I can jump nine times my own height from a standing start. Beat that, humans! You never will. Even at Olympic games, humans can do nothing as strong and powerful as this.
Why do it?
For hunting in the long grass, of course. If we just pushed through the grass, the mouse would get away. So we leap up and over, with our front paws tucked in to help the jump, then pushed forward at the last minute to grab the mouse. It's called the fore foot strike.
These photos are blurry because my human was caught by surprise and failed to change her camera settings. But there is a longer video showing my friend Toby on her Youtube channel here.
You will see how carefully we have to shift our weight, poise, and sometimes give a little wiggle just before we launch ourselves into the air. Front legs tucked in on launching, back legs then tuck in, and front push forward just before landing to grab the prey.
It's a precision strike - anything less would lose our prey.
This is just another example of cats' superiority to humans. Powerful muscles, amazing control, precision and power..... ours, not theirs.
- More examples of feline superiority here.