I’ve spoken about just how high house cats can jump in an article before. Spoiler alert: It’s really stinkin’ high, and if you compare a cat’s jump ability to a human’s, it puts into perspective just how athletic our little domestic kitties are.
But how about their running ability? Yes, cats certainly may be some of the most lazy creatures you could ever lay your eyes on, but have you ever seen even the laziest house cat run?
Like lightening! Speed is certainly one of a cat’s abilities I envy most. Imagine being able to run like a feline for just one sprint!
How fast exactly do domestic cats run? And how do they compare to human speed? Can they run faster than the fastest human on earth? And what about dogs – can cats outrun them? These questions are exactly what I’ll be answering today.
Facts About Cats’ Running Speed
How Fast Can House Cats Run?
Hitting top speeds, the fastest house cats can run up to 30 mph. That’s approximately 47 km/hr.
In case you’re wondering how fast that feels:
- It’s double the maximum speed limit you’re usually allowed to drive in a parking lot (15 mph / 24 kph).
- It’s about as fast as the maximum speed limit on the average country road (30 mph / 50 km/hr).
So that means the average house cat can outrun any car driving at the speed limit in a parking lot, and for a short time, can almost keep up with a car driving at the maximum speed limit on a country road.
Does the maximum speed a house cat can run depend on breed?
Yes. As with most biology facts about cats – breed definitely plays a part in how fast a cat can run as well.
Dr. Becker mentions that the 9 fastest breeds of house cat are also the 9 most athletic and energetic in general.
These breeds include: Egyptian Maus, Abyssinians, Somalis, Bengals, Savannahs, Manxs, Siamese cats, Ocicats, & Orientals.
Cat Speed VS Human Speed
Are house cats faster than humans?
In case you were wondering about averages: yes, certainly the average house cat is faster and can outrun the average human.
What’s more interesting however is how quick house cats compare to Usain Bolt – the record breaker for the spot of the fastest man on Earth…
Are house cats faster than Usain Bolt (the world’s fastest human to date)?
Usain Bolt, the fastest human to date, hit the current world record back in August 16, 2009 during the World Championships in Berlin.
His record high speed was 27.8 mph (44.72 km/h).
His average speed over the course of this 100 m race was 23.35 mph (37.58 km/h).
What’s that mean? At his top speed Usain Bolt hit nearly the same top speed as a house cat.
Could super fast house cats outrun Usain Bolt at a 100 m sprint? Probably, but the fact that Usain Bolt would come in pretty close – a ridiculous feat considering how agile domestic cats are.
Cat Speed VS Dog Speed
Are cats or dogs faster?
You’ve probably guessed this yourself, but it really depends on the breed of cat or dog you’re talking about!
Greyhound dogs, with their long legs, can hit speeds of up to a whopping 43 miles per hour (69 km/hr)!
So yes, they certainly do outrun all house cats, even the most athletic ones.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have small stout dogs like the English Bulldog, which only hit around 15 mph (24 kph).
Needless to say, your average house cat can definitely outrun these dogs.
If you want to throw all cats into the mix, and aren’t just talking about the house cat variety – the fastest cat (an animal!) on earth is the cheetah, while the fastest dog is the greyhound.
Cheetahs can hit speeds up to 75 mph (120 km/hr), while greyhounds, as previously stated, can hit around 43 mph (69 kph).
That 43 mph is no small feat, but it’s still no contest when compared to the top speed of the #1 fastest animal on earth, the cheetah.
Of course, it’s not like you can have a cheetah living in your home, so talking purely about domesticated animals – yup, the fastest domesticated dog breeds can certainly beat any ol’ house cat.
Your Thoughts on Cat Running Speeds?
Ever been impressed by how fast the average house cat can run? They sure do pack a huge punch for speed considering their overall laziness, don’t they?
Ever wondered whether a house cat could outrun a dog? Do you feel it’s fair to include cheetahs in the mix when you’re talking about cat vs dog speed?
Do you feel it’s more fair to consider averages for only domesticated breeds?
How awesome do you think it’d feel to be able to run as fast as a house cat for just one sprint?
I’d certainly love to feel that sensation – my own legs being able to carry me that fast!
I guess only Usain Bolt and a handful of other crazy fast Olympic sprint runners will ever come close to knowing how that feels firsthand!