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Wild Animals/Cat enhance stamina and endurance training


Could stair case training could be great way to train?
like 2x a day for 20min for 2 months will this work
can this increase speed as well if yes how far can cat run?

Dear Joe,

A cat is neither built nor evolved for stamina (distance running).  Most cats are "sit and wait" predators who ambush their prey after stealthy stalking.  The exception is the cheetah, but even a cheetah runs only for a short burst, and then gives up if it cannot catch its intended prey within a fairly short time.

That said, stair- or hill-training will increase stamina and strength of *any* mammal, if it is done carefully and without stressing the animal unduly.  (Psychological stress will cause an increase in corticosteroids in the body, which not only can destroy muscle mass, but also cause organ damage in the long term.)  

If you are planning to do this to a domestic cat, DO NOT do so without consulting your veterinarian.  Cats cannot sweat, and forcing an animal like this to do physical exercise that is not part of its natural behavior can do far more harm than good.  Cats aren't meant to be racing animals, and there will be an upper limit to their speed.  They are not horses.  Cats are cats.

If you are planning this to help a companion animal with losing weight, then it might be a reasonable exercise plan.  But cats will do what they want to do, and forcing a cat to run up and down stairs for 20 minutes would be cruel.  Again, DO NOT do anything like this without consulting your veterinarian and following that professional's advice to the letter.

I hope this helps.


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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I'm an evolutionary biologist with a passion for animals. Ask about natural history, behavior, ecology, evolution. PLEASE NOTE:

If you have found an "orphaned" or injured wild animal or bird:
Please don't waste time asking questions on the internet, as the answers may come too late. DO NOT FEED THE ANIMAL, and DO NOT HANDLE IT unless it is in imminent danger. (Many wild "orphans" are not orphans at all!) If you are absolutely sure it is orphaned, keep it warm and quiet, and find a LICENSED WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR HERE. Don't try to raise a baby yourself, or rehabilitate an injured anmal. Many a well-intentioned rescuer will do more harm than good, especially with baby birds and baby rabbits.

Without geographic location, time of day and habitat, I can't help. A clear picture is always best.

It's impossible for me to I.D. an animal call without hearing it myself.

I'm not an expert on comparative strengths of different animals (more complicated than you might think!) nor bite forces.

I refuse to answer "Which of these two animals--X or X--would win in a fight?".

These hypothetical matchups range from impossible (Grizzly Bears and Gorillas don't even occupy the same continent.) to ridiculous (Someone asked me "Who would win a fight between a Great White Shark and a tiger?").

The vast majority of animals--even the fierce and powerful--are not as warlike as Homo sapiens, and it's childish to project our aggressiveness onto them.


I have been the fortunate caregiver to a group of Black-tailed Jackrabbits rescued from the Miami International Airport, and not releasable in this area because they are not native. I also have rehabbed and released Eastern Cottontails, and am in contact with many very experienced wildlife rescuers who regularly handle injured or orphaned rabbits and hares.

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I have a Ph.D. in Biology, with main areas of expertise in evolutionary biology, genetics, botany, and ecology.

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