How Fast Can A Cow Run: When, Why, Interesting Facts


How Fast Can A Cow Run: When, Why, Interesting Facts

Since cows seem enormous, innocent, and lazy, there is an unpopular opinion that they are very slow runners. Despite being a herd and herbivorous species of animal, they are swift runners. 

Cows run about 25 miles per hour on average. However, their recorded maximum speed is 40 km/h, which is slightly less than a quarter horse. This indicates that cows can run really fast.

The speed at which they run can vary based on several factors, including their age, health condition, training, breed, and environment. It is obvious that a five-year-old cow can run faster than a ten year-old cow.

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Why Do Cows Run?

Running is not an essential part of a cow’s routine, so they only do it occasionally. Learn why cows run and under what circumstances they run. 

Cows usually run because of fear, excitement, and to escape from predators’ attacks. Even though cows do not run as frequently as other animals, it is totally normal for them to do so under certain circumstances.

Although mooing is a way for cows to express emotion, fear, disbelief, anger, or distress, also they flee when they sense the most significant dangers. 

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Reasons Why Cows Run

They Run out of Fear

Cows usually run when they get scared of something around them. This could be because of humans’ actions of hitting, kicking, or scaring them away. As any other creature would, they escape from fear to save their lives. The slightest human touch of anger or loud sounds made cows flee.

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To Escape from Other Animals 

Not just humans, cows also escape from other animals in fear of predator’s attack. They usually fear animals like dogs, pigs, horses, and bears. According to research, the most fearful animals for cows are dogs. This is because dogs are often from predators’ families, as cows are prey, which is why cows fear them. When confronted with these animals, it is natural for cows to run away. 

They run when they are excited.

Cows are active yet friendly creatures. They usually love playing around with other animals and humans. Thus, it is normal for cows to run when they are in fields with other herd animals. They also run and sprint when they are happy. 

To Chase Humans

Although cows might look innocent, they are among the most vengeful animals and run behind humans when they are pissed off and angry because of them.  

Why Do Cows Run With Their Tails Up?

Cow’s body language is difficult to understand since they react to different situations with a change in the positions of their tail. Since they usually run with their tails up, let’s figure out why

When a cow is running with her tail up, it usually means the cow is exploring or watching out for danger. Sometimes, they also run when their tails up when they are excited or happy. 

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How Far Can a Cow Run?

Now that we know cows can run at high speeds let’s examine how far they can run with this speed.

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The speed of cows may vary with their breed, but on average, they can cover 300-350 feet within seconds. Despite momentum, factors like surface, weight, and age also determine how far a cow can run. 

Unlike horses and sheep, cows do not have the instinct to run like other herd animals. This is also because of their weight and body structure, but they can run for great distances without rest when they need to run. 

How Long Can A Cow Run?

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There are conflicting views on how long a cow can run. While some believe that they run more than 5 hours without rest, others think it is difficult for cows to run a maximum of 2 hours. 

Cows can run for 20-30 miles in a day. However, that depends on several factors, including: how far it is to water, how much distance they are used to walking each day, and the weather conditions.

Are Cows Faster than Humans?

Since a cow walks at an average speed of 180 feet per minute and can run at a rate of 25 miles per hour, does that mean they are faster than humans? Let’s figure this out.

A cow can run faster than a human, but it cannot change its direction as swiftly as humans. Cows are meant to run and jump. Generally, they can leap over a four- to five-foot barrier without difficulty, which is much higher than humans. 

Can you Outrun A Cow?

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Since cows do not run as fast as humans, it is a common misconception that humans can easily outrun them. But is that really so? Can humans really outrun a cow?

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Generally, humans cannot run faster than cows, so they are very unlikely to outrun them. It is estimated that cattle are twice as fast as humans if they are racing in a straight line.

A male grown up can run at a maximum speed of seven miles per hour. Cows, however, can run at a maximum speed of 17 mph. Since cows and humans can run at different speeds, it’s clear that an average human cannot outrun a cow.

How Fast Can a Cow Walk?

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It is inevitable that you will encounter various cows walking around you every day, which might draw your attention to their speed. Read on to know their maximum speeds while walking.

Considering that cows are bovines, they can walk all day with a more incredible speed of 2 miles per hour. But this is only when they are in reasonable shape. 

On an average cows in a herd walk for around 10-15 miles in a day. But when not startled, their speeds are two times slower than humans. Therefore, when they’re calm and moving around, they stroll.


In a nutshell, cows are not as lazy and innocent as they might appear. However, they are herd animals that walk really slow. Still, they can run really fast ( when they want to) and even outrun the humans and chase them effortlessly when startled by something. 

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