Can a Cat Outrun a Dog? (Are Cats or Dogs Faster?)

Can a Cat Outrun a Dog? (Are Cats or Dogs Faster?)

Cats and dogs are two of the most popular animals in the world, both with many loyal owners. However, we still love to debate whether one of these pets is faster than the other.

For years, there has been cat versus dog races on television that test which pet wins each challenge they’re put up against.

The experts usually believe that cats are faster, but let’s look at some facts and statistics and see if it’s possible that dogs are actually more agile than their feline friends.

Can a Cat Outrun a Dog?

Yes, a cat can outrun a dog. A cat is a sprinter, while a dog is an endurance runner. This means that a cat can accelerate and maintain its speed much faster than dogs can, and they can sprint long distances much faster than dogs can.

However, this also means that cats tire out quickly and will not be able to keep up with dogs over longer distances where the dog’s stamina can win out.

Cats Are Lithe And Well-Muscled

The secret to cats’ speed has to do with their lean muscle mass. When it comes to running and feline agility in general-leanness wins. A healthy adult cat’s skeletal muscle makes up about 30 percent of its body weight, compared with 50 percent for humans and 65 percent for dogs.

This means cats require less energy to power through that sprint.

It also means cats can move more quickly without building unnecessary bulk. It takes only 3 to 5 pounds of pressure per square inch (psi) for a cat to run at full tilt, which is roughly one-third that required by humans and even less than dogs.

A Cat Doesn’t Have As Much Fat As a Dog

Unlike dogs, cats aren’t built to be endurance athletes. There are differences in their muscles, and that means there are differences in how fast they can run.

Dogs have bigger leg muscles and more mitochondria, the power generators in our cells than cats do. That makes them better equipped for running long distances at high speeds.

They also have significantly more aerobic capacity than felines do because of their size. And while some breeds of cats may seem jacked with big muscles and bulging sides, it’s important to remember that they are still nowhere near as muscular as a typical large dog

A Cat Can Control It’s Speed Better Than a Dog

Cats have more flexibility in their body than dogs do. Cats can control how fast they run better than dogs do. Dogs are always running at full speed and tend to not be able to slow down as much as cats can.

This makes it easier for cats to catch small prey when running for food which leads them to get their exercise that way. Cats also have retractable claws which help them catch their prey, but isn’t a problem because they aren’t trying to run on the pavement when hunting as dogs do!

Another advantage that cats have over dogs is that they don’t pant as most dogs do. Most dogs breathe out of their mouth while moving quickly which means less oxygen gets into your system.

However, panting will help cool off your blood so you feel cooler after you get back from exercising. The size of each animal’s heart has a lot to do with how fast they can move during intense exercises such as sprinting.

The larger an animal is and its ability to cool off the blood with blood vessels without overheating determines how well it will perform during high-intensity activities in terms of energy conservation rates.

Cats Are More Motivated To Run Than Dogs Because They’re Often Smaller Prey Animals

Running increases your chances of survival. Dogs are bigger and more likely to win in physical confrontations with other animals. If you’re smaller and slower than most of your prey, you need to be able to run fast to stay alive.

A large predator like a lion will take down a much larger game than it can eat, so it needs to hunt frequently and often.

The same holds true for house cats; if they don’t work hard to get food, they won’t eat enough calories to survive.

Cats need to run More than dogs because they live in stricter environments: Unlike dogs that usually live inside houses where they can lie around all day, cats must adjust their behavior according to how hot or cold it is outside.

Since they have no choice but to go outside when they want food, shelter, or entertainment, cats must run all day long!

Dogs Can Accelerate In Two Directions While Cats Can Only Accelerate Forward

If you’ve ever seen dogs and cats running next to each other in an open field, you might have wondered which one would win if they raced.

If a race was held over even just 20 or 30 yards, most people might be tempted to pick their favorite pet. But science doesn’t allow for human bias. Dogs can accelerate in two directions: forward and laterally (away from their center of gravity).

Cats can only accelerate forward because they lack muscles around their shoulder joints that give dogs impressive lateral acceleration abilities.

The downside to being able to move quickly in more than one direction is that it increases your chances of injury during sudden stops, so when chasing prey both animals may use only forward acceleration and deceleration movements for safety.


Can a Cat Outrun a Dog? Yes, cats are quick and agile creatures. Smaller in size, cats don’t have to run as fast as dogs for self-preservation. However, cats are not more fleet of foot than their canine counterparts; just smaller, and in some cases quicker, than larger dogs.

In general, both canines and felines move at about 30 miles per hour; though most dogs travel closer to 25 mph and some cats reach 70 mph (110 km/h).

The two categories of animals also vary greatly in size, the average dog weighs more than 10 times that of a typical feline, which has a huge impact on running speed.