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CATWALK! – gait vocabulary

Warriors from Erin Hunter was a book I had attempted to buy at a book fair here in Lima. They were selling the Spanish translation of the first book. So many people had bought the first book and I wasn’t going to buy the second without reading the first! I finally got all the first volume in English from Amazon. Now I am reading  during my commute without getting dizzy which I was never able to do before. This first book inspired me to write about the differences between some verbs about how cats move and their gait – the  manner of walking, stepping, or running.  The word gait is commonly used when refering to any of the ways by which a horse can move by lifting its feet the feet in different order or rhythm. 


It’s the the fastest pace of a horse or other quadruped. In full gallop horses can reach 88 km/h whereas cats can reach 48 km/h. Information from:


Horse 1 by pictures animations


A smooth gait that is slower than a gallop but faster than a trot. Forward going at mid-speed allows a controllable walk while trot, canter and gallop and provide some jump.


Horse 25 by pictures animation


Any four-legged animal trots by  running at a slow speed. When people trot somewhere it means they go there in a busy way. A student in the morning turned her walk into a trot as she she realized she may arrive late. Most of the time I trot to the bus stop, too.


Horse trotting by


You’ll be reminded of the word ‘stalker’, someone who follows or observes a person persistently. Animals do this when they track prey by moving slowly and quietly. This is also done this when walking with a stiff, haughty, or angry gait.


“Cat stalking birds” by Forbush, Edward Howe, (1858-1929) – The domestic cat; bird killer, mouser and destroyer of wild life; means of utilizing and controlling it. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons –


Playful cats bound by leaping forward or upward. With one effortless bound a cat can jump over a fence. Moreover, they bound to catch prey. Bounding involves running or walking in a series of jumps or leaps


When someone ambles he /she walks at a leisurely and relaxed pace. Perhaps you want to browse around a shopping arcade and amble or you might be focused on your thoughts and amble slowly.

Descriptive Zoopraxography Elephant Ambling Animated 13 retrieved from


This means to run or go quickly, lightly and often playfully. For instance, children scamper in the playground while playing hide and seek or when looking for Easter eggs.


To walk with long steps, especially in a hasty or vigorous way.  Imagine you are on the street and your spouse is angry at you. He or she might stride to leave  you behind. Have you ever done that?
Some links with interesting information:
Horse gaits at Gaits of the horse 
Robinson Visual Science: Walker’s stride
Image library of nature and pets: