Why squirrels are more agile climbers than cats

The domestic cat is a very agile climber. All species of cat are to varying degrees very agile climbers and there are a number of species of wild cat who are tree dwelling and therefore they are even more adept at climbing. The wild cat species that is perhaps the best climber is the Margay. This is because this cat has very flexible ankle joints which allows it to grip with it’s claws at varying angles. The Margay is monkey-like. One reason why the squirrel is more agile when climbing than cats is because the squirrel has highly flexible ankle joints which allows it to climb down headfirst vertically and run all over trees as if they are on the flat.

Another probable reason why the squirrel is a much more adept climber than a domestic cat is because it has a superior power to weight ratio. The squirrel is much lighter but retains considerable power. As the video demonstrates, the domestic cat for all its skills is no match for the squirrel. Why then do people generally treat the squirrel as a pest almost akin to a rat? Why is it hunted so casually? It’s a great animal. They often get along with domestic cats. There are videos of them playing together.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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