Sunday 9 January 2022

WATCH: Cat survives leap from burning building. Two reasons why and how.

This is a classic example of how a domestic cat both relies on their skill to slow down the speed of descent when they fall from a great height by fanning out their body like a flying squirrel and on good luck. You can see clearly that this black cat falls onto a nice, spongy patch of long green, lush grass. It didn't have to be like that. It was pure good luck. Often they fall onto concrete. 

We all know about the self-righting mechanism of the domestic cat. There is, actually, an optimum height for a domestic cats to fall which maximises their chance of survival. This gives the cat the time to reach the slowest velocity and of course to fully self-right so that they land on all fours. They end up, if injured, with broken jaws and legs and chest injuries.

RELATED: Longest non-lethal fall in feline history.

Many domestic cat survive these high falls even onto a hard surface but many don't. I remember in Singapore they have 250 domestic cat falls like this from high rise apartments annually and about half of them die. In Singapore a very high percentage of citizens live in high-rise apartments which are government owned. There is clearly a need in Singapore to address this catastrophe.

RELATED: Singapore: 250 cats fall from high rise apartments every year. Fifty percent die on impact.

It is a pointer to one of the great dangers of domestic cats living in apartment blocks. How do cats end up falling out of windows from these apartments? I can think of a couple of reasons. There is a balcony and they are allowed to go on the balcony. There are no protective barriers on the balcony and cats being inquisitive push their luck and jump up onto the railings and fall off. They make a mistake essentially. Cats are very good at not making mistakes and they are very athletic but they are not 100% guaranteed to achieve their objective. They take risks.

Another possibility is that their owners play with their cat. The window is open. The window is quite low lying near the floor. The cat jumps up excitedly. The cat jumps through the window, inadvertently. Bye-bye cat 😢. 

There are obviously many other possibilities but, of course, ultimately it comes down to human caregiving. How good is it? How much attention is paid to the possibility of their cat falling off a balcony or out of a window to the ground? These accidents can only happen ultimately through human carelessness.

Video caption: A dramatic leap to safety by a frightened feline was caught on camera by Chicago firefighters. After bouncing on the grass, the cat just walked away.

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