Britain’s scorching temperatures over an extended period, which is highly unusual in this damp country, is putting curious cats at risk of falling out of open high rise windows.
There is a bit of an epidemic (if that’s the right word) of cats being injured having plunged to the ground from windows. And, yes, cats can fall from a good height and often suffer relatively minor injuries because of (1) their self-righting mechanism and (2) their ability to slow their descent by fanning out and (3) their flexibility, but they can and do get hurt in a fall.
Take for example the story of a cute kitten, Zana, who fell from a second story window breaking her leg. In fact the shorter falls are more dangerous as cats don’t have time to slow their fall. There is an optimum safest height and the second floor is below it.
Vets patched up Zana but her left hind leg was shattered. It could have spelled the end for her but for extensive, expensive surgery. She still a long and fraught recovery. The Blue Cross are worried that there will be an increase in the number of cats injured through falls from windows and balconies.
Often it is the young, immature cats who make misjudgements. They are experiencing their first summer and curiosity at what lies beyond an open window can lead to a error of judgment and possibly serious injury.
In my house I have installed a simple velcro-based window mesh system which allows me to leave one window open during warm weather while continuing to contain my cat. The picture on this page illustrates it.
It means buying some velcro strips and some black, plastic mesh online at Amazon. You cut the mesh to size and affix the velcro to both the mesh and the window frame. I asked a local dry cleaner and seamstress to sew the velcro to the mesh while the other part of the velcro has a sticky backing for fixing it to the window frame. It takes about 20 mins at most to construct. It allows a nice draft through the house with complete security for my cat. He also likes to sit at it to smell the air and hear the sounds of the outside. I highly recommend this system for full-time indoor cats.
The veterinarian who treated Zana, Alison Thomas, said:
“Every year we remind owners about the dangers of cats falling from windows and balconies. Like Zana, fall victims are often very young, experiencing their first summer and are curious to see a window or door open for the first time. Young cats often lose their footing and fall which can lead to devastating injuries, and older cats often fall when sleeping on a window ledge or balcony.”
Think mesh windows to resolve this potential danger and have peace of mind.
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