Fluffy Furry Meow Logo
Grey cat run sideways

We’re An Affiliate

We hope you will love our articles and recommended products! So that you know, we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Thank you if you use our links. We really appreciate it!

Why do cats run sideways?

December 29, 2021

Table of Contents

People have observed that when cats run, they often move their legs to the side. They run this way counter to our other four-limbed animals, who tend to move their limbs more forward and backward. Cats’ running style is an example of a common feline movement pattern called “paddling.” Cats might paddle with all four limbs simultaneously, or they might move one pair of limbs in sync with the other pair in a way that looks like running.

What’s the purpose of this movement? Is it just random behavior, or is there an evolutionary explanation for why cats paddle when they run? Let’s look into what science says about cats’ sideways shuffle.

Cats’ running style is an example of a common feline movement pattern called “paddling.” Cats might paddle with all four limbs simultaneously, or they might move one pair of limbs in sync with the other pair in a way that looks like running.

Why do cats run sideways when playing?

Paddling is a fun movement pattern for cats. Cats might paddle with all four limbs simultaneously, or they might move one pair of limbs in sync with the other pair in a way that looks like running. Playing is an important part of exercise and enrichment for cats. It can promote their mental health and help prevent obesity, aggression, boredom, and indoor yowling.

Paddling isn’t going to make your cat run better overall on a treadmill or on a racecourse – but I guess it does make them look more graceful when running sideways!

Playing is an important part of exercise and enrichment for cats. It can promote their mental health and help prevent obesity, aggression, boredom, and indoor yowling.

Why do cats arch their backs and run sideways?

Adult cats might arch their backs, flatten their ears and run in a way that looks intimidating to their prey when hunting or in a predator-versus-prey situation. Cats also might display this behavior when they feel threatened by someone or something.

Why does my cat run diagonally?

Your cat may run diagonally to sneak up on prey! Leopards, wild cats, and cheetahs are known for this curious hunting technique.

In addition to having their entire leg structure built for running, cats have been observed making sudden stops and changing directions quickly. Cats paddle when they run because it helps them increase their speed and maneuverability. Paddling is a fun movement pattern for cats. So you might catch your cat paddling often as she’s going about her daily business!

Cats might paddle with all four limbs simultaneously, or they might move one pair of limbs in sync with the other pair in a way that looks like running.

Conclusion

Cats run sideways when they are playing, hunting, or scared. Cats might paddle with all four limbs simultaneously, or they might move one pair of limbs in sync with the other pair in a way that looks like running. Paddling is a fun movement pattern for cats. So you might catch your cat paddling often as she’s going about her daily business! Playing is an important part of exercise and enrichment for cats. It can promote their mental health and help prevent obesity, aggression, boredom, and indoor yowling.

Mary Wilson
Mary Wilson
I am a happy cat parent and animal lover, and I am from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Living with three cats and my lovely husband - James. We like traveling around with our cats and writing in our free time. Sharing what we have learned over the years of cat ownership brings joy.
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on email
Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Reviews