Posted on Thu 19 November 2015

observations on the speed of cats

It has long been known that horses move in distinct foot-patterns which govern the speed at which they move. Based on my observations of cats, I note similar patterns.

  • Standstill. Speed: none. Frequency: rare. Notes: cats rarely stand still. They prefer to lie down, sit, sprawl, or meatloaf.

  • Stalk. Speed: very slow, interrupted. Frequency: rare. Notes: this is not the initial stage of a pursuit, but the penultimate stage of a capture.

  • Saunter. Speed: slow, fluid. Frequency: extremely common. Notes: sauntering is the normal movement speed of a cat who is moving. May be accompanied by tail swishing, quirking, or flagging.

  • Trot. Speed: moderate. Frequency: uncommon. Notes: trotting inevitably means that the cat has somewhere it needs to be, and it is not there yet. It will be.

  • Skedaddle. Speed: very fast. Frequency: rare. Notes: Either for attack or defensive maneuvers, skedaddling attains the maximum cat velocity available without external propulsion (i.e. gravity, motor vehicles, rockets).


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