You love your little feline and sometimes (or maybe even more often) are flabbergasted what he/she is capable of doing. I have to say, it really dazzles me sometimes how cats are able to do different things. Every move he/she makes, every bound he/she breaks, every leap he/she takes you keep watching him/her…, ponder of the incredible superpowers that caching in this little, graceful animal you happily give a home to love and cherish. I think this is almost out of this world. Well, don’t let me jump overboard here, still, thinking of the different things the cat is capable of doing, makes him/her even cooler as it already is, right?
There is a reason why cat woman found a place in the DC Comics world and the way into Batman’s heart even she was considered a villain.
However, let me tell you the awesome superpowers a cat owns and what makes him/her not only unique, as much more a superhero!
1. Your cat the super runner
Maybe you are looking at your cat thinking, well, this is not true to your cat since it seems like his/her superpower is restricted to eating and relaxing a lot and might assume that this is his/her greatest asset. Well, let me tell you if your cat actually has to or wants to run he/she can do so, even more so, pretty fast! This is one of the so many other traits he/she shares with their relatives as of:
Cheetahs- can run over 90 mph (144.84 km/h)
Pumas – can run between 40 – 50 mph (64 – 80 km/h)
Tigers- can run between 30 – 50 mph (49- 65 km/h)
Lions – can run 50 mph (80 km/h)
Leopards – can run 36 mph (58 km/h)
Panthers – can run 50 mph (80 km/h)
As it happens to be the fact, your cat runs faster than the fastest man alive. Usain Bolt ran the 100m distance at staggering 27.44 mph. He set the world record mark of 9.85 at the Berlin World Championships in 2009. But if you would send him out to catch your cat on that distance, he wouldn’t be successful, even though he would come very close, the cat would still outrun him with a speed of 30 mph (50 km/h).
2. Cats and their Super Strength
Even though your cat does not look like the animal version of an Arnold Schwarzenegger at his peak at the Mr. Olympia, still, he/she is much stronger as you might believe. Due to your cat is built for agility and speed. To being able to perform his/her abilities to its best, strength or better muscle power is required to do so. The cat’s anatomy and sharp claws give him/her the ability to climb trees or any other surface with ease. Probably the largest domestic pure house cat is at the same time one of the friendliest cat, the Main Coon. Still, I recommend you to stay alert when interacting with little kids due to its size.
3.Cats the super jumpers
Did you know that your cat is able to jump 5 to 6 times their body size?
This he/she is able to do due to their inner muscle strength, especially the muscles in their hind legs. They use their tail as a balanced regulator. So, make sure to have your kitchen counter and other jumpable surfaces cleaned off of any kind of foods cats are not supposed to eat to avoid the risk of getting sick or even worse. You know that you are not around and in alert mode at all times, ergo, the safest recommendation tip is to maintain clean food jumpable surfaces at all times.
In comparison with the human being, the current high jump record of a human being is 2.45 m (8 ft 01/4 in) and was performed by Javier Sotomayor from Cuba in 1993 – the longest standing record in the history of men’s high jump. In comparison with a domestic cat’s high jump ability like already mentioned at the beginning the average size of a female cat’s height is about 23-25 cm (9-10 in) and 46 cm (18 in). The average male body size, head to tail, is around 30 cm (12 in). Ergo, your cat can jump in average as high as 150 – 160 cm (7.5 in)!
We’re talking about the average cat here!
However, the current cat’s high jump record holder is a Japanese domestic cat, who jumped staggering 6.4 feet (196 cm) in the air.
So, the taller the cat, of course, the higher he/she can jump.
The current longest domestic cat is a Main Coon called Ludo. According to the Guinness Book of World Records the longest cat with a staggering 3.88 feet in length. The longest ever lived cat (unfortunately passed away in January 2013), measured a staggering 4 feet (48.5 in.) Taking their length into consideration, Stewie was probably able to jump as high as over 20 feet (100 in)!
Well, this seems really high, doesn’t it? This is just taking the arithmetic of 5 – 6 times their body length in consideration here. So, please do not take this as a set in stone.
Still, there is a cat breed, (the Serval cat), you can find him/her almost everywhere in Africa. This cat has the longest legs and ears of all other cats. Due to their enormous leg length, he/she is able to outjump all other cats. To draw a more vivid picture in written letters means, that this cat is able to catch a bird out of the air mid-flight. In number means that this cat can jump up to 10 feet easily. (Below is a video to see the cat in action). How is the cat able to perform such an incredible height? Well, the jump magic lays in their hind legs which he/she uses to push themselves up to leap rapidly catching a bird midway in the sky.
