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6 Reasons Why Cats Would Not Win a Marathon

Shoelaces! Birds! Grass! Barf! Distractions and disqualifications would give them zero chance.

Angie Bailey  |  Mar 10th 2016


I’m not a runner, but I have more than a few friends who’ve trained for and competed in marathons. I feel tired just thinking about running all those miles, and I have the utmost admiration for those who take on such a challenge. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not completely lazy. I love long walks and a bit of bike-riding. I just don’t have any desire to hoof it more than 26 miles … on purpose, that is.

Cats are flexible and athletic creatures. But they’d be the worst marathon runners ever. Sure, they can leap like nobody’s business and chase the hell out of a red dot, but ask them to run — or even walk — the length of a marathon and they’ll laugh in your face. Not only would the endless distractions slow them down, they’d never put up with anyone giving them rules. So really, they’d never have a chance at winning a real marathon.

Ridiculous? Yes, but stick with me and stop being so serious. Here are six reasons cats would flick their tail at the prospect of placing first in a marathon.

1. They’d pull over to eat grass

Blade runner

Blade runner. Photo via Flickr

Most cats enjoy chomping on blades of grass, making it difficult for them to compete in any outdoor activity unless it involved eating grass. As soon as they smelled nearby greens, they’d leave the crowd of runners to have a snack … or four. Then they’d probably have to pull over again to barf up the grass. Then runners would probably slip on the piles of vomit.

2. Nobody’s gonna tell them what to do

"Just no."

“Just no.” Photo via Flickr

Cats like to make their own rules, and thus would disdain any sort of “number of miles” qualifier. If they intend to participate in a marathon, they’ll decide how long it will be and how many grass-eating stops will be built into the race. In other words, they’d never participate in a real marathon.

3. They’d stop for naps

Marathon naps.

Marathon naps. Photo via Flickr

No cat could go the distance without stopping for at least a few naps. It’s kind of like the story of the tortoise and the hare, except the cat wouldn’t wake up and race to the finish line. No competition is worth losing sleep over.

4. No one will settle for less than first place

"I'm number one!"

“I’m number one!” Photo via Flickr

Even though kitties would stop for naps and snacks, they’d still be ticked off if they didn’t win the whole shebang because every cat is certain of being the center of the universe. Each one feels deserving of the number one spot in life.

5. The wildlife would distract them

"Look! Squirrel!"

“Look! Squirrel!” Photo via Flickr

Ah, the great outdoors. No cat could spend any amount of time outdoors without eventually becoming distracted by the local wildlife. Outdoor marathons mean the presence of birds, squirrels, bunnies, insects, and all sorts of other critters that tickle a cat’s fancy. The phrase “Look! Squirrel!” sums up a cat’s concentration level while attempting to compete in a race.

6. They’d play with the other runners’ shoelaces

"I'm a shoo-in."

“I’m a shoo-in.” Photo via Flickr

Marathons mean runners, and runners mean running shoes … which means shoelaces. Cats would become obsessed with any dangling shoe strings, especially ones that have become untied. They’d trip runners left and right while attempting to catch the strings. This, of course, would slow them down and remove any chance of placing first in the race. Plus, all that “tripping the runners” business would certainly mean immediate disqualification.

It’s all okay — it would just gives kitties more time to lie around, watch birds, and eat grass. And they’d still think they came in first place,

How would your cat become distracted during a marathon? Tell us in the comments!

Read more by Angie Bailey:

About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.