Categories: jumping

Why do cats move their heads from side to side?

Pre-lunge in attack or jumping may include head swaying

You might have noticed that when a domestic cat is (a) jumping precisely onto a platform of some description or (b) preparing to make their final pounce when attacking, they sometimes sway their heads rhythmically from side to side.

This is a method employed by many predators who have binocular vision. You’ll see head swaying most clearly in owls. Swaying the head allows the eyes to see the target object from a slightly different angle which allows the cat to judge distances more accurately as the brain is able to build a more precise 3-D image of the target: the prey and how it is situated in its surroundings.

The cat relies on absolute accuracy when making a killing pounce which explains the need for head-swaying. An impending jump forward after head swaying may be signalled by a slight twitching of their tail.

If a domestic cat is uncertain about the success of a lunge for prey they may swish their tail horizontally indicating indecision about attacking or remaining still. This reflects the cat’s balanced mind on whether to go or stay. The tail is used for physical balance too.

SOME MORE ON CAT SKILLS:

Cat visited previous home 0.75 miles away when current owners were away for weekend (video)

This was a finding by a study in which cats were fitted with video cameras to see what animals they ...
Read More

The four-month-old kitten who climbed the Matterhorn

Domestic cats can climb with great efficiency and expertise. They have stamina and persistence combined with excellent balance, sharp claws ...
Read More

It’s more likely that domestic cats can detect the Earth’s magnetic field

Research into humans on sensitivity to the planet's magnetic field supports the theory that cats have this ability and use ...
Read More

Loyal, Beautiful Cat Won’t Say Goodbye To Elderly Owner Who Went To A Care Home

Elderly Nancy Cowen went to live in a care home (nursing home), Bramley House, some distance from her home. She ...
Read More

There’s no ball without noise: cats’ prediction of an object from noise

I am going to translate into layman's language the title and the quote below both of which are taken from ...
Read More

Cat Climbing Trees

People search for “cat climbing trees”, although I am not quite sure why - ummm..I think it is because they ...
Read More
Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

Benefits Of Dental Radiography For Relieving Pain In Cats

Above is just one view of a cat that was taken advantage of by a…

5 hours ago

$2,000 reward for two cats dumped by a transport driver who ‘needs an ass beating’

This is the infuriating (and heartbreaking) story of two cats who were dumped by a…

7 hours ago

High excitement when cat meets dog buddy

When a dog turns up at the home of a cat there is high excitement…

10 hours ago

Domestic cats that look like lions

Precise selective breeding of Maine Coon cats over many years creates an individual cat that…

14 hours ago

Call for end to wildlife trafficking and bush meat

There needs to be a radical change in attitude towards wildlife if we are to…

19 hours ago

Keep cats indoors to prevent spread of coronavirus say vets

The current advice from British veterinarians is to keep cats inside to help prevent the…

21 hours ago