Where does this super jumping power come from?
Well, this breed has its ancestors living in trees who had to leap from branch to branch. This without a question beautiful cat who astonishes with their agility and grace is not really suited to a house or domestic cat even though many people do so. Cat’s expert’s advice caution to bring and maintain a Serval cat into your house. This breed needs a large area to roam. But not only that. They need to eat a special diet and due to its size, it is highly recommended to not keep a Serval cat if you happen to have kids because they like to play very rough, which can result badly for kids.
The longest jump
The longest ever measured jump was performed by a cat named Alley from Texas, US, who jumped a distance of whooping 6 feet right into the Guinness Book of World Records back in 2013. Considering the fact that you might be the pride owner of the Main Coon, this might be an opportunity for you to train your cat in that category and, who knows, and you might be able to eradicate the set record and write your cat’s name into the same book and make him/her famous!
4.Elasticity to its max!
Do you know the elastic girl from the movie ‘The Incredibles?’
Well, your cat has the same abilities even not to the same extreme extent as her. Still, he/she can crawl into any space that is just a tiny bit bigger than his/her head.
So, what makes his/her body so elastic/flexible?
As you know the cat is a born carnivore. If he/she would live in the wilderness, he/she must be quick, powerful, and flexible to successfully catch their food wherever it might be found.
Therefore, they have the ability to narrow their shoulders and body to squeeze through tiniest holes, in the twinkling of an eye can twist their body and land on their feet, or change their running direction pursuing and catching their aimed lunch.
Their capable of rotating their spines more than many other animals due to their vertebrates the spools-on-a-string-like bones in the back are flexibly connected and have a special elastic cushion like disks in between.
These spines (limber) allows the cat to do jaw-dropping, graceful, acrobatic feats and at the same time contributes to their powerful speed as runners. When shifting into the maximum running mode, cats lengthen their stride and with it increase their speed flexing their back. Their claws serve as spikes as a soccer player has he under the shoes to gain traction and its body stretches to a maximum of three times their normal body length.
Even more, the feline shoulder-blade is attached to the rest of the body containing only muscles, which gives the cat’s shoulder-blade an incredible freedom to move graciously and extending its running strides to a maximum as already mentioned.
At the contrary of the human’s long anchored collarbone, the cat’s collarbone has tiny rudimentary collar bones letting her squeeze through tiny openings with ease.
You won’t be far off if you call a cat’s super hearing satellite hearing as well . Your cat has the ability to use its furry triangle formed ears like satellites, which operate, rotate and adjust the same way to best position him/herself to receiving a signal to have their external ear, or pinna, hear in a 180 degree radius capturing all kinds of sounds a human being is incapable of.
Why don’t you just test it out for yourself by clicking either your nails or anything you might be having handy and observe how your cat’s ears start moving and making out the sound and at the end reposition them to identify it. You’ll notice how the cat will turn its head toward the sound (your hands or whatever you are using). Go and observe your cat while it is doing their casual business and in the twinkling of an eye stops and swiveling its ears to making out an upcoming sound.
All this incredible hearing ability is supported by 52 muscles whose job is to control and move the ears to help to find and anticipating the cat’s prey. The cat can use its ears independently from each other being able to hear and focus on the quietest sounds.
If you take the cat’s low range hearing ability you can compare it with your hearing range. But if you take it up to the higher range; cats are able to hear high-pitched sounds up to 64 kHz, which is 1.6 octaves higher as of a human and 1 octave above the dog’s range.
How far can a cat hear you calling?
A cat is capable of hearing a voice between four and five times farther away as a human being is able to.
Digging deeper into the cat’s hearing system, we meet the vestibular apparatus, housed deep in the cat’s ear. This is responsible for the cat’s remarkable sense of balance. The interior tiny chambers and canals are lined with millions of sensitive hairs containing a fluid and microscopic floating crystals. Ergo, whenever a cat has to make a rapid change in position, the tiny and delicate hairs start operating by detecting the slightest movement in the fluid and crystals and send those messages to the cat’s brain. The cat’s brain transitions into reading mode and enables itself to let the cat read the position toward the sound and achieves the “cat-like” balance to its perfection.
