According to many owners, when their cat wants to throw to catch a prey or a toy, she first “gets ready”.
Stomping with its hind legs and movement with its back lasts only a few moments before the cat rushes to the target with an arrow, whether it be a toy, your foot under the covers or live prey.
So far, there has not been any research into this strange behavior, but one scientist studying animal locomotion said he has several ideas on why cats do this.
“In short, science does not yet know why cats do this; preparation for the throw, to my knowledge, has not been studied in an experimental context, ”said John Hutchinson, professor of evolutionary biomechanics at Royal Veterinary College in London.
According to Hutchinson, stamping on the legs and moving the back can help cats to press their hind limbs tighter to the ground to create additional friction and traction to push them forward in the jump. “It can also play the role of preparing the whole body for an exact jump and capture – both proprioception (awareness of the relative position of body parts and their movement), and muscle training for the fast neural teams needed to jump,” said Hutchinson. It can also be just an aerobic workout before the jump.
“This kind of behavior is likely to stretch your muscles a bit, and it can help with jumping,” Hutchinson said in an interview with Live Science. “And we cannot rule out that this is just funny for cats; they do this because they are thrilled by the thrill of hunting and the proximity of prey. ”
According to Hutchinson, in an ideal experiment, cats would pounce both in preparation for the jump and not in preparation, so scientists could determine what impact the “preparation” (or lack thereof) has on the accuracy and strength of their throw.
Of course, Hutchinson has a lot of work without it, but he joked that “I will definitely conduct such an experiment someday. I will gather a few scientists and friendly cats when the time is right. ”
In the meantime, we can only be content with theories!
And why do you think a cat is “preparing” before a throw?