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  #1  
Old 01-05-2006, 05:50 PM
bubastis bubastis is offline
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How can cats jump so high?

Just watched my cat spring up onto one of the higher window sills of my house, amazed by how effortless it looks. I calculate it as the equivelent of a man jumping onto a ledge eightenn feet above him. How can my cat make this leap? What is the record for highest feline leap? If such a thing exists, of course...
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2006, 08:16 PM
Princhester Princhester is offline
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This has been discussed at length. The board's search function seems to be down so I can't find you the thread I'm thinking of. It was a very hotly debated issue.
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2006, 09:55 PM
astro astro is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Princhester
This has been discussed at length. The board's search function seems to be down so I can't find you the thread I'm thinking of. It was a very hotly debated issue.
It's all power to weight ratios, fleas can do even better, elephants not so much.
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Old 01-05-2006, 10:12 PM
Princhester Princhester is offline
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The search function is back up but I am just tearing (what's left of) my hair out trying to find the thread in question. I know it was about animals jumping. I know that there was a substantial body of agreement that physics puts pretty severe constraints on jumping heights. I know the thread involved a fairly heated debate on cats and whether they could actually jump as high as they appear to. I seem to recall that one side of the debate said that, unassisted, cats could only jump about as high as people but that they appeared to jump higher because they tend to (very smoothly) give themselves a surruptitious boost off the wall or tree they are jumping up. The other side of the debate hotly denied this. I know that there was a side debate upon whether the eyewitness accounts of dopers were valid cites. I thought Blake and Desmostylus were involved but I'm not completely sure.

And I just cannot find the dang thread anywhere.

Anyone got a clue?
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  #5  
Old 01-05-2006, 10:20 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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Snow leopards also have very long tails that can be four feet long and are known for their leaping abilities, as they can jump 20 feet vertically and 50 feet horizontally.
Biggest feline leaper
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2006, 10:21 PM
David Simmons David Simmons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubastis
Just watched my cat spring up onto one of the higher window sills of my house, amazed by how effortless it looks. I calculate it as the equivelent of a man jumping onto a ledge eightenn feet above him. How can my cat make this leap? What is the record for highest feline leap? If such a thing exists, of course...
Because their hind legs are stroooong. Leopards can jump up into a tree carrying a carcass that's their own weight with the same effortless ease.
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  #7  
Old 01-05-2006, 10:31 PM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro
It's all power to weight ratios, fleas can do even better, elephants not so much.
But whales can, and they're a lot bigger than eles



I know, I know...
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2006, 10:41 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Princhester
The search function is back up but I am just tearing (what's left of) my hair out trying to find the thread in question. I know it was about animals jumping. I know that there was a substantial body of agreement that physics puts pretty severe constraints on jumping heights. I know the thread involved a fairly heated debate on cats and whether they could actually jump as high as they appear to. I seem to recall that one side of the debate said that, unassisted, cats could only jump about as high as people but that they appeared to jump higher because they tend to (very smoothly) give themselves a surruptitious boost off the wall or tree they are jumping up. The other side of the debate hotly denied this. I know that there was a side debate upon whether the eyewitness accounts of dopers were valid cites. I thought Blake and Desmostylus were involved but I'm not completely sure.

And I just cannot find the dang thread anywhere.

Anyone got a clue?
How high could I jump if my legs were as powerful as a house cat's hind legs?
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2006, 10:45 PM
Cardinal Cardinal is offline
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Our gate had the paint stripped off where the cat gave herself a boost to the top so she could get in the back yard. Sometimes when they need it, or they're not scared enough to get that extra incentive, cats will dig in again on the way up.
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2006, 06:56 AM
Diceman Diceman is offline
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As I remember it, the "evidence" that a cat can only jump about 1 meter was a passing reference by a college professor, which a few Dopers inexplicably took to be a fundamental constant of the universe, as immutable as the law of conservation of energy. Pretty much everyone else was pointing out numerous instances when their own cats jumped twice this height.

--------------------------------

One of my parents' cats, George, was quite the jumper in his younger days. I saw him jump up to the top of the fridge, which is about 6 six verticaly. He's declawed, so I know he didn't climb up the fridge. Even more spectacular was a jump he made one time when we let him outside. We were outside watching him (since he's declawed) when George decided that he wanted to jump up to a small window which is ~7 feet off the ground. He jumped up, grabbed the ledge with his front paws, and pulled himself up. Of course, in that case he didn't actually jump the full 7 feet, but it was still pretty cool to see.
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2006, 10:27 AM
muttrox muttrox is offline
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It was more than a passing reference. No one was able to provide evidence of cats doing any special leaping in a scientific measured no-cheating way.

I know I started off believing cats could jump much more and was convinced by the evidence on the other side.
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2006, 10:39 AM
ExTank ExTank is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubastis
Just watched my cat spring up onto one of the higher window sills of my house, amazed by how effortless it looks. I calculate it as the equivelent of a man jumping onto a ledge eightenn feet above him. How can my cat make this leap? What is the record for highest feline leap? If such a thing exists, of course...
Your cat can leap this high because it's a minion of Satan, and you're obviously a witch.

Stay put; do not attempt to flee. The wood and firestarters are on their way.
__________________
"Get crazy with the cheez whiz!"
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2006, 04:06 PM
Sal Ammoniac Sal Ammoniac is offline
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And parenthetically, I've seen a mouse make a vertical leap of at least a foot and a half. (Amazing what they'll do when scared.) If you give the mouse a height of two inches standing up, that makes for a leap of nearly ten times its height. That's like a human jumping 60 feet, for those poor at math. Take that, Mr. Blake!
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