Just to put the cat’s hearing powers to an, even more, wow effect. Try to imagine your hearing would be 4 times higher and you being able to hear all the surrounding sounds as well like (Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty after he was given God’s power and while sitting in a restaurant with his wife started hearing hundreds of people praying at the same time). Now with that picture in mind, picture yourself putting an electrical device in an outlet. While the currents flowing through the cables right after plugging the electric device into the outlet being able to hear those currents before you even turned on the device. You would call that a superpower, right?
Well, your cat is able to do exactly that due to the ability to hear his/her surroundings 4 times higher because of the 20 muscle the cat has in each of its ears. Now you might understand as well why it seems like your cat is sleeping a lot! It might be true to the fact he/she wants to tune out the noisy world we are living in, especially living in a big city.
A cat can really brag about a perfect sight. He/she is able to view in an array of 200 degrees which is 20 times the capability of a human being. This superpower enables them to make out their aimed prey to its perfection.
Another reason why cats sleep and rest so much during the day is; cats are crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk), hunting their prey (when living in the wilderness). They can do that because they’re having 6 – 8 times as many cells to illuminate objects in low light as we have which makes them so much more capable of seeing things in settings where we would be blind.
Cats, dogs, and many other animals have something in common (tapetum lucidum). This is a reflective layer behind the retina which acts like a flashlight sending light rays through the retina into the eye. It reduces net visual. You can see it when you make out a cat in the dark facing you and your flashlight at him/her. The light rays work as a reflector and you can see this green, sharp glowing in a cat’s eyes. This is an anatomical development to improve their survival in the wilderness.
Cats can make out a wide array of colors. They can make the difference between red, blue, and yellow even though distinguish better between blues and violets than they can between colors that steer toward the reddish colors.
They also have a second eyelid called the nictitating membrane, which is a thin cover appearing as soon the cat’s eye opens. The eye from the side as those of the reptiles for instance. The membrane will close partially in case a cat is sick or when asleep.
Cats also have no need to blink their eyes as we humans need to keep our eyes liquid. This gives the cat the advantage of hunting their prey. Still, if you observe a cat for a longer period of time, you can see him/her squinting sometimes. This he/she does to show affection toward humans or other cats.
7.Super long time memory!
Have you ever wondered if a cat does recognize you the way we humans recognize each other?
Well, yes, they do! Even when comparing cat’s short-term memory with the short-term memory of a dog we reach a time span of up to 16 hours while the short-term memory of a dog does not last much longer than 5 minutes.
Even though with their short-term memory she would probably not win any awards. His/Her longtime memory, on the other hand, is remarkable. Especially his/her memory with their owner or people he/she has built a relationship. Even though it seems sometimes as the cat does not really care too much of who put food in front of him/her as long he/she gets fed, the little world he/she is living in is perfect. The opposite is fact. A cat, indeed, displays (maybe not as much as a dog), strong affections with those who spend a lot of time with him/her. This also explains why even being separated from somebody he/she built an emotional bondage toward for a long(er) period of time still remembers when being reunited.
His/Her relationship with the person who had left for a longer period of time might change, due to the fact that he/she feels abandond by that person. You can find this behavior often in older cats.
It is their nature that cats mapping out their emotional memories according to their past experiences. For instance: If a cat had been abused by their owner he/she not only loses trust in his/her owner, as much more trust into people in general, because he/she projects the gained negative experiences from the past and associates humans as a threat in general. To regain the trust in humans again needs a lot of patience and love.
8.Super stealth – stalker!
The cat is like a Native American in the animal world. If he/she doesn’t want you to hear or see him//her coming, you probably won’t. This is due to the fact that a cat has super soft paws in combination with a super stealthy crocodile kind walk or better crawling. This is where the term you walk “cat-like” comes from. It underlines the fact somebody walks or does something to make it look effortless (like the movements of a Ninja).
The question that arises is: Does that also come with less energy?
Well, according to Schmidt who gave a statement to the matters topic in the online magazine “Public Library of Science”, issue 26 says: “If they ‘re creeping, they’re going to put this foot down and then that foot down and then that one on an even fashion. We think it has to do with stability and caution.”
Even when walking normally, “all happy, tails up,” as Schmidt describes it, their movements aren’t energy efficient.
“Even that happy walk is stalkier than a dog or a horse,” Schmitt said.
To envision the above statement by putting numbers on it, we come to the conclusion that dogs general lower their amount of working muscles too as much as 70% and that of a cat not much more than 37% (even less in stalking mode).
The reason being is that dogs are long distance hunters, while cats much more prefer the short distance due to their body size. The cat stalks their prey so the need for prioritized energy efficiency was never present.
