Do cats have more muscles than humans?

Do cats have more muscles than humans? No, cats do not have more muscles than humans. It is the opposite in fact. My research tells me that cats have 517 muscles while humans have over 650.

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Do cats have more muscles than humans? No. Pictures in public domain. Montage by PoC.

I need to provide some information about these numbers. Firstly, it was very hard to find information on the total number of muscles in a cat. Google was unhelpful. The one source I found,, provided an answer but no reference.

As for humans the number is a bit vague because, as I understand it, there are muscles within muscles. The number varies between 650 to 840 (Library of Congress).

In both instances the cat has substantially fewer muscles than the human provided the cat number is accurate.

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Off the top of my head I can’t think of a reason why. For example, cats have more muscles in their ears (32) than humans. And they have a tail full of muscle.

Perhaps the reason is because humans are a lot bigger and are more complex creatures. Although, I am not sure that that is a good answer.

I think it is fair to say that the cat is more athletic than the human and the cat has more fast-acting muscles in my view. The cat is a highly tuned hunter. By contrast the human is rather lumbering from a purely anatomical standpoint.

Muscles are attached to bones so how many bones do humans have? The answer is 206 for an adult human. Quora states that cats have 230 bones, 24 more than for humans.

It is strange then that cats have more bones but less muscles than humans. It must have something to do with the complexity of the muscle groups in humans but I’d welcome an insightful comment. If I can figure it out I’ll update the page.



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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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