We can’t be absolutely precise but the standard house cat would make the Olympic final and probably get a medal, even a gold. It would be about keeping her on track! And not making a false start!
The best moggies can run at around 30 mph (48 kmph). Let’s be conservative and say a very fast, fit moggie has a top speed of 25 mph which is 40.2 kmph. Usain Bolt averaged 37.58 kmph at his best.
The guys in the latest Olympics in Tokyo would have been slower than Bolt as his best when he set the world record of 9.58 seconds. The winner at the 2020 Olympics won in 9.80. So considerably slower than Bolt.
There is an outstanding issue however. Can a fit and fast house cat sustain about 25 mph over 100 meters? My strong gut feeling is yes.
The cheetah can run at a top speed of just under 70 mph for about 400 meters before overheating. I’d expect the domestic cat to have a similar maximum distance at top speed.
Conclusion: moggie wins gold at the Paris Olympics. Wouldn’t that be fun; to have an animal versus human race? I think there would be a massive amount of interest. The hard part is getting a cat to perform at their best under the circumstances of an Olympic final. It’d be pure chaos I expect.
The cat generates impressive speed because they have fast twitch muscles and a floating clavicle which lengthens their stride. The cat is very flexible. As a top predator they are morphologically specialized! Big words. They need that speed as they rely on the stalk and pounce technique. They also need extreme acceleration. They have it.
The house cat would easily outperform all Olympic sprinters over the first 30 meters provided they responded to the starting pistol 🙂 .
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