Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cat Swaying and Jumping

My little and now old girl cat, Binnie, can still jump, when she puts her mind to it. However, it's not that far. She has lost a lot of her jumping power and walks a little stiffly - all to be expected as she is about 14 years old.

As jumping is more difficult for her she has to think about a jump more. She also has to concentrate more and this shows. She sways her head from side to side a lot and for longer before making a jump.

She moves her head from side to side to use her binocular vision to maximum effect in judging the distance accurately. When the head is moved the eyes see the target object from a different angle allowing the brain to better compute the distance and the force required to jump to the exact spot.

For a predator inch perfect precision in required as she is in fact pouncing on prey. The African Serval is particularly adept at this as she leaps into the air and drops onto small prey such as rodents, stunning them on impact with her front paws.

For Binnie, life is less exciting but instinctively she measures the distance with the same radar like precision. That's me girl Binnie you show 'em how clever you are...

The cat in the top photograph is not mine but a cat about to jump - reproduced under creative commons (Flickr) copyright danilou

The picture on the right is my Binnie taken about 5 years ago.>>>>>

This is her more usual position :)


Anonymous said...

nice.:) I hope she is well.,,,,i found this by random, I have no idea why im resopnding. :)
I guess i was reading on cat eyes, and google led me here. mhm. :p
I can see a lot of who binnie is thru her eyes.
Sweet cat. lol, cya maybe. mdf.

Michael said...

Thanks for the comment doc. Binnie is now 18 years of age and no longer jumps except to jump down if I have put her somewhere (but no more than about 2 feet off the ground). I am worried about her because she is at the end of her life. I am waiting for her to die, in effect, and this is disturbing for me. She gets the best food though and plenty of love and grooming.

Anonymous said...

Very good article. Our Asian cat, mixed with Siamese, was a very accurate jumper, and would see a lizard on a wall, from 15 ft away, and would run around other objects, and at speed, jump and catch the lizard. I was always afraid that she would hit her head, but never did. She has taught her two kittens to do the same, and they are very good at it. Cats dont seem to have much eye movement, so always turning their head before jumping, and seem to always jump the right distance, and not wasting energy to jump more than is necessary. Sad to read about someone cutting off a cats head for an experiment. I dont even cut the claws!

Search This Blog