A new study in which researchers tracked the activity of a dozen domestic cats shows that, when it comes to the habits of our furry little friends, still waters run deep.
Sure, they are more than happy sitting on your lap and chasing around that catnip mouse with the bell on its tail, but when they are away from prying eyes, house cats really know how to unleash the beast.
The data, collected from the GPS trackers and pressure sensors on the roving cats, shows that not only do our seemingly timid tabbies participate in some pretty hardcore hunting when on the prowl, but they also do so with much the same skill and agility as tigers, lions, and other large cats.
Much like tigers, house cats rarely straighten their legs when stalking prey, even while running. This instinctual pose shows that, despite how comfortable they are on our sofas, they are still very much at home in the hunt.
Not only to they embody the same instinct for hunting as their larger cousins, but they execute on it with arguably a greater efficiency. That’s right – pound for pound, your cat is stronger and faster than a fully grown tiger. Not only that, but domesticated cats exceed the flexibility of any other large cat by leagues, giving them yet another clear advantage in the hunt.
What’s more, the average house cat can jump a whopping five times their height, a skill that gives them the ability to take down creatures both on the ground and midair. Also, their unique skeletal structure also helps to cushion themselves after a fall, ensuring that when they do leap after some prey, they can recover quickly. To put a number to it, cats have been recorded as walking away from falls as high as 300 feet – that’s as tall as the Statue of Liberty!
A cat with the insatiable need to feed can kill a mouse in as little as 2 seconds, but since most cats do not rely on hunting as a source of food, they tend to hunt more for fun. What that means is that, rather than giving their prey a swift death, our house cats have a tendency to unleash their inner serial killer and play with their catch a little before sending them off to their great reward.
So next time you look at your cat, just know that somewhere underneath their fluffy, loving, and lazy personality lies the heart and mind of one of the most finely tuned killing machines on earth. Good thing they only weigh 9 pounds.