Please don’t take this story as a reason to lower your guard when living in an apartment on the higher floors of a high-rise block with a cat because sometimes cats lose their footing. They are not infallible but they are inquisitive. Imagine it: your cat is an indoor cat in a high-rise block, living in an apartment, perhaps a one-bedroom apartment all her life. Domestic cats are inquisitive. You leave a window open in the hot weather and she wants to look out and even go out so she walks along the window ledge, perhaps overly confident, slips and falls.
As she falls 18 stories – 180 feet – she opens out her four legs wide to create an umbrella-like air brake with her body. She reaches a terminal velocity at which she is liable to survive the fall. It is obviously better if she falls on grass but even on a hard surface she will probably survive but there’s no guarantee. Most often domestic cats do get away with perhaps a broken chin, jaw or a pelvis or perhaps a leg. Or the sternum is cracked that but they invariably hit the ground upright so if a bone is to be broken it will be one on the underside of the body.
The story on the Daily Mail online website reports on a cat, a tortoiseshell-and-white cat and therefore female, whose name is Jaffa Cake, who fell from a window of an 18th floor flat without breaking a bone. Her owner is Carley Burke and they live in Southampton, Hampshire, UK.
Carley was understandably horrified when she suddenly discovered that her cat had strayed out onto the window ledge and fallen. She said that she found her half dead with a swollen face on the ground below. She rushed Jaffa Cake to the veterinarian’s as she coughed up black blood.
And then the good news, after having spent the night at the clinic for checks and observation she was told that Jaffa Cake had no broken bones or serious injuries. Carley said that she normally never goes on the window sills so she panicked when it happened. When she saw on the ground she burst into tears.
The next morning Jaffa Cake was bright and alert and ready to carry on as if nothing had happened. This is a classic example of a cat falling from a great height and it is not that unusual for cats to survive these high falls relatively unscathed. But don’t presume that she will because some cats to die or are seriously injured from these falls.