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My cat vs. Usain Bolt

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Have you ever wondered how fast cats are? You probably have tried to cuddle or pet them at one time, but when they aren’t in the mood, they seem to be able to outrun the best Olympic athletes just to get away from you. But how fast are they actually? And would they win a race against Usain Bolt, currently the fastest human alive?

First of all, we have to look at the difference between a domestic cat and a wild cat. Let’s assume you have a normal domestic cat (unless you have a cheetah hidden in your house?). Domestic cats are able to run up to 30 miles per hour or about 48 kilometers per hour. Bolt “only” managed to get a top speed of 27.8 mph (44.72 km/h) during his world record race in 2009, so there’s a chance he would have been a silver medal winner if your cat competed! Now, keep in mind cats can only do this for a very short distance. Setting a new marathon record would be a little bit too ambitious.

Running cat - My Purry Friends

Wild cats on the other hand are capable of running even faster. A cheetah for example can go from 0 to 60 mph in just three seconds and has a top speed of 75 mph! This short acceleration comes close to Formula One race cars. So, Lewis Hamilton, watch out next time you see a cheetah!

But how come they are able to run so fast with those little legs? Human legs are a lot longer, so they should be able to go a lot faster, right? Or is because they have four legs and we only have two? However, in reality it is not that simple.

The difference has nothing to do with how fast we can move our legs or whether we have two or four legs, but it depends on how much muscle force the legs can exert on the ground. Cats have very muscular legs and seem to have an advantage over humans in this aspect, which explains their ability to accelerate like a race car.

Next time you see your beloved purry little friend taking a nap, don’t forget, they are resting for the upcoming Olympics next year and dreaming of taking home the gold!


My Purry Friends

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