Many pet owners get excited and happy when they bring home a new kitten. Only one thing is wrong.
People who own cats are often surprised by how active and curious a new kitten can be. Plus, you don’t know what to expect from your kitten when you bring it home for the first time. This is a recipe for disaster.
So, if you want to get a kitten, you should know how high they can jump and what other physical traits they have. How far, then, can kittens jump?
Most kittens can jump about one foot when you bring them home. A kitten’s ability to jump high and far will improve quickly. How well your kitten can jump depends on its age, breed, weight, and vision.
Here’s everything you need to know before you bring your little furry ball of activity home.
How Cats Jump So Well
Rowyn C. Rose is a science communicator at Basepaws, which is a Zoetis company and a brand of cat DNA tests.
She says that all house cats are related to the North African or Near Eastern wildcat that lives in trees.
“They also had to be able to hop, twist, and turn to chase down prey and get away from predators,” she says.
“They also had to be able to hop, twist, and turn to chase down prey and get away from predators,” she says. “Domestic cats still look a lot like their wildcat ancestors in many ways.”
Rose says that the bodies of today’s domestic cats are perfectly set up to make them good jumpers.
- Cats have about 500 muscles, and when they jump, they use every one of them.
- Cats can jump because their back legs are bigger and longer, and they have “quick twitch” muscle fibres that help them move in short bursts. Also, their back legs are bent in a way that helps them absorb shock when they land.
- Their paw pads have a lot of nerve endings in them. These help them figure out the best places to jump from and improve their balance. Even cats use their tails to keep their balance.
- Cats stretch their front legs to get where they want to go as soon as their back legs move them forward. “Their front legs give them more stability, and their claws can help them grab surfaces when they land, giving them even more stability,” says Rose.
- A cat has about 200 bones, with up to 23 in the tail and 30 in the backbone. Their spines are flexible and can arch, which lets them make course corrections in the air to soften their landings. This is often called the “righting reflex.”
- Rose says that whiskers have “proprioceptive follicular cells” that let a cat know where its body is and how it is positioned in relation to the ground. They can also “sense very small vibrations and air currents, protect their eyes and faces from things like tree branches, and judge the size and distance of spaces,” all of which are important for jumping.
How Far and High Can Cats Jump?
A healthy adult cat can jump up to five to six times his body length, which is about 8 feet. He can also jump about the same distance from side to side.
The Guinness World Book says that Waffle the Warrior Cat, a beautiful tuxedo that can jump 7 feet, holds the record for the longest jump by a cat.
This might not work as well for cats with short legs, like Munchkins, whose tiny legs might not send them as far. Rose says that the following cat breeds are known for their ability to jump:
How High Can Kittens Jump At Eight Weeks?
Kittens eight weeks old might be able to jump a short distance.
At this point, their bodies aren’t able to grow much taller. Expect a height of about a foot or less, but this is a stretch at this point.
Depending on how their bodies grow, an eight-week-old kitten might grow to be about a foot tall, while another kitten might not grow at all.
Most of the time, they can’t get up on the furniture either.
As they grow and get stronger, their skills and ability to jump high and far will get better.
At this point, they will start to get more active and have more energy. They will also become more fun and interesting.
The ASPCA says that adopters should take kittens home when they are eight weeks old. Many kittens can go to new homes when they are ten, twelve, or even sixteen weeks old, which has many benefits.
How High Can A 12-Week-Old Kitten Jump
At 12 weeks, most kittens have grown into their adult bodies and are getting better at moving. This means that between the ages of 10 and 14 weeks, they might learn to jump quickly.
This is an exciting time for your kitten, and they should be able to jump 2–4 times their body length forward.
The height at which you ask your cat to jump is probably the best way to determine how high they can jump.
For instance, if you are teaching your kitten how to get on and off a high bed, it will probably learn to jump higher.
At what age do kittens start jumping?
At seven or eight weeks, kittens usually start to jump and become more physically interested in their surroundings.
Some kittens will learn to jump sooner than others, and some may learn it later.
Kittens don’t start walking until they are three or four weeks old, and even at seven or eight weeks, they are still very small.
How well a kitten can jump, climb, and do anything else depends on things inside and outside the kitten.
There are rules about how long it takes most kittens to learn, but some learn faster than others.
Around seven to eight weeks old, a kitten is able to move around on its own, and on its first trips, it will be eager to learn more about the world around it.
