Why Does My Cat Have Trouble Jumping?

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ash colored cat sleeping on rug

If you’re a cat owner, there’s a good chance that your cat is jumping up on everything in sight. After all, it’s what cats do! So why does my cats have trouble jumping? The answer isn’t as simple as one might think.

Don’t worry though! This article has some great information about why this occurs and some solutions to the problem. Find out how to help your furry little friend jump with ease and keep him from hurting himself with these handy suggestions.

In case you didn’t know, cats typically only jump when hunting or defending themselves from predators – so it’s possible that your kitty just can’t jump because he feels scared or defenseless.

Related Article: Why Is My Cat So Jumpy All Of A Sudden?

Why does my cats have trouble jumping?

When a cat jumps, her body is angled and arched differently than when she’s walking. This makes it more difficult for her to get off the ground with the same force.

Cats have weak muscles in their hind legs that don’t allow them to run, jump or get up from a sitting position without help from the front leg muscles. Because cats rely more on their hind legs than humans do, they tend to be stiff when jumping and landing because of the weakness in those muscles. This can make it so that their feet don’t have enough time to soften before landing.

If this is the case for your cat, she may have hip dysplasia or arthritis. These conditions are common in older cats, or if your cat has been neutered or spayed before four months old. Your vet can test your kitty to see if you need to treat him for any of these conditions.

Some cats are more prone to hip dysplasia than others, and it can develop very early in life, but it may not show signs until much later. The most common signs of hip dysplasia are limping or holding the hind legs at an angle when walking. This hurts the cat’s feet and ankles, so after a while she won’t want to jump anymore because she doesn’t like the pain!

Younger cats should be kept inside as much as possible, which will prevent accidents like jumping out windows or running into traffic. Even older cats should be kept inside at night so they don’t get hurt.

If your cat is kept inside, it will be easier to prevent injury from jumping. To help her jump better and not hurt herself, you can try buying a cat ramp or putting her favorite climbing toy near the back door. Be sure to supervise your kitty while she is using the ramp or climbing toy – she might cause serious damage if she’s not supervised.

brown cat standing and holding table with two hands

Even though your cat seems older, keep in mind that there are still many changes happening in her body each year, which contributes to joint and bone development. So while she may seem like she’s slowing down and outgrowing her jumping days, your cat will probably just need a little extra time to get used to jumping.

10 Reasons why your cat have trouble jumping

There are different reasons why your cat have trouble jumping. These includes:

  1. Your cat’s body is too old
    Senior cats might have some problems with jumping. This will worsen as they get older and it can be a big hindrance to their ability to move freely every day. Most of the cats are more debilitated during their golden years than they were in the younger years. So, if your cat is already 8 years old or above, then there’s a possibility that he can’t jump easily anymore.
  2. Your cat is overweight or obese
    Obese cats feel stiffer and heavier when jumping, so they prefer staying on the floor instead of jumping on objects around them.
  3. Your cat has arthritis
    This is a joint condition that causes painful inflammation and stiffness of your cat’s joints, especially the hips and spine. This condition is common in older cats, especially those from Maine Coon cats.
  4. Your cat has hip dysplasia or bone deformations in the hip area
    This condition can also be quite common in older cats. As your cat grows old, the cartilage between the bones in his hip joint wears away and becomes thinner. This makes it harder for your cat to move his legs, especially when jumping. He will only suffer from this if you do not take care of him properly to avoid further damage in the future.

Hip dysplasia can be seen as limping on its hind legs in your kitty when walking or climbing, this indicates that she might need to see her veterinarian immediately. The doctor will see if there’s any abnormalities or inflammation around the hip areas which might cause pain during movement or jumping.

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  1. Your cat’s paws are sore
    There are times when your cat has trouble jumping because his paws are sore or injured after jumping on hard surfaces or using staircases regularly.
  2. Your cat has abnormalities with his legs
    This is very uncommon because the majority of cats are born with normal legs. But there are times that your cat will feel pain and it can affect his ability to jump.
  3. Your cat has a skin disease such as ringworm or mange
    Ringworm is a bacterial infection that causes hair loss, sores and scabs on your cat’s body parts like toes, ears and fur. Ringworm is highly contagious so it can be transmitted to other cats that your feline friend comes in close contact with. Meanwhile, mange is a parasitic disease that infects the skin and hair follicles of cats. Aside from these diseases, your cat might also have other skin conditions that can cause it to feel pain.
  4. Your cat is still a kitten
    Your cat’s bones and muscles are still growing and developing, so jumping can be taxing to cats that are still young. While they may seem like they’re outgrowing this habit, it’s best to keep them inside so they don’t get injured by falling off of high places.
  5. Your cat has damaged nerves or spinal cord problems in the back part of his body
    Your kitty can’t jump if he has damaged nerves or spinal cord problems, since he won’t be able to control how his back leg muscles move when jumping on objects around him.
  6. Your cat’s eyesight is impaired or he has cataracts
    When your eyesight gets worse, you can’t see objects around or far away from you. It’s hard for cats to see things in front of them from far away, especially when they are jumping and not using their front paws normally. The lack of sight makes them fall more easily when they jump and it can also cause stress and pain when they land on the ground.

5 things to do your my cat have trouble jumping?

  1. Weaning your cat off of high places
    If there’s any place your cat can get injured if he jumps, it should be on top of high places like the couch or sofa, the table, cabinets or closets. Try to keep a safe area next to your kitty’s favorite spot where she can safely jump but not too close to any of these objects.
  2. Supervising your kitty while she is jumping
    When you supervise your cat while she is learning how to jump, she will learn how to control her body weight and not hurt herself when jumping.
  3. Using a cat ramp or cat climbing toys
    There are cat ramps and climbing toys that you can purchase that are specifically designed for cats with joint problems so they can easily reach high places without getting stiff. You can place it near the area your kitty usually jumps on, where she can then climb up to the top without problem.
  4. Physical therapy for your kitty
    Take your kitty to the vet if he’s having difficulty jumping. If a physical therapist is needed, then you should think about doing it because there are numerous things that your veterinarian can do to help him regain control of his muscles and ease any pain he feels when jumping.
  5. Having your kitty groomed every few weeks and trimmed around the paws, toes and tail
    By trimming your cat’s claws regularly, this will make it less painful for him when he jumps because he can’t scratch himself when using his front paws. Usually, your cat will not only scratch himself while jumping but also while walking on hard surfaces. It’s best to trim your kitty’s claws if you want to prevent him from hurting himself while jumping.


Your cat has trouble jumping if there’s a medical condition or disease affecting him. However, you can take these steps to help him regain the ability to jump again. If he feels pain when jumping, it may be because of arthritis in his joints, so ask your vet about this.

If that’s not the case, asking your vet about his eyesight and other body parts can help him diagnose further and come up with a treatment if needed. In addition, there are also times when your cat cannot jump due to abnormalities in his spinal cord or his legs.

If none of the reasons applied to your kitty, then you should bring your furry friend to a veterinarian because he might be experiencing some health problems that you don’t know of. I’m sure this article has helped you get a better understanding why your kitty might be having difficulty jumping.

brown cat sitting on the fence

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