Gyroscopic stabilizing system of the domestic cat

Summary: In order to enhance hunting success by more accurately judging distance between themselves and prey animals, domestic cats have this inbuilt gyroscopic stabilizer to keep their eyes steady and level to better focus on their intended target.

This a neat example of how the domestic cat keeps their eyes level and steady when they are moving. I believe this happens all the time and this innate ability kicks in automatically when the cat is focused, laser-like, on a prey animal or perhaps something else which is particularly interesting.

Gyroscopic stabilising system of the domestic cat
Gyroscopic stabilising system of the domestic cat. Photo: Screenshot from video on this page from
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It would normally occur when a cat is looking at a potential prey animal. They need to keep focused on the object with their binocular, rangefinder, vision. They can pinpoint the object with accuracy and work out the distance from them to the target. This is important as they rely on stalking prey to a close range followed by a final surge which is all or nothing. They need to maximise the chance of capturing prey at the end of their dash.

To me this video highlights a classic, inherited feline attribute which enhances their ability to improve kill rates when hunting. As their whole life revolves around this it is an important part of their wellbeing.

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

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All their anatomy is built with the purpose of improving hunting skills. They have amazing acceleration. They can locate sound with great accuracy. If they can’t see it, they might be able to hear it and attack on that basis alone.

Their floating shoulder blades allow them a larger than usual stride which means that they can run faster than Usain Bolt in his prime over a short distance. This depends on the health and conditioning of the cat! Not all can run at 30 mph but many will, including my cat.

They see in the dark because of their ‘reflective retinas’ allowing them to hunt prey animals active at that time. There are so many adaptations to efficient hunting. One of them is this interesting, inbuilt gyroscopic stabilising system.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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