Showing posts with label broken bones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label broken bones. Show all posts

Saturday 5 November 2011

Do cats fall off balconies?

Cat falling 40 feet from tree to a lawn. He was unharmed.
Do cats fall off balconies? Yes, they do. Cat owners think that cats will always be smart enough and athletic enough to never fall from a balcony. They are smart and great climbers but they make mistakes like the rest of us. The kind of mistake might be incorrectly assessing the rigidity of an object on the balcony. It gives way and the cat falls.

Many broken bones are caused by falls. The most common in warmer weather are falls from apartment windows that have a screen and the cat pushes the screen open thinking that it is fixed. It gives way and the cat falls.

The severity of the injury suffered depends partly on the height of the fall. Paradoxically, the higher the fall (to a limit), the lesser the injury as the cat has time to right himself and then get into a gliding position like a flying squirrel. This slows the descent (see photo above).

Bones broken as a result of a fall from a good height are:
  • femur
  • pelvis
  • jaw
  • spine (less frequent)
  • skull (less frequent)
Blind cat on open roof top.
Often, there is shock and blood loss and internal organ injuries. Cats injured in a fall might be in pain - handle with care and immobilize the cat before taking to the vet.

Cats should not be allowed out on a balcony without a careful assessment of its safety for a cat. A balcony cat enclosure is nice!

I remember seeing a blind cat on a flat roof in Malta. The roof had no edges, just a straight fall. He had fallen once and survived. See the photo. He had great hearing.

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