Cats are amazing creatures, able to jump very high and run fast without making much noise at all while doing it. In fact, they can jump 9 times their height and can run up to 30mph in short segments.Their agility is a defining trait and a very admirable one. In order to be so agile, they have to be really flexible, which they are naturally. Here is what makes cats so flexible.
The individual bones that make up a cat’s spine have elastic cushioning discs in between them. These discs allow cats to easily rotate their bodies up to 180 degrees to the left or right. Humans are only able to rotate their torso area up to 90 degrees. To put this into perspective, a cat can make it so that their head and front legs are facing the opposite direction of their hips and back legs. The muscles that are connected to the spine are done so very flexibly as well, allowing cats to increase their stride by extending the spine.
A human’s shoulder blades helps to form the joint that connects the upper arm to the body. A cat’s shoulders, however, are only attached to the body by muscles. This gives them the ability to increase their running strides even more. The loose shoulder blades are also what helps cats maneuver into small spaces that you never even thought they could fit into.
The “Righting Reflex”
A cat’s righting reflex is the reason that people say cats always land on their feet, which is true a lot of the time. A cat has the ability to realign their body when falling from a high distance. This is because their inner ear acts as a compass for their balance, allowing them to know when they are right side up. The combination of their skeletal make up, flexible spine, and absence of a collarbone gives them the ability to respond very quickly. They also have a low body volume in comparison to their weight so they can slow down their falling speed, creating wind resistance by spreading out their body.
Contact Catonsville Cat Clinic Today!
For 20 years, the Catonsville Cat Clinic has been providing quality veterinary care to the cats of Catonsville and beyond! Dr. Pam Nesbitt, who purchased the practice in July of 2011, runs the Catonsville Cat Clinic with compassion in mind. A team of professionals with an advanced level of veterinary medicine is at your service to make sure your cat is healthy and happy. So stop on by; we’d love to get to know you and your cat!
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