Can Maine Coons Jump?


All cats are born with the ability to jump. In fact, have you ever come across a cat that doesn’t jump?

Even if you have never owned a cat before, I would wager that one of your basic expectations of any cat, is that they can jump! Some cat breeds are more clever though, and the Maine Coon is one of these amazing creatures. So, can Maine Coons jump?

Yes, Maine Coons can jump. They descend from semi-wild cats, known for having impressive jumping skills. Maine Coons are muscular and strong, but will only jump if they have to. This is because Maine Coons are an intelligent cat breed who will find easier routes to the top, rather than exerting their energy jumping straight up!

Find out why they are instinctively better at scaling high walls than other breeds of cats.

There are many factors to take into consideration when considering a cat’s ability to jump. This article shall focus on the following:

Can All Cats Jump?

Cats are amazing creatures, whatever breed you own.

They are born with a flexible spine and have the ability to jump high thanks to their strong back legs, and back muscles. These biological features allow them to release powerful bursts of energy, in one go, thus enabling them to jump far higher than their own height.

Many cat specialists claim that the average domestic cat can jump six times their own height, or over eight feet in one explosive jumping movement!

Imagine if we humans could do that too?!!

Can Certain Cat Breeds Jump Higher?

Some cats, such as the Egyptian Mau, or the Siamese cat are naturally more suited to jumping higher than other cat breeds due to their body shape, flexibility, limitless energy, and high curiosity levels.

Characteristics Of High Jumping Cats

If we look more closely at cat breeds known for their immense jumping abilities, we quickly see that they all have the following characteristics in common:

1. Long Back Legs

Cats born with long back legs have an added advantage to jumping higher than their short-legged feline friends. This is because they are taller, therefore their jump capabilities will always be more than shorter-legged cat breeds, should you calculate their jump potential by taking their height x 6.

2. Athletic Prowess

Some cat breeds are far more agile, loving speed, climbing, and jumping.

Certain cats have been bred, using a combination of two very athletic, agile cat breeds, to produce another awesomely agile cat breed.

3. High Energy

Whilst some cats love to laze in the sun for hours, other cat breeds naturally prefer speed and continual motion. They are not interested in being lapcats!

4. Agile

A number of cat breeds are biologically built for speed and agility. 

5. Curiosity

More intelligent cat breeds tend to seek regular mental stimuli. The saying ‘curiosity killed the cat’ probably derives from these cat curious breeds!

6. Spine

All cats are flexible, with their spines capable of rotating further than other animals.

This is a direct result of having 52-53 vertebrae, and cushioning in between each individual bone, which allows them to twist their spines 180 degrees. 

7. Shoulder Blades

All cats have shoulder blades that help them to be more agile.

Cats’ shoulder blades are attached to muscle, rather than the cat’s skeleton. This allows them to flex their bodies, and either twist and jump at crazy angles, whilst also being capable of fitting through gaps you never thought would be possible!

Best Jumping Cat Breeds

The table below shows which cat breeds have a more athletic prowess, and are likely to jump higher than other cat breeds (source 1). 

Cat BreedInformation
Egyptian MauAthletic and agile. Fastest domestic cat in
the world, running up to 30mph! Very
powerful legs, that enable them to jump
onto your shoulder without any issues
SomaliIntelligent cat breed that is the
long-haired version of the Abyssinian
cat. Their muscular body, strong slim
legs and lithe body make them ideal
jumpers
SavannahLong body and long legs, help them
jump higher. The naturally inquisitive
breed that enjoys climbing and jumping.
Extremely athletic
ManxBuilt for speed, despite often not
having a tail nor only a tiny one! Great
jumpers. Fast. Athletic.
SiameseExtremely active and intelligent cat
breed.
OccicatLarge, solid muscular frame. Very
agile. Quick mover. Known for speed
OrientalRequire high levels of play with their
owners. A curious breed that will
climb and jump to entertain
themselves!
AbyssinianAthletic, active cat breed. Extremely
agile and always on the move
BengalLikes to get owners’ attention by
jumping up onto countertops, or
bookcases. They are great climbers,
known for climbing or jumping
to the highest places in your home.
Best Jumping Cat Breeds

How Far Can A Maine Coon Cat Jump?

Cats have always been great jumpers. They enjoy using their jumping skills to hunt prey. A standard moggy is capable of jumping 7-8 feet, in a vertical motion.

The furthest cat jump on record (from a non-Maine Coon cat breed) is from a cat named Waffle the Warrior Cat. Records show he jumped an amazing 213.36 cm (84 inches) (source 1).

