Why Does My Cat Jump and Should I Be Concerned in Dyer, IN?
Cats love to jump up onto high surfaces and claim their territory. It is in their nature to be curious and explore, but what if they become aggressive? If your cat is skittish, they may jump straight up if startled.
When cats jump sideways, they may either be playing or getting ready to scrap. Cats will often create a stance before they jump which makes them appear more prominent. The goal is to deter any predator or competition from messing with them.
The best way to prevent your cat from jumping up onto forbidden spots in the home is to get a good cat tree and cat furniture. If you want to know why your cat jumps and if you should be concerned, check out this article.
Why Are Cats Such Good Jumpers?
The average cat can jump about five to six times it’s height, which means that most cats can jump four to six feet. A cat’s ability to jump depends on the power of their hind legs, which propel the cat high up into the air, and they use their tail for balance. Most cats excel at jumping. Typically, a young kitten or a senior cat cannot jump as high.
Cats start to jump in a deep crouch position, and then they lift themselves into the air using their front legs, followed by the impressive extension of their back legs. The longest horizontal jump of a feisty feline ever recorded is held by a ten-year-old cat named Waffle the Warrior Cat. He jumped seven feet.
Waffle, the Warrior Cat, has a certificate from the Guinness World Records, as he is a true jumper. Kittens need time to improve and perfect their jump as their muscles grow and develop. It can take some time for kittens to achieve their full jumping potential.
Cats release a lot of energy in a rapid burst to be able to make the leap. Due to a combination of their lineage and the structure of their bodies, it is ingrained in cats to be skilled jumpers. Cats have a very flexible spinal column and powerful hind legs, and they are notorious for always landing on their paws.
Why Does My Cat Jump?
Cats were born to jump up to high places that they believe are safe to protect themselves from predators. When they jump up into a space, they try to hide away from everyone. Cats that are sick or injured like to go to high places to keep away from predators. They may also be trying to hide if they feel threatened.
Cats will do this if there is another cat in the house that they are sparring with and want to get away. It is also possible that they go up high to let the other cat know that they are the dominant ones and are not to be messed with. The cat will look down on the other one, saying, “I am the king, and you will not pester me!”
Some of the places they like to jump include:
- Kitchen counters
- Top of refrigerator
- Top of dresser
- Mantle on fireplace
Cat furniture is a great way to give your cat a special place where they feel safe. You can purchase cat clouds, which are shelves that you align on the wall and screw into the wood part of the wall. You can also purchase cat furniture. There are cat trees and cat beds that sit high up for your cat to be comfortable.
Why Do Cats Jump Sideways?
Cats can behave in very unusual ways. Jumping sideways is one of the ways that they protect themselves against a perceived threat. Some of the typical posture involved in a cat getting ready to jump sideways includes:
- Fluffing up their tail
- Arching their back
- Ears pinned back
- Determined expression
Cats will often look like Halloween cats when ready to jump sideways. When a cat feels threatened, their solution is to make themselves look big and intimidating. If your cat is fighting with another pet in the house, they may resort to this posture and hiss. They think the bigger they appear; the less the other pet will want to provoke them.
If your cat’s goal is to appear intimidating, watch them puff out their fur, especially the tail and the fur on their back. Your cat wants to send the message that they are the alpha cat. Other than jumping sideways to appear larger to another cat, your cat may also just be playing, and they want to have some fun.
Your cat may be feeling playful, not aggressive. If they sideways jump around you, they may be reenacting play fighting with their siblings, and they want you to play with them. It is ideal to use the feather wand toy and let them go nuts!
Should I Be Concerned About My Cat Jumping?
It can be challenging to tell if your cat is jumping to be aggressive or playful. If you want to figure out the motives of your cat, observe their body language. They may be playing or fighting. If they are fighting, you will most likely hear sounds like hissing or growling. Your cat’s hair may be standing on end, as they do this to make themselves appear larger and more intimidating to the other cat.
Cats that are playing fighting will usually take turns. If it looks like one cat is dominating, they may be fighting. If your cat jumps toward another cat out of aggression, authoritatively call their name to get their attention; separate the cats if that does not work. They can come back together when they are ready to play nice.
You may also need to be concerned if the places in which your cat wants to jump are dangerous or too high for them. They can also jump on surfaces you may not like, as people sometimes leave food out on the kitchen counter. They can get into it, and it can make them sick. They may also knock things over and make a mess!
There could be many things triggering your cat to want to jump. Just know that it is normal behavior for cats, and there is no cause for concern if they are not being aggressive.
Please give us a call at (219) 865-3737 for any questions regarding your cat’s health or to schedule an appointment with us! We are more than happy to help with whatever you may need here at Dyer Animal Clinic!
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About Dyer Animal Clinic
We are a place where pets and their people can feel at home. It's a place where wellness is maintained and supported from the time they’re newborns through their golden years.