A rock-climbing cat

This free-climbing moggie shows a lot of talent, including upper body strength. Clearly there are some climbs a human makes that a cat can’t, given their disparities in size, but I wonder if there are some climbs a cat can make but a trained rock-climber can’t.

h/t: Grania


  1. GBJames
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    But can it get down again?

    • Bob Murray
      Posted December 7, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Who cares. That’s why we have firefighters isn’t it?

  2. Posted December 7, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Cool video!

    (As a former rock climber — too old and broken down now), those are yuge holds and very close together.

    There probably are slab climbs that a cat can do that a human can’t.

    Slab climb.

    But almost all rock climbs are on small holds in a vertical or near-vertical form.

    Small holds.

  3. Posted December 7, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    One thing I noticed is that the cat always knows where its feet are going. Human climbers are constantly looking down to make sure they plant their feet in the right places, but once the cat mentally maps out where it’s going, it never needs to look back.

  4. darrelle
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    A lot of climbing that humans do makes use of specialized equipment. Mano v Cato (i.e. naked) I think there are lots of climbing scenarios in which a cat could out perform a human.

    • rickflick
      Posted December 7, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Thin branch.

  5. veroxitatis
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I wonder why it climbed this or how it may have been encouraged to do so? What benefit was there for the cat?

    • Posted December 7, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      15 minutes of video fame!? More likely, there is a treat or bowl of food at the top.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted December 7, 2016 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      Nah, some cats just instinctively climb anything. Fences, trees, power poles, curtains…

      Check this one out – including the overhang at the top:

      Or this one – how is the kitteh hanging on? Suction?


      • veroxitatis
        Posted December 8, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Thanks for these wonderful clips. However, neither clearly supports your thesis of natural instinctiveness. The first relates to access to the cat’s home, I suppose: the other to its following a light. In the clip which Prof Coyne put up, it may indeed be correct that there is food at the top of the climb, as Mr. Bell says, but I have to say that I see no evidence for that.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted December 8, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          I agree the kittehs in those two clips were probably motivated by something. So ‘instinctively’ is not supported by those particular clips.

          Maybe ‘habitually’ would be a better word? I don’t know if the majority of domestic cats climb things (until they get too fat’n’lazy) or if it’s just a conspicuous minority.


  6. Heather Hastie
    Posted December 7, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I love this so much!!! What a cool cat!

  7. JohnnieCanuck
    Posted December 9, 2016 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    I hope someone is spotting for the cat, in case of a slip, but I wouldn’t want to do it myself without claw proof clothing or an appropriate net.

  8. Posted December 10, 2016 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

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