“What they are prioritizing is stealth”, Schmidt said.
9. Free fallers without a parachute!
How often have you heard a cat has 9 lives?
Is it really a fact?
Can a Cat Die from falling?
Well, if we take a study done by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, in 1987 who studied medical records of 132 cats who had fallen from a 5.5 stories houses all the way up to 32 stories they ended up with the following result:
A cat gains terminal speed the higher the height, ergo, if a cat falls from 5.5 stories building or even higher, a kind of parachute effect kicks in and they can manage to survive the above mentioned heights with a 90%+ survival rate if they were treated their injuries immediately after the fall. Maybe this is where the legend of a cat has 9 lives found its origin, who knows.
The study also states that most cats fell from only 5.5 stories, still, some cats that fell all the way down from as high as 26 stories survived without any injury. Another cat fell 32 stories on cement ground and had nothing more than a chipped tooth and a collapsed lung. Ergo, the clinic released the cat after 48 hours. Still, to sum up the entire study; one can say that a survival rate of great heights is extremely possible.
While some cats even survived the fall from 32 stories buildings on solid ground (cement), one cat fell even from the 46th story without any injuries, even though this cat did not land on the solid ground directly, as much more on a canopy, bounced off of it and ultimately landed on solid ground. Still, I do not recommend you to run a test on your cat to see if he/she also is the next free falling super cat.
How do cats survive falls from such high heights?
Well, cats are essentially arboreal animals; meaning, if they are not living in protected homes or any similar environment, they tend to call the trees their homes.
Ergo, it lays in its nature that they soon or later fall off a tree when jumping from branch to branch to try to catch their prey or a limb might break off of ones branches, biologists say. This is why nature (or whoever) has rendered them to such superior falling skills capable to survive such great heights.
They have developed a keen instinct for sensing a fall and are capable of balancing themselves in a way to land more or less without injuries (depending the height as described above).
According to Andrew Biewener, a professor of organismal and evolutionary biology at Harvard University says: “When a cat lands, his/her muscular legs – made for climbing trees – act as shock absorbers. They also have the ability to spread out their legs, which is going to expand their surface area of the torso, (parachute style) increasing the drag resistance.
10.Super chill out or the Garfield Power syndrome!
You know Garfield and what he loves and does best, right?
Yes, cats are masters in resting and relaxing. In fact, cats sleep over 70% of their lives, which equivalents to a daily sleep of 12 – 16 hours. That is quite a lot of sleep! Kittens and older cats even more.
Many cats even snore (maybe your cat too). If you pay close attention to their whiskers, and you see them twitching, you know it is a sign that they are dreaming (maybe of a huge pile of lasagna, hehehehe).
Why do cat’s sleep that much?
Cats are crepuscular, which means that they’re most active between dusk till dawn to be fit to prey their food. And if they do so, then you can be certain that they’re awake and definitely make the most of it.
They also sleep that much to conserve their energy (for their next great adventure).
That is probably one of the reasons that when they’re awake, they’re on hunting mode and if you take some time to play with your cat he/she is doing it with an almost undying amount of energy. But usually, it’s saved up for stalking, pouncing, and chasing their prey.
To get healthy and well-balanced rest, it is vital that your cat gets a well-balanced diet too! If you not sure what is best for your cat, I recommend you to start investigating (on the internet) which food is best for your little furry feline and which food you might reconsider giving to her in the first place. Maybe you start preparing your own cat food. This way you know that your cat only gets the ingredients, nutrients, vitamins, carbs, and proteins that are vital for your cat(s) to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet. You know, lots of veterinarian bills could be saved if a cat would constantly eat the right diet.
Cats are in need of lots of proteins due to the fact that they are carnivore. Another reason why they need to sleep a lot.
Diets high in protein require long periods of time digesting.
Sometimes it seems like cats are more resting than really sleeping. They are pretty much in a constant alert mode so in case something is interfering their resting or sleeping time they’re awake and ready to act on it.
11.Cats are super popular!
