Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > Are Cats Faster Than Dogs? Interesting Facts & FAQ

Are Cats Faster Than Dogs? Interesting Facts & FAQ

Tuxedo cat running at high speed indoors

Vet approved

Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Veterinarian, MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

If you’re the pet parent of a dog and a cat, you know quite a bit about each animal’s physical prowess. You would think that since dogs are bigger and stronger than cats, they would be faster, but the opposite is true. We’ve all seen TV shows and videos of a dog chasing the family cat across the yard and almost catching him. If you’ve been looking for conclusive evidence that one is faster than the other, we have you covered. Who do you think would win in a race? As a general answer, the average dog speeds are around 20 mph, and most cats can run up to 25 mph, so yes, cats are faster! Join us as we discover the details below.


What Is the Fastest Cat on Record?

The fastest cats can be broken down into domestic and wild cats. The world record-holding domestic feline is the Egyptian Mau, which can run up to 30 miles per hour (mph) 1. For wild cats, most people aren’t surprised to learn that the Cheetah comes out on top as the fastest land animal on the planet. The large cats live in certain parts of Asia and Africa and reach speeds up to 75 mph. Cheetahs are faster than domestic dogs and wild ones, so cats are technically faster than dogs.

egyptian mau cat lying on grass
Image By: KoBenz, Shutterstock

What Is the Fastest Dog on Record?

The fastest dog on record is the Greyhound, which can run up to 45 mph and hasn’t been beaten yet. However, several quick canines can beat the fastest domestic cat in a race. The Saluki can run 42 mph, the Vizsla can run 40 mph, and the Afghan Hound can also reach 40 mph.

Who Wins, Cat or Dogs?

It’ll depend on the individual animal when deciding if cats are faster than dogs. Most dogs run at an average speed of 19 mph, with the Greyhound running well above that. Dogs are known for being endurance runners, while cats are best at sprinting. A Greyhound, Saluki, Vizsla, and Afghan Hound can beat any domestic cat in a race, including the Egyptian Mau.

However, the Saint Bernard is one of the slowest dogs and averages about 15 mph. Practically any healthy domestic cat could lap a Saint Bernard in a race.

Most house cats run approximately 25 mph, with the Egyptian Mau running at 30 mph at top speeds. So, it seems that if you’re trying to outrun a Cheetah, you probably aren’t going to make it, and the same goes for a Greyhound.

In the end, the fastest cat or dog will win, and that’s according to the breed and the shape that the animal is in.

weimaraner dog meets a grey and white cat
Image By: Sari ONeal, Shutterstock


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Now that you know which runs faster, we’ll try to answer a few of the most common questions about the speed of dogs and cats in the section below.

Can Humans Outrun House Cats?

Humans can’t keep up with a house cat in a race. The average human can run around 8 mph, and an average cat can run up to 30 mph, so you’re not going to be able to keep up with or outrun your family pet.

pretty black and white spotted cat walks between the girls' feet
Image Credit: YuryKara, Shutterstock

Why Do Cats Run So Fast?

A cat’s speed is influenced by their age, health, and breed, but they also have evolutionary advantages that make them fast animals. They have several anatomical adaptations that help them to run fast. Their vertebrae are more flexible than a dog’s and are cushioned by elastic disks to protect them. Their flexible bodies allow them to make quick turns and reach speeds up to 30 mph. They need speed to be able to both hunt for prey and to avoid being hunted by larger predators.



As you can see, in the wild, cats run faster than dogs, but in the domestic world, a Greyhound can run faster than a cat. However, companion dogs, rather than working or hunting dogs, have average speeds of around 20 mph, and most cats can run up to 25 mph. In an endurance race, a fast dog would win since domestic cats are better at sprinting for short distances than running marathons. Whether you have a dog or a cat, you’re unlikely to beat them in a race since most humans can only run around 8 mph.

Featured Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets