Our cat Skittles normally moves at one of two speeds, neither of which is a walk. Oh, she can walk, and does, but usually she prefers either a trot or a pace so slow it would try the patience of a crippled snail.
When she comes in off the deck, she always does so at a bouncy trot. A few steps inside the house, she slows to walk, then picks up again to trot toward her food dish. The creeping speed is used when she can’t really make up her mind if she wants to go out or not. She will stand and switch her tail for two full minutes, then move forward a step or two, then she’ll stop and think about it some more. That can be totally frustrating for the person who is holding the door open. As she gets closer to the door, she will go into a sort of slink through it, provided the door holder hasn’t given up and gone off to do something else.
Our other cat, Ozrow, seldom trots. He walks along with a swagger for the most part, holding his tail straight up in the air. If he isn’t prancing along he is moving full speed and he can run fast enough to be little more than a blur.
He never hesitates to go outside but he does his own version of slowing down to come in. That usually consists of rubbing against everything he can on the way. He’ll rub the support post on the deck railing.
He’ll rub against the legs at both ends of a bench on the deck. He’ll rub against the door frame, and even the leg of the person impatiently holding the door.
Once inside, Ozrow may walk at a brisk pace to his food dish, but he doesn’t trot the way Skittles does. Once he has his tummy full, he moves around the house in sort of a laid back saunter.
All out running is reserved for when he is outside away from the house and responds when we call him. After a super speed dash to the deck, he slows to his rubbing routine.
About the only time we ever see Skittles run is when she and Ozrow are chasing each other through the house. They don’t do that as much as they once did, but occasionally they still will. The indoor kitty races are usually more of a winter activity, when both are bored because it’s too cold to go outside.
I suppose their speeds are in some ways related to their personalities. Ozrow is an optimist, while Skittles is more of a pessimist.
Ozrow is always sure some new adventure awaits him around every turn, while Skittles is sure something is going to get her with her next move.
Skittles is either trotting away from danger that isn’t there or she is hesitating because she is fearful of what she might be moving into. Ozrow barges ahead and dares anything to get in his way.
If we can see the outline of one of our cats in the night, we can usually tell which it is simply by the walk, or trot.
Each of their ways of moving about is distinctive, but in the end they both get where they are going and that’s probably all that matters. The gait they choose is up to them.