There is no physical reason supporting the idea that Maine Coons cannot jump as far as ‘normal’ cat breeds. The reason you see them jump less, however, is that they tend to only jump when necessary.

How High Can A Maine Coon Cat Jump?

Maine Coons are the largest domesticated cat breed in existence (apart from the Norwegian Forest Cat). They come from Maine, United States, and are loved so much that they were even named the state cat of Maine!

The Maine Coon is very muscular and strong. Average male Maine Coons weigh between 6.8 – 11.3 kg (15-25 lbs), are 25-40 cm (10-16 inches) high, and have a length of 48-101 cm (19-40 inches).

For more information on their average sizings, check out my article ‘How Big Will My Maine Coon Grow?‘ 

As you can see, it’s not likely that your Maine Coon will be small in size. Their large frame often leads people to assume they will not be able to jump when they actually can!

Maybe this is partly due to their intelligent, yet lazy nature, whereby it is more common to see a Maine Coon choose the easy option to scale a wall, rather than jumping straight up to the top.

Reasons Why Your Maine Coon Can’t Jump

If your once active Maine Coon no longer seems willing to jump around, they may have an underlying medical health condition.

It is important to speak to your preferred veterinary professional, to decipher what might be the issue.

Maine Coon common health issues that may impact their jumping abilities include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Medical Issues Affecting A Cats Ability To Jump

The table below details medical issues that may prevent your cat from jumping.

The first three health issues are more common to the Maine Coon cat breed.

The other health concerns are more generalized and less likely to impact your Maine Coon, however, still worth being aware of.

Medical IssueDescription
Hip DysplasiaTheir large physical frame makes them prone to
hip dysplasia. This disease causes arthritis, though
is not considered a huge issue. Monitor condition,
as in rare cases, it may cause paralysis
Hypertrophic
Cardiomyopathy
Thickening of the muscle walls of the heart, leading
to heart failure, and other issues. 30% of Maine
Coons is thought to have a genetic mutation that
causes this disease to develop (source 1)

Spinal Muscular
Atrophy
Hereditary genetic disease. Loss of motor neurons
in the lower spinal cord and atrophy in the hind limbs
leads to progressive deterioration in a cat’s stability
levels, with unsteady gait and posture abnormalities.
Symptoms appear whilst the kitten is 3-4 months old
Arthritis /
Joint Problems
Feline arthritis will be painful for your cat companion
because osteoarthritis or degenerative joint
the disease will cause your cat’s joint to stop working
correctly, due to inflammation
Ligament
and Tendons
Cats may stop jumping if they damage their ligaments
and/or tendons since these enable a cat to move freely.
Cracked
Paw Pads
Outdoor cats are more prone to developing cracked
paw pads if they walk over rough surfaces. It is also
thought that harsh textured litter can also damage
the cat’s paw pads
Diabetic
neuropathy
A cat may experience numbness and pain in its legs.
Cats with diabetes require special care, failure to
provide this care increases the chances of them
developing diabetic neuropathy
Bone and
Joint Cancer
Cats with this cancer will experience pain, lameness,
and swelling in their bones and joints
Ingrown
Toenails
Should be sorted asap, to prevent nails from growing
into the pad. Infections are likely if not treated quickly,
causing inflammation of the foot.
PododermatitisSkin inflammation of paws and feet.
Neuromuscular
Disorders
Significantly limits a cat jumping abilities because
their nerves and muscles are not working correctly.
Muscles commonly twitch, making simple
movements more difficult for the cat to perform.
Infectious
Diseases
If a cat’s central nervous system is affected, its ability
to jump and walk will be limited.
Health Problems Causing A Cat Not To Jump

Conclusion

Whilst the Maine Coon might not be known as one of the fastest, most agile cat breeds on the planet, they are still very good at jumping and climbing.

Can Maine Coons jump? Of course, they can, but this intelligent breed often prefers to use its intelligence to calculate the easier way upwards.

For instance, a Maine Coon will happily climb using the steps, rather than opting for an energetic jump upwards, in one single movement.

Maine Coon Central

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I’m a self-confessed CRAZY CAT LADY! I've been in love with the Maine Coon cat breed ever since we welcomed an adorable male Maine Coon kitten into our home 9 years ago. We called him 'Pippin', but he also goes by the name ‘Pipsteroo’! Our enormous, kind-hearted cat genuinely thinks he's a dog and has convinced me that cats are Man's True Best Friend!

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