The walk is the slowest gait (stalking and other specialised movements are not considered here) and describes forward movement in a four beat manner where each paw is lifted, swung forward and replaced on the ground in turn. The legs are moved on the diagonal commencing with one of the front legs. For example, as the right forepaw is replaced on the ground, the left hind paw will be lifted for the next step. Depending on the speed of travel, either one or two paws are lifted off the ground at the same time (Beaver, 1992). When walking the head may be held slightly above the level of the shoulders, below the level of the shoulders or in line with the shoulders. The tail may be carried held out behind the cat just below the level of the back or held upright (see tail up, affiliative behaviour).

Cats often choose to walk from place to place along raised walkways.




The following sequence shows the leg positions at differnt phases of the gait.





The following videos demonstrate the gait seen when a cat walks.

Home | Chapter | Section | Previous | Next