Did you know that the fastest animal in the world belongs to the feline family? Cheetahs, the fastest running feline, can run for up to 75 miles per hour. But how fast can a cat run? Unlike their wild cousins, domesticated cats have an average speed of 30 miles per hour. Not bad for a domesticated cat with no stretching, no conditioning, and no carb loading. Some breeds can even go past this speed.
How fast can a cat run?
On average, cats can sprint for up to 30 miles per hour. That’s twice faster than the parking lot speed limit and almost as fast as speed limits on most country roads. Also, Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, has a top speed of 27.8 miles per hour.
So if you are driving a car on this average speed, your cat can easily keep up with the pace. Overall, it’s pretty impressive for an animal that is not as muscular as some dogs.
Still, just like any trait, cat speed is affected by is breed, physical health, and other factors. This is no stranger to us humans, wherein biology plays a vital role in our running speed.
Some of the fastest cat breeds are Egyptian Maus, Somalis, Abyssinians, Siamese, Bengals, Orientals, and Ocicats. Aside from being the fastest, these breeds are also some of the most energetic felines you can get as pets.
Not all cats are the same, especially when it comes to health. Kitties with orthopedic problems and other health issues will be slower than their healthier counterparts.
Age is also one of the biggest factors that will impact your cat’s running speed. It’s assumed that cats will have a peak speed at the same age as humans do. For example, humans that are in their 20s are expected to be faster due to their healthier body and vigor. This translates the same to cats, which will achieve peak speed at 1 to 3 years of age.
However, your cat’s running endurance will start to degrade by the time it reaches four years of age.
Also due to the smaller body size of domesticated cats, they may find it hard to outrun a dog or larger feline species for that matter.
You should also consider the activity level of your cat. Kitties that are always on the move are more likely to have better speed and endurance as compared to couch potatoes.
How cat walks vs. how it runs
Cats have a ‘pacing gait’ which allows them to keep their paws in a straight line, sometimes referred to as the catwalk. This is the reason why cats can keep balanced on narrow walkways and spaces. Please read here why does my cat follow me
As your cat speeds up, it would transition to ‘diagonal gait’. This happens when two diagonal legs move at the same time to allow your cat to move faster.
It’s a two-beat gait that involves the right front followed quickly by the left rear then left front followed by the right rear.
On full running speed, your cat will transition to galloping from the diagonal gait. It’s a single-beat movement that lets your cat move faster. Galloping is also observed in dogs when running.
In this video, you will see the difference in how a cat walks, trots, paces, and runs.
Are cats faster than humans?
The furball cuddling on your lap can beat an Olympic champion sine it’s also way faster than an average human. If you will compete with your cat on a sprint challenge, it can outrun you easily. In fact, if your cat is in good condition and enjoys a breed advantage, it can easily defeat Usain Bolt.
The fact that you can’t catch your cat when it escapes is proof that they are indeed faster than humans. But to be fair, felines have the four-legged advantage that humans don’t have.
One thing that makes cats faster than humans is their flexible bodies. Cats, even domesticated ones, have more flexible spines than humans so they find it easier to move.
Aside from that, cats have claws that let them dig through the ground for added leverage. It’s like wearing cleats, but with more natural traction.
But can a human outrun a cat? Yes, if the cat is out of shape and old. Also, if we are to talk about long-distance running, humans have the edge due to better endurance.
The thing is that cats are fast, but they are not built for endurance. In short distances, they can outrun a human, but longevity is a different story. It’s not ideal to make your run cat fast and in prolonged periods. The feline’s heart rate will skyrocket to dangerous levels.
Are house cats faster than dogs?
Unfortunately, most domesticated dogs are much faster than cats, especially if they are much bigger. But if we are to look in the wild, the world’s fastest cat is still faster than the fastest dog. However, it’s the opposite in the domesticated setting.
Greyhound breeds can run at an average of 44 miles per hour. This is due to their build and minimal body fat that makes them lighter and suitable for running.
Despite this fact, most house cats can record 30 miles per hour, which is still impressive in its own right. In some cases, cats can outrun some dog breeds. Please read here what are most expensive breeds.
How fast can cats run away from predators?
Cats can have bursts of energy that allow them to escape predators. But the thing is that cats are creatures of strategy. Instead of running long distances to escape, they will hide to evade an attack. And since cats are good climbers, they can easily escape by utilizing their vertical advantage.
If the cat doesn’t have anything to hide or climb on, they will struggle to escape a predator due to a lack of endurance.
Nevertheless, it’s also dependent on the speed of the predator. If the killer is slower than your cat, your pet can easily escape unscathed.
How fast can Egyptian Maus run?
Egyptian Maus is known to be one of the fastest domesticated cat breeds. It can clock an average of 30 miles per hour or more. Egyptian Maus that are in good shape can outrun other cats and even some dogs.
However, just like any animal, the endurance of this breed depends on its health, age, and overall wellness. Egyptian Maus suffering from medical problems like hyperthyroidism can also suffer from sudden zoomies.
Aside from its speed, Egyptian Maus is a prized breed because of its rarity.
Should I be worried about cat zoomies?
Cats love running and chasing around, especially when playing with other pets at home. If you have a speedy cat, zoomies can be concerning. Cats with a lot of energy and prey drive love zoomies.
Although it’s normal behavior among cats, zoomies are a sign that your pet needs more physical activities and exercise. You should also play more with your cat to burn the excess energy. Zoomies will also make your cat topple things. It can hurt the kitty in the process.
If your cat is having sudden zoomies, it’s best to bring it to the vet. Sudden bursts of energy can point out to a health problem like hyperthyroidism.
Cat zoomies can disrupt your sleep at night, especially if you have an agile cat. Your cat can toss and break things in the process. It’s best to secure breakable items if you have a cat that likes flexing its running and zooming skills.
How fast can a cat run? Most domesticated felines can sprint at a top speed of 30 miles per hour. It’s a tad faster than the Usain Bolt! Still, cats are not built for endurance so they can only run fast for a small distance. It also depends on the breed, age, health, and activity level of your pet.
Marco Vasquez is a passionate animal lover and writer with extensive experience in the pet care industry. He has worked with various pets, including dogs, cats, birds, and fish, and deeply understand their unique needs and behaviors. Marco’s love for animals has driven him to become an expert in pet health, nutrition, and behavior, and he is always eager to share his knowledge and insights with others. As a member of the Petcosset team, Marco brings his expertise to help pet owners make informed decisions about the well-being of their little friends. He enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors with his pets in his free time.