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? So, can Maine Coons jump?

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!

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!

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
  • 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 more athletic prowess, and are likely to jump higher than other cat breeds (source 1). 

Cat BreedInformation
Egyptian
Mau
Athletic 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
SavannahA long 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:

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
Issue
Description
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 are 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 requires 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
the system is affected, its
ability to jump and the 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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