Kinetic analysis of felines landing from different heights

Meizi Wang, Yang Song, Stephanie Valentin, Julien S. Baker, Yaodong Gu

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Abstract

Background
Kinetic motion analysis has been used in canines and equines as a fundamental objective evaluation measurement. Cats are very capable jumpers, and this ability has biomimetic applications. It is essential to understand movement patterns and physical adaptations of this species, as cats are popular pets for humans. Further to this, motion analysis of a cat’s movement patterns may provide potentially valuable information in relation to limb disease and injury. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate kinetic differences in cats when landing from varying preselected controlled heights.

Methods
The peak vertical force (PVF) and paw contact area (CA) of both the forelimbs and hindlimbs were collected from seven healthy Chinese domesticated cats while landing from heights of 30 cm, 50 cm, 70 cm and 90 cm respectively. The falling motivation for the cats was facilitated with the use of a flip board. This device provided the basis for the cats to land passively.

Results
The results indicated that the PVF of all examined limbs (fore right, fore left, hind right, hind left) significantly increased as the height increased. When the PVF from the hindlimbs and forelimbs were compared, the forelimbs recorded significantly greater values for all heights examined (P < 0.001). The PVF of the hindlimbs was symmetrical at all heights, but forelimb symmetry only occurred at the lower heights. The hindlimbs demonstrated larger CA than the forelimbs measured from all heights on landing (P < 0.001). Moreover, the paw CA on the left and right limbs were symmetrical.

Discussion
The paw CA of cats may be an effective parameter to evaluate abnormalities or diseases in the limbs of cats. Additionally, these findings highlight how cats land from varying heights, which may also provide reference values for the bionic design of artificial limbs for felines and treatment for limb diseases in this species.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere8007
JournalPeerJ
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Landing
  • Motion analysis
  • Kinetics
  • Cat
  • Bionics design

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