In a clip for the series Science of Stupid on National Geographic, former BBC Top Gear host Richard Hammond examines how and why cats can jump as high and as accurately as they do, provided conditions are right. To drive his point home, Hammond compares the graceful leap of a feline with examples of clumsy jumps made by humans.
Let’s jump straight in by examining cats amazing leaping skills. Blessed with incredibly powerful back legs and low body weight. They’re capable of jumping up to six times their own height with grace and pinpoint accuracy when it comes to our leaping press. Pound for pound we lack a cat’s strength, their grace and their accuracy. …so what is it about a kitty’s leap that leaves us humans for dust. Well it’s all down to evolution and increasing kinetic energy for the jump.