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How Fast Can Domestic Cats Run?

Have you thought about how fast your cat can run? What about those times when your lazy, sleep all day feline suddenly races through the house as if on fire? Or, as horrible as it sounds, your inside only kitty races between your feet and out into the neighborhood wilds as you open the door? Could you catch your wayward feline?

How Fast Can a Domestic Cat Run?

On average domestic cats can run up to thirty miles or forty-seven kilometers an hour.

It’s doubtless you could catch them at that burst of speed. That’s just it. That thirty miles/forty-seven kilometers per hour isn’t something they can maintain. They are built for short bursts of speed, not long-distance running. So, at some point, you’d be able to catch up, if not catch, your escapee.

Does This Maximum Speed Depend On Breed?

In short, yes. Below are the most athletic and energetic cats in general and specifically the fastest.


Abyssinians are active cats, and they love to be on the move. Because of their high energy levels and intelligence, Abyssinians should be kept busy with food puzzles, daily exercise, and even training for tricks and agility.


Bengals love to play. They like to demand attention and will do whatever it takes to get it. Bengals may climb to the highest points in your home, the fridge, closet shelves, tops of drapes, you get the idea. They also enjoy playing fetch. This breed is not the type to lounge on your lap all day.

Egyptian Mau

The Egyptian Mau is the fastest domestic cat in the world and can run up to 30 miles per hour (mph)/47(kph). This speed, along with powerful legs, allows them to jump to high-up places, such as your shoulder, without hesitation or notice.


This is an ancient breed most known for its lack of a tail. They are completely tailless, have a stump of varying lengths, or a regular tail a bit shorter than most other domestic felines. Even though they don’t have that long tail, they are still athletic and agile.

“He can jump and accelerate through the house like there’s no tomorrow. Watch for his sharp turns and quick stops – you’ll think he’s a mini sports car in the shape of a cat.”


Ocicats are a breed stemming from Abyssinians, Siamese, and American Shorthairs. This resulted in a large, muscular cat known for its speed and agility. Ocicats are also very social and like to be involved with their owners.


Orientals are long, lean cats with huge bat-like ears. These cats tend to be loyal to one person. They demand and need lots of attention, exercise, and playtime. If this feline doesn’t get enough stimulation, they will occupy themselves by causing all kinds of mischief.


The Savannah cat is a cross between a domestic cat and a Serval. Servals are medium-sized wild African cats with large ears. Savannahs love to climb as high as they can go. Their long bodies and legs can find them in places you might think they could never reach. Savannahs are known for being curious, have high intelligence, and are quite athletic.


These cats can be active, playful, and demanding. Their high intelligence can make them mischievous. They will turn on sink faucets, open cabinets, and can find the most creative hiding spots. You can keep your Siamese entertained with puzzle toys, clicker training, and if you’d like to venture it, agility training.


Somalis are long-haired versions of Abyssinians. Somalis are good candidates for trick training, agility, and even walking on a leash.

How Do Cats Run So Fast?

All cats, from cheetahs in the wild to the domestic cat, are built for speed.

A cat’s body is built for quick-burst sprints and impressive acceleration.

They use their powerful hind legs and the flexibility of their spinal column to enhance running speed. The cat’s spine compresses as they prepare to leap or sprint. In turn, it builds a spring-like boost to the leap or sprint.

Cats run in a different way than they walk. While walking, both left legs move, then both right legs. While running, cats use both back legs to spring forward, followed by both front legs.

How Far Will a Cat Run At Maximum Speed?

Most domestic cats won’t run further than 50 or 100 yards. Your cat, when they go wild and spurt through the house will usually do so in short bursts. Watch your furry feline next time they go into crazy cat mode.

How Fast Can a Cat Run For Long Distances?

Short answer: not fast.

Cats weren’t built for endurance running. Our modern domestic cats don’t have much reason to run any distance because they don’t have to hunt for their food.

Even if they are faced with danger, such as being chased by a predator, most cats choose to hide or climb.

Feline superior climbing abilities, speed, and cunning make them difficult prey. Take notice, though, if a cat cannot find a place to hide or climb for safety, they will struggle to outrun most predators.

Factors That Influence a Domestic Cat’s Speed

Genetic makeup.

Certain breeds are simply faster than others, while others are built more for cuddling on the couch than for high-speed hunts.

Activity level.

If your cat is generally active and spends time outside, chances are it will maintain more speed than her homebound peers. Cats can get lazy over time, which can slow them down.


To Sum It Up

So, overall, a domestic cat can run, in short bursts, up to thirty miles/forty-seven kilometers per hour. However, they cannot keep that speed up as they are not built for endurance running. Some breeds are more athletic and agile, which makes them able to run faster than some of their counterparts. Now you know how fast a domestic cat can run.

Did it surprise you just how fast a domestic cat can run? Leave your comments below!

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