At first, kittens crawl, stand, walk, climb, and jump, just like children do. During the first few weeks of their lives, kittens grow and change quickly.
When they reach future growth and development goals and milestones, it will depend on how quickly they learn new skills and how well they can work together.
If your kittens don’t reach a certain age by a certain date, you don’t need to worry.
Can A Kitten Jump From High Places
Without knowing how old and tall the kitten is, it’s hard to answer this question. Kittens are tough and can usually handle high jumps and falls without much trouble.
But the younger your kitten is, the harder it will be for them to land gracefully, which could cause them to get hurt badly.
Most kittens can jump from about 1 foot high for every month they are old until they are six months old.The rest depends on your cat’s breed, size, and comfort level.
This is because their growing joints can have trouble with the extra weight, especially when they jump or land from a high place.
Why Is My Kitten Not Jumping
A kitten that doesn’t jump isn’t always a sign of trouble, but it could be.
First, think about how many chances or reasons your cat has to jump. If all of their toys are on the floor and they ask you to pick them up right away, your cat might not feel like jumping just yet.
If your kitten is a Munchin cat or another breed with short legs, jumping might not be the best way for them to move around or explore.
But if your kitten doesn’t jump, it could be because it can’t see very far, has trouble judging distances, or is scared of jumping.
All of these are good reasons to take your kitten to the vet and find out what you can do to help them grow.
Why Do Cats Jump?
Rose thinks that this is a natural instinct that came from the wildcat ancestors of the cats we have now.
“[Cats jump] for a sense of safety, to get to a good vantage point, or maybe just to see what’s going on around them,” she says.
She tells cat owners to give their pets safe ways to get to high places and relax there.
“Things like a cat tree with different levels of perches for them to sit on, a windowsill seat, or even “cozy-fying” a solid shelf that’s out of harm’s way could be used to do this.”
Factors That Affect How High Your Kitten Can Jump
These are some of the things that affect how far your kitten can jump and what other physical skills they have.
Keep in mind that your kitten’s skills will change as it grows, so you should expect it to learn something new every day.
Your Kitten’s Age
Your kitten’s age can tell you a lot about how it will grow.
So, as your cat gets older, its ability to jump, run, and climb will get better.
The Breed Of Your Kitten
Some cats are more physically skilled or athletic than others. For example, Bengal cats are well-known for being very active and athletic animals that need a lot of exercise and can jump well.
On the other hand, munchin cats have shorter legs and don’t move around as much, so they can’t jump as far.
Your Kittens Weight
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How far your cat can jump is also affected by how much it weighs. As a kitten, its weight changes often, which can make it hard for it to jump.
For example, if they are a little heavier right before a growth spurt, they might not be able to jump as far as they can when they are lighter.
Their Leg Length
As your kitten’s legs get longer, it will be much better at jumping.
But while your kitten’s legs are still short, it won’t be able to jump as high or as far.
How Brave Your Kitten Is
Your kitten may not be able to jump as high as it could because of things other than its size and abilities. Your kitten may be less likely to jump and more likely to climb if it is naturally cautious.
A brave kitten, on the other hand, may try to climb to heights they are not yet ready for, no matter how much they grow.
How Far Your Kitten Can See
When cats jump, they rely a lot on what they see, and your kitten is no different. When a cat jumps, it wants to know where it will land. If your kitten doesn’t jump much, this could be a sign that it can’t see well.
Don’t worry too much at first. Until you have more proof that your cat is missing, it could just be that they are being extra careful.
Making Sure Your Cat Jumps Safely
Should you let your cat climb all over your house? Not always, no. Cats don’t know if stoves are on or off, so if you let them jump up on countertops near stoves or other warm appliances, they could get burned.
For her own cats, she has to think about both safety and how easy it is for their age. “My 14-year-old cat has different needs than my 5-year-old cat when it comes to jumping or climbing,” she says.
“I have cat trees in a safe place and a catio that is stable and gives my cats access to different levels of height.
I also give my old cat helpful tools, like pet stairs, so he can get to higher places and come back down in a more gentle way.
Kittens are very cute, and since they grow and change so much in their first eight weeks, it’s not surprising that they can’t jump until they are around 7 or 8 weeks old.
When they first start to jump, they can only go up about a foot or less.
Even though this doesn’t seem like much, remember how young and immature they are at this point.
You can be sure that once they’ve built their world and yours, they’ll be hanging from your bedroom curtains, so enjoy it while you can.
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