Everything I Know About Running I Learned From My Cats

If you have cats, then you already know the key to living your best life is to spend all your time sleeping, snuggling, rolling around on the floor, and eating. But can cats teach us anything about running?

Silly humans! For the answer to any question that begins “Can cats…” is inevitably “Yes. Duh.” In fact, I’ve lived with cats all my life, and they’ve taught me basically everything I need to know about running.

Recovery is everything.

That’s why cats spend so much time sleeping – it takes a lot of muscle power to jump up to the top of a bookshelf that’s 15 times your height. Next time you’re tempted to have another coffee rather than succumb to a nap after your Sunday long run, look at your cat. Then get in bed.

If you’re not stretching, you’re doing it wrong.

Speaking of recovery, cats are also aces at yoga. They love other people doing yoga. They love sleeping and sitting on yoga mats. They LOVE stretching. They love other people stretching post-run: yummy salty sweat! Mmmmm, electrolytes. As a runner, if you’re not getting your stretch on a few times a week, you’re doing it wrong.

Cats seriously prioritize nutrition.
Give your body what it needs. Proper fueling is key.

Getting enough calories is a major life goal of every cat I’ve ever met. Have you ever woken up completely ravenous at 2 a.m. the night after a long, hard workout? Yeah, your cat would never have that problem. Watch and learn.

Snuggle power.

Yes, really! Don’t neglect the loved ones who give you strength/snax, put up with your 5 a.m. weekend runs/cuddle attacks, and endure your incessant chatter about your marathon time goals/that bird outside the window. Snuggle these people. A lot.

Cats don’t give a flying furball about who’s faster, prettier or stronger.

Ask any cat who’s the greatest. Her answer will inevitably be “you’re looking at her.” Cats uniformly all believe they are the best thing ever. Takeaway for runners: tell yourself you’re a fierce, graceful, agile huntress and see what it does for your workouts. Chances are you’ll like the results.

Fellow cat ladies, what have your cats taught you about running?

I'm a 41-year-old living in Berlin, Germany. I run because I can't not run. I write about training, mental training, momming, and the odd rant.

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8 comments

  1. Per Max-Cat: Do not eat food that tastes nummy but your stomach doesn’t like before sprinting. Your human will need to clean up afterward.

  2. What I know from my cats… they would definitely have taken a rain check on the Boston Marathon this year! They are like heat seeking missiles, no interest in being anywhere cold or wet….

    1. Hmm, my cats seems to tell me that going from a sleeping pose to doing 60 second intervals around the house (nightly) is a good thing. With no warmups! They definitely like yoga. Also, eat the same exact food every day.

    2. Ha! No cat would be caught dead anywhere near that kind of weather! They’re like “wake me up when the sun comes out kthxbai”