Cats haven’t been around just for a few days, weeks, months, or even some years. Now, when you follow the historical timeline all the way into the past, it takes you awhile till you come to the starting point where people started to develop not only an interest in the cat as much more a growing love and the desire to keep them as a house cat. The cat started to find the way into human beings’ houses ten thousand years ago based on recent DNA comparisons of living species, it has been estimated that cats were first domesticated from the Middle Eastern subspecies of the wildcat in the Fertile Crescent. Thousands of years later, the peoples in what would later be Upper and Lower Egypt had a religion centering on the worship of animals, including cats. The cat (Felis silvestris catus) was known as “Mau” and considered sacred under ancient Egyptian society. Bast (also known as Bastet) became as popular as an ancient goddess, replacing the former goddess Mafdet. Over time Egyptians bestowed the cat deity status representing protection, fertility, and to top all that, motherhood.
Once a cat found their way into the nirvana-like new world, Egyptians mummified their bodies and presented the cat to another goddess as an offering for goodwill.
Why the great value for the cat?
Well, according to the Egyptians, they believed that cats, apart from giving protection, fertility, and motherhood, was protecting their crops which were the Egyptians main resource and commodity to trade for other goods they needed. They also believed that they didn’t only slow down the process of killing vermin, even more slowing the process of diseases in general. That is why they saw Bast as their goddess who protected them and their crops.
That is what I call super popular status!
But we do not stop here!
If we continue our historical journey more toward the present days, you find that the cat, maybe, not as goddess-like as in the ancient Egyptian world, still, treasure him/her for more as just a domestic cat we love to have amongst us, our homes, and our hearts. Therefore, we started to bestow him/her with symbolic meanings or powers as of the black cat for instance.
The black cat found fame in a two-folded ways:
- According to British and Irish believe, the black cat is considered to bring luck into a person’s life. So, as far as it goes for symbolism, they started to sell little black cats, because they believe that he/she is the symbolism for rebirth and resurrection because of his/her reputation having nine lives.
- Taking it one step further, because they are active during the night (nocturnal), people associated the black cat with darkness.
As furthermore in Europe, the black cat symbolizes the opposite, namely, bad luck. Ergo, if a black cat happens to cross your way in the street bad luck enters your inner body and results in misfortune and ultimately in death.
According to the Germans believe this only happens if the black cat crosses your way from right to left.
Furthermore, the calico cat is super popular in Asia, especially, Japan and China. As you surely have seen already when entering either a Chinese supermarket or eating in a Chinese or Japanese restaurant, a winking Japanese Bobtail calico cat (white cat with brownish and blackish patches spread over entire torso), welcomes you with either a left or right winking arm.
In Japanese the cat is named “Maneku Neko”. Breaking down the names into two part it states:
Maneki (? ?): derives from the Japanese verb maneku which means – “to enter or to pass”
Neko (?) – means “cat”.
Obviously, if you put the two words together it literally says: “Cat that invites to enter”. Ergo, the waving cat at the entrance of either a Chinese or Japanese restaurant tells you: “Come in, please, you are welcome!”
But why does the cat either wave with the right or their left paw?
Well, there are different myths, still, the most common is; when waving its left paw, the Maneki Neko attracts customers.
When waving the right paw, it attracts more money and prosperity to the owner of a business.
One little legend or myth that goes along with is the following:
A poor prince used to live in a small temple called the Gotokuji temple (in Tokyo). He loved his cat. He was very poor, so could barely even pay his food and worldly essential goods as of furniture or similar things were non-existing in his life.
One stormy night overshadowed the priest’s area he called his home. A traveler passed by and asked the priest if he would allow him to find refuge under the tree next to his home. “Of course!”, said the priest.
And while the traveler was sitting under the tree, the priest’s cat was sitting in the doorway waving its paw as to welcoming the traveler to enter the priest’s home. The traveler followed the invitation and as soon he reached the entrance, lightning struck down at the spot the traveler was sitting before.
As any good and happy legend or myths holds, the traveler happened to be a very rich lord. To show his gratefulness to the priest and the cat alike he blessed the priest with countless gifts and money.
So, thanks to the cat has helped the priest bringing prosperity to its owner and the home he now was able to restore.
With this nice anecdote I want to finish the article. I hope you enjoyed reading it!
I also hope I have convinced you of the true superpowers your little furry feline either caches inside or was bestowed with making him/her a true hero!
If you would like to leave a comment, question(s), or share another cat’s superpower, please, don’t be shy writing it/them in the little box below the article. I also would love you to click one or the other colorful little social button to share the article with the World Wide Web.
Thank you very much!
Arthur Petereit (crossi77) is the founder of multibreeds.com. The motto of the website is “How my pet makes me a better person!” If you want to find out “How to stop cleaning a cat’s litter box daily”, or “Why are calico cats 99% female?”, you’re welcome to find out!
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