How Fast Can Cows Run

How Fast Can Cows Run?

Being the world’s most common domesticated farm animal, it is no surprise to wonder just how fast cows can run. It is important, before we go any further, that you know that the female of this domesticated farm animal is what we call a cow, particularly if it has given birth to calves before. A heifer is what we call a female that has not given birth to any young yet. The male variety of this farm animal is what we call a bull. Both cows and bulls fall under the order of bovine. Without further adue, here’s just how fast cows can run.


Cows Can Run Faster Than You

When you see cows they’re often slowly walking on a field of grass, grazing as they go along looking for greener pastures to feed on or a tree with a canopy of leaves for shade which they can then sit under to cool down. The assumption that is wrought from this image is that cows are slow, lazy animals that cannot run as fast as other animals. This couldn’t be further from the truth, cows can run at a top speed between 17 and 25 miles per hour without fail. The average human can only do 6.5 to 10 miles per hour. This just goes to show, by comparison, how fast cows can actually run.

How Are Cows So Fast?

The first and most obvious reason for cows being so fast is the fact that they are four legged animals. They have quite a lot of stability and their four legs help them cover more ground in a short amount of time as opposed to animals with two legs (like humans.) Although there are some two legged animals that can cover quite the distance with impeccable speed and are an exception, an example is the ostrich.

  • Cows are from the order of bovine, which consists of animals like bison and buffalo (these are mostly animals that thrive in the wild) and if you know anything about these wild animals, you know that they are pretty fast. Some of which are capable of outrunning lions and cheetahs (with the latter possessing the title of being the fastest terrestrial animal.)
  • So with such amazing animals having the same genealogy as the cow (domesticated bovine) you can start to see where the speed naturally comes from.
  • Animals which have a fast running speed often evolve to have that trait because of predators (animals that hunt and ear them.) But because the cows are now domesticated and have been for quite some time, they are not as fast as other bovines that are in the wild.

The Dangerous Side Of A Cow’s Speed

As mentioned before, the speed of an average human is about 6.5 to 10 miles per hour but that of a cow is between 17 to 25 miles per hour. You can not outrun a cow, especially if it is charging towards you in a bout of rage or anger because you did something to it or its young (calf.) These are the two most common reasons a cow would charge towards you. Therefore do not do things that agitate the cow, whether jokingly or otherwise. Second do not touch the calf of a cow (when the cow is hereby and it can see you.) A cow charging towards you at 17 to 25 miles per hour should not be taken lightly. The cow can kill you in an instant, it is especially worse or more likely to be so of the cow has got some horns. Here’s what you can do if you ever find yourself in a situation where you have to run from a cow.

Stand Where You Are And Reassert Your Dominance

You are superior to the cow in intellect and consciousness. It may have a greater running speed and greater strength but you are smarter. The cow doesn’t know any better, it is merely reacting to instinct. If you want to male the cow stop running towards you and there’s still some distance between you and the cow; stand firm and do not hesitate or make any sudden movements. When the cow notices that you are not reacting to its petty (but frightful) reaction, it will start to slow down and change direction.

  • Just make sure to look away from its eyes (as looking directly into its eyes can agitate it more and give it reason to keep charging towards you) and pay attention to other body parts.


If standing still whilst something that weighs more than the average sized car is running towards you then the next best thing is to run! But the trick here being that you do not run in a straight line. The cow is certainly faster than you without a doubt but it is only fast when it is running in a straight or uniform line with minimal to no changes in direction. You on the other hand (although much slower) can change direction as you please and a lot faster at doing that than the cow. Just be sure to run (in a distorted zig-zag pattern) towards a place where the cow knows it cannot enter, like the main house. This is not a highly recommended solution for evading the cow but it may very well work, provided you do not trip and fall.


  • All of the above information caters to average sized cows and humans, etcetera. The speed of a cow can vary depending on a range of factors like its health, size and age,etcetera.


Most of us will look at cows and assume they are slow and lazy animals because they are fat, bulky and mostly always laying around. But they are very fast four legged farm animals, the same can be said for the male counterparts of cows (bulls) which have a higher speed and are much, much more dangerous than cows. That is why most bulls are castrated (the testicles are removed) so as to stop the production of testosterone which is a hormone produced by the testis that gives male animals more edge and strength.