Have you ever heard about the parrot cat? Yes, they exist.

Once upon a time, there was a man who had a cat. This cat sought for all the attention of its owner, to the point that when he didn’t, the cat transforms into a parrot that landed on the man’s shoulders. How ? By getting behind him and surprising him with a standing jump straight up on to his shoulder. Although the man was 5.75 feet (1.75 m) tall, the cat did a clean standing jump and only came down on the top. Sometimes, he even overpasses the shoulder to land in front of his owner. Amazing right?

Well, if you have a cat, you’ll probably already dealt with a full crazy cat moment. Jumping and running all over the house, turning it into a full mess. You cannot predict what’s going on inside your cat’s head. For them, nothing is off-limits: whether inside of boxes, underneath a bed, on top of your keyboard. It’s all fair game to a cat that wants to play, rest, hide, or is just plain curious. After all, their graceful, elegant and aloof character is no way far from their willing. To be at the top. You certainly have watched your cats jumping so high, reaching the trees and getting over the garden’s walls. How do they do that?

It is said that the cat’s ancestors probably hunted both; on the ground and in the trees. To survive, they needed not only claws but remarkable balance and aptitude that all cats retained to this day. So how high can they jump ?

How high can domestic cats jump ?

how hight can cats jump

First of all, let’s put in mind that, the taller the cat is, the higher that she can typically jump.

Let’s start straight in by examining the cats’ amazing leaping skills. Gifted with incredibly powerful back legs and lower body legs. According to National Geographic’s Science of Stupid, cats have the capability of jumping up to six times their own height with grace and in point accuracy. Then, what is it in the cat’s leap that leaves us for dust ?  Well, it’s all about evolution and the increase of the kinetic energy for the jump. When preparing to jump, cats adopt a crouch position; this allows her to exploit the full strength of her powerful back legs. When landing she pulls herself up with her back legs by gripping with her claws.

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So what is it that makes them capable of doing that ?

A research article in the Journal of Experimental Biology reported that it is the muscles of a cat’s back legs and the length of their limbs that makes them so good at jumping. But the leaping and also the landing of the cat depend highly on their joint health, the strength of their body and their muscles really matters. Small, old or unwell cats, of course, will not be able to jump that high. But for average-sized healthy cats, 2.4 meters is achievable. For beginner’s kitten, they will often jump around strengthening their muscles and upgrading their skills. The mature ones, on the other hand, usually start with a warming up jump to excel their leap. Still, you can find some people training their cats for those high jumps. Don’t be surprised, because you can catch some hilarious videos doing that.

What can cats jump over at home ?

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Don’t you ever take your cat for a human baby? Why ? Because hiding away stuff in high places is not an impossible mission. After all the higher it is, the possible it can be reached. Unbelievable ? Then, try hanging up your cat’s toys on the roof, with different height and see the magic happens. Your cat will be able to jump until 6.4 feet (1.95 m) and above. Don’t get jealous if you play basketball! 

The secret is in the combination of the anatomy and the physiology of the cat, without forgetting the technicalities that make him reach all those places. He crouches, hind legs flat on the ground, in the heel off he left up his front paws and stretch fully his legs, and use them to power himself up into the air. With those abilities, you can expect your cat to jump even over your refrigerator, on the top of your door searching for some pure air, or all over your garden’s walls taking a walk by himself maybe.

What are the World Highest Jumps by Cats ?

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According to the Guinness World Records, the longest jump by a cat is 213.36 cm (7 ft). It was achieved by a 10 years old cat, Waffle the Warrior Cat, in Big Sur, California, USA, on 30 January 2018.

The world’s record for cats’ highest jump was set in 1993. Back then, Javier Sotomayor of Spain set the record – 2.45 m / 8′.5″! That’s incredibly high, right ? Yet, it’s still just barely higher than your average house cat can jump – let alone the relatively tall domestic cats.

Why are cats so much better at Jumping than dogs ?

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It’s obvious!  When we say flexibility we say cats, and when we say endurance we say dogs. 

No one can deny that. Cats and dogs have different body shapes and abilities. Even if your dog could jump as high as your cat, dogs are more likely to land awkwardly. Cats are able to twist in the air to better ensure they land properly. They have different biomechanics and stronger fast-twitch muscle fibers, while dogs have slower twitch muscle fibers. Talking about legs especially, cats use their back legs to jump and the front ones to attack. Dogs use their legs for motion or balance. Also, the range of motion of the cat’s legs, the ability to tight them, to twist in the air while falling is significantly bigger than the dog’s.

If we dive in the wild and compare. Wolves rarely attack big prey directly; they attack in packs by trying to tire the victim down, and attack when it collapses from exhaustion. Wild cats on the other hand attack alone (except lions). They depend on sheer strength, coordination, reflex, flexibility, tail balance, and explosiveness. Observing a domestic cat, for example, he attacks directly, straight away, often jumping catching the prey, trying to knock down and strangle the victim using its strength.

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Cats are usually far stronger in relation to their mass especially cat’s legs. A young, healthy, average-sized cat can jump about six times their length. While a young, healthy, average-sized dog can jump about 1–3 times their length. Those results are different depending on the dog’s race, yet for cats, all the breeds are pretty similar. Dogs then have greater endurance but smaller strength and worse motor coordination. That’s also why the cat can leap from far higher without injury when the dog will break his bones easily. Their muscles will not be able to absorb the shock.


Living with a cat that can jump as high as climbing to the refrigerator it’s so cool. Just grab your popcorn bowl and make yourself comfortable enough to have some fun and laugh your lungs out. It will be super active and super energetic, but still, super messy. So be careful to move away from all the expensive and precious furniture and clear the way. Those small natural hunters are about to start the “jumping machine” setting inside them.

But don’t get upset, just admire them and imagine how fun and cool it will be to have the same ability as your cat. If human beings are able to jump an incredible 36 feet (10.97 meters), 6 times their height! It will be incredible, isn’t it ?