How High Can Cats Jump?

How High Can Cats Jump?

Have you ever wondered how high cats can jump? Or found your cat in an out of reach hiding place and wondered how he got there? 

Recently, when installing a new garden fence, I got thinking whether it could be high enough to keep a new cat enclosed within the compound, or whether a sure footed feline would be able to leap out into new territory…we’ve found the answers here!

Of course, it will vary with each individual, but the most common answer to the question is that cats can jump around 5 to 6 times their own height (an average cat being around 12 inches). 

Why Can Some Cats Jump Higher Than Others?

As with humans, how high your feline friends can jump will depend on a number of factors, mainly:

  • Age 
  • Breed 
  • Gender
  • Medical Conditions
  • Body habitus 

Young kittens, or very senior cats may not reach the same dizzy heights as a puss in their prime. Certain breeds may be springier than others! Cats who suffer from joint problems such as arthritis, will almost certainly be restricted in their jumping ability. Leaner, more muscular cats who are outside and active will be able to jump higher than sedentary, indoor dwellers. 

Can a Cat Jump a 6ft Fence?

The answer to this question is that yes, quite possibly a cat could jump a 6ft fence. Why? Well if a cat can jump 5-6 times his height of 1ft, then he is likely to span that 6ft jump. 

I don’t think my new 6ft garden fence is going to keep cats in or out! 

Not only are cats good at jumping, but their lean, athletic bodies make them great climbers too. I know it’s a cliche to think of a fireman rescuing a cat stuck up a tree, but it’s certainly not uncommon to find them up one! 

Cats, with their retractable claws and very powerful hind legs, are made for climbing and jumping, though it is easier for them to jump and climb up than it is to come back down!

As cats do quite like being up high and have the natural ability to do so, a cat tree is a must-have for any cat and particularly indoor only cats, combining a place to scratch, climb, rest and feel safe. 


How Can I Stop My Cat Jumping the Fence?

If you are like me, wondering how you are going to keep kitty contained and safe within her own surroundings, whilst allowing her the fresh air and roam of her own garden, you may be considering the options. These include:

  • Increasing the fence height. You may be able to do this simply, but bearing in mind you will probably end up with a rather high fence..!
  • Cat-proofing the fence – by creating an extension on top of the existing fence, probably made of netting, which leans inward at 45 degrees, and effectively stops puss from being able to get out. 
  • Wire or string above the fence – a taut wire or string about 15cm above your fence can stop a cat from being able to balance on top of the fence. 
  • Ultrasonic deterrents – using motion sensors these can emit an ultrasonic sound which is unpleasant to cats and help to deter them. You can also get deterrents which attach to the hose and spray water when motion is detected.
  • Installing an outdoor run – you could invest in a catio for peace of mind instead. 

It is worth mentioning too, that cats who are not neutered, in particular the males, will try their very best to follow their instincts to mate! A cat which has been neutered may not have quite as strong a desire to scale high fences as one which has not. 


Final Thoughts

Cats are real gymnasts! They have a terrific ability to jump, leap, climb and twist and do so with such grace and ease. 

Jumping 5-6 times their height, or at least 5-6 ft high, cats can scale heights you may not have thought they could. Combined with their ability to climb, you may unexpectedly find them hiding somewhere they shouldn’t, or escaping when you hoped they wouldn’t!

If you are concerned your cat is scaling great heights and you want to keep tabs on them, it may also be worth considering a cat tracker, reassuring you that you are able to find kitty wherever they are.