What is the purpose of a cat's heel (halfway up the leg)?

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1 Answer 1


From @Krupip's comment in a related post:

It's a pivot point where muscles attach to.

Muscles contract, causing the bone to act like a lever, pushing the whole foot down, allowing more force to be applied to the ground.

[The particular leg in the diagram] represents the back leg of a dog/cat, the heel is extended on the blackleg to give the animal more power when jumping.

This is good for pouncing predators, but also the only practical way large animals can jump with any distance, such as horses, which only have the pivot on the back leg and have pillar legs on the front (the bones are inline, there is no modified heel pivot location).

Feel free to edit or replace this answer.

  • 2
    you can accept your own answer as solved and get some extra rep,if anybody posts a better answer you can change the accepted one to the other answer if you want. Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 3:55
  • 2
    @trondhansen Yeah, thanks. When I try that, I get a message that says I have to wait for two days before accepting my own answer.
    – User1974
    Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 4:00
  • i was not sure you did know it so it was just to inform you :) Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 4:02

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