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Franny Syufy

From my Mailbox: Cats That Don't Jump?

By April 25, 2006

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A reader writes:

I have 2 neutered male cats, 2 years old. One is a Maine Coon and one is a Persian. We bought them at the same time and they are best friends.

NEITHER OF THEM TRIES TO JUMP ANY HIGHER THAN A CHAIR-no counters, no tables, no shelves, etc. Enticing them didn't help.

I've always had cats and never saw this before. Every other cat I know jumps practically to the ceiling.

Have you ever heard of this? My vet didn't have any interest in the topic. I'd love to know if you can find out anything. I haven't been able to.

Marilyn, I've never had a cat that didn't love to jump, as long as they were physically able. When I was a kid, we had a Manx cat that could jump from a standing start to the top of our lower roof line (about eight feet), and our Joey is a champion jumper. However I think it probably isn't all that unusual for a cat to refrain from jumping to extreme heights. How about it, fellow cat lovers? Vote in our poll and then share your comments

By the way, if you're troubled with cats jumping on your kitchen counters, check out my article on Counter-Surfing Cats.

Poll: Is Your Cat a Jumper?

1) S/he's jumped six feet or higher
2) It's hard to keep him off the counter tops
3) S/he'd rather climb than jump
4) My cat rarely jumps except to a chair


April 25, 2006 at 9:19 pm
(1) Diane says:

My cat is a short-haired Tuxedocat and that is his name or”Tux”. Anyway he lives to jumphe loves to jump up trees, onto house roofs and fences. He loves to chase field mice,jumpupinto the air to pull in a bug. He is lovely and loving 6-yr. old neutered male and he loves to be with people although he can get snootyand aloof sometimes. Living with a cat is fun and interesting. Oh,yes he gets on counters too much mostly to have an observation post or lap up water from the sink.
Diane and Tux

April 25, 2006 at 11:02 pm
(2) kim says:

My first cat never jumped on the counters, I thought I had him trained. Then I realized that he just physically couldn’t do it-he’s very long and clumsy. He does jump onto the toliet first to get to the bathroom sink for a drink. The rest of my herd are able to get to the counters and one even made it to the top of a door once! I was a bit surprised as I adopted her from a shelter after she was a stray hit by a car.

April 26, 2006 at 9:17 am
(3) CC says:

I have a friend who breeds persians. I have one of the babies. He told me they jump on a couch or chair, but that’s about it. I thought great. My other cat jumps on the dining table and then to the china cabinet and then to a wall that doesn’t go all the way to the ceiling. Well this persian learned to jump. Of course he is not afraid of much.

April 26, 2006 at 1:11 pm
(4) Jeanette says:

i’ve got 4 so far, the oldest never wants to jump far, pretty much a chair is her highest. she’ll get onto the bed, but i’ve never seen her jump higher. the other three will go up to the counter, then the middle two will then go the fridge, then a small display counter along the kitchen wall, the tops of the cabinet. i’ve had the two youngest make flying leaps and jump off the door or walls, reaching at least the height of 5-6 ft. the three youngest will make flying leaps at each other, and tackle each other. those leaps can be 1-6 ft. long as well.

April 29, 2006 at 8:32 am
(5) Marilyn Rudenstein says:

Thanks for all the responses to my jumping question! also, thanks to all of you who answered the poll.

At least I know the lack of jumping high doesn’t seem to be only true of my boys. Your comments were all ery interesting to me.


April 29, 2006 at 10:00 am
(6) Lan says:

I’m from Vietnam. I’ve got a calico kitty who jumps normally but her kids from the first litter didn’t jump, or couldn’t jump. I thought I trained them well and was proud of having cats that never jumped up on the table to beg for food. It was only when I gave 2 away that I began to hear feedback about them not jumping and that it was not normal for a cat. SO I took mine – the 3rd one to a Vet, and he gave a treatment of minerals and calcium. I had to train the cat to climb stairs, and entice it to jump. It can jump on low chairs and climb stairs now but cannot climb down by itself.
I think it’s a matter of metabolism and food. I used to give my cats ‘Whiskas’ for cats of Pedigree, but after that I switched to Purina Friskies and the second litter of my mommy cat was pretty much normal, they could climb and jump as well as any other cat.
So now I buy Friskies for my cats and they adore it. Of course in the States you have many choice of catfood, in Vietnam we have only those 2 brands, the other brands are not imported regularly and they are too expensive for me.

December 16, 2006 at 11:31 am
(7) Stephanie says:

I have a question related to this and wondering if anyone can help. I have a female cat about a year and 2 months old. she was always a jumper but just about a week ago she seems unable to jump. she tries to get up on the couch or the bed and she just claws at it and tries to climb. i’m a little worried but everything else seems normal. she is eating and drinking just fine, still very playful and going potty normally. any ideas?

January 14, 2007 at 3:15 pm
(8) nini's parents says:

we have a lovely kitten and she is great and happy in everyway but she doesn’t jump! she climbs up everything even us but does anyone know what’s wrong?

November 5, 2011 at 10:33 am
(9) Judy says:

I just adopted a rescue – seven month old reutered male ragdoll/siamese mix. He attempts to jump but cannot. He’s affectionate, playful and very sweet. I’ve never had a cat that didn’t jump and wonder if it’s normal for some cats not to be able to jump.

June 27, 2010 at 11:10 am
(10) Bhavika says:

Hi, Stephanie. I was wondering if you ever got an answer to your question, as we are having a similar issue with our one year old male cat. Suddenly a week ago he stopped jumping, whereas before he was jumping everywhere. We took him to vet who said to wait a bit and see if it was just a sprain that would heal itself but it hasn’t. Any advice from anyone?

June 27, 2010 at 3:23 pm
(11) Franny Syufy says:

To Bhavika, nini’s parents, and Stephanie: If you wait for an answer to a comment on a 4-year old blog post, your cat could suffer undeserved pain. Why not take your cat to the vet, who is the *only* person who can give you a definitive answer? That especially applies to you, Bhavika, since your vet has already seen your cat. Have you taken the cat back?

October 22, 2011 at 4:27 pm
(12) karen says:

we have a 3 yr old nutered male cat that never jumped on tables or counters, just beds and chairs. He is about 18 pounds and now is jumping on the table and counters. Why woulod he start now at 3 years old?

January 30, 2013 at 4:46 am
(13) Paula says:

My cat Smores is a 7yr old Himalayan Mix and hates to jump. She will find the path of easiest least jumping resistance. I have found after owning several cats that like people they have their own personalities and don’t always fall under the normal definition. My Smores if perfectly healthy but is afraid of heights and she is perfect the way she is.

June 22, 2013 at 8:10 am
(14) Tanja Harmse says:

Persians don’t jump!
I have had persian cats for 20 years now, and none of them have ever jumped over fences or the like. They don’t jump to much more than chair height..
I currently have my garden fenced with a 90cm chicken wire fence, and my Persian has never attempted to jump it..
She is otherwise very playful and healthy.. I think it’s a persian thing…

November 14, 2013 at 6:58 pm
(15) Linda says:

I have a 7month old calico who don’t jump it feels odd every cat that I have had jumps on everything ,I have a 7year old that jump every where ,should I be concern?

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