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CatWalk is a test apparatus and measurement tool in one.

CatWalk consists of a glass plate along which a mouse or rat walks. Light enters the long edge of the glass plate and is completely internally reflected, except at those areas where the animal makes contact with the glass plate (typically the animal's paws). A video camera positioned underneath the glass plate captures the illuminated footprints and sends these to a computer running the CatWalk software.

CatWalk video


The CatWalk software records the position, timing, pressure, and dimensions of each footfall, and facilitates the classification of footfalls. On basis of these measurements, graphical output is generated and numerous endpoints are calculated. These endpoints can then be exported to spreadsheet programs for statistical analysis.

Analysed footprints
Catwalk System


  • Dynamic assessment: Besides footprints, CatWalk provides a host of parameters related to the dynamic aspects of footfalls and gait. Examples include: step sequences, duration of brake and propulsion phase, support formulas, and phase lags.

  • Paw weight distribution: Catwalk precisely detects whether a paw makes contact with the floor or not, and if so, how much pressure the paw exerts on the floor. An animal that experiences pain in one of its paws will likely avoid supporting its weight with this paw; hence less pressure will be measured.

  • Non-invasive testing: The recording of footprints on video occurs while an animal voluntarily walks in a dark, tunnel-like environment.

  • Detailed and retraceable data: A human observer is no match for CatWalk. The computerized processing of footprints on video results in highly detailed, reliable and retraceable data.

For more information on CatWalk please drop us an email, or visit the Noldus website.

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