How do cats keep their balance?

How do cats keep their balance?

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Cats have a particularly strong sense of balance like hardly any other animal. They can fall from the highest heights and still turn on their paws, they balance safely on the narrowest wall and jump precisely to the smallest point. But how do cats keep their balance with such difficult actions? A narrow garden fence is not a problem for cats at all - Shutterstock / rokopix

Cats are true masters in the animal kingdom when it comes to keeping their balance. And that is also important, because a cat's everyday life is largely dependent on the art of keeping its balance safely in difficult situations. Freelancers in particular use their skills outdoors to hunt or fight with other species, but cats also like to climb, jump and balance for their lives.

Vestibular apparatus is the "spirit level" of cats

The movements of cats, especially in relation to the musculoskeletal system, the head and the cat's eyes, are largely controlled by reflexes. The rotating reflex, for example, ensures that cats almost always land on their feet. The stimuli for the reflexes are generated in the so-called vestibular apparatus, which sits in the inner ear of the velvet paw and functions in a way like a spirit level. Crystals move in a liquid in the vestibular apparatus. The organ constantly dictates the position of the cat's head and body relative to the floor. If a cat falls, jumps or falls, the stimuli from the vertical system ensure that the kitty lands safely on its paws. To maintain balance, for example when balancing on a narrow wall, more is needed - namely a very special aid.

Cat tail is the "balance bar" of cats

Cats stroll around the narrowest ridge as a matter of course, even looking unimpressed to the left and right - they don't even seem to have to concentrate to get safely from A to B. This is possible thanks to the unique "balancing bar" at the rear end of the fur noses. The tail of the cat is essential to keep the balance so reliably. It moves automatically in the most difficult situations and gives the cat a certainty that it can handle hot spots and jumps safely. When jumping, the cat's tail also serves as an oar, with which the cat can even correct the direction in the air.

Cat anatomy: why cats are so flexible

Cats jump to the ground from the highest heights, climb steep walls and always twist ...

Physique is optimally designed for acrobatics

In addition, the cat's body is simply ideally adapted to the sometimes breakneck, but from a cat perspective, quite normal way of life of the animals. Light bones, effective muscles and practical cat paws with claws make cats perfect hunters and acrobats. So it is the combination of an exceptionally strong sense of balance, the extremely practical cat tail and a perfectly balanced physique that gives cats their security during complicated movements.


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