Fall Syndrome: Protect your cat

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 19.10.2021

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When summer comes, many animal owners joyfully open the windows to enjoy the weather. Unfortunately, at the same time they, without knowing it, put their animals at risk. Unprotected windows present a real danger to cats that drop out of them so often that veterinarians have a name for this phenomenon - a fall syndrome from a height. During the warm months, veterinarians from the Berg Memorial Veterinary Hospital with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have approximately 3 to 5 such cases per week. The fall can lead to a jaw fracture, a puncture of the lungs, a fracture of the limbs and pelvis, and even death.

Fast Facts: Fall Syndrome from Cat Height

  • Cats have an excellent survival instinct, and they do not "jump" deliberately from a height that can be dangerous. Most cats accidentally fall out of windows, terraces and emergency fire exits located at high altitude.
  • Cats have an incredible ability to focus their attention on what interests them. A bird or animal that attracted attention can distract them enough to make them lose their balance and fall.
  • Since cats are not very afraid of heights, and they like to sit high, the owners often come to the conclusion that they can take care of themselves. Cats can cling to claws at the bark of trees, but other surfaces, for example, ledges of windows, concrete, brick, are much harder.
  • When cats fall from a height, they do not land directly on their feet. When landing, their paws are slightly diverted to the side, which can lead to severe head and pelvic injuries.
  • The fallacy is that the cat will not get hurt if it falls out of a one-, two-story building. In fact, they may be at greater risk of injury if they fall from a small height, rather than from an average or a large one. Small distances do not give them enough time to correctly choose the pose in the fall.
  • Remember that when cats fall from high buildings, they can find themselves on sidewalks and streets that are dangerous and unfamiliar to them. Never think that the animal will not survive after the fall. Immediately take him to the nearest veterinary clinic or to your veterinarian.
  • In 90% of cases, cats that have fallen from a height that received immediate medical attention survive.

The fall syndrome from height can be completely prevented

To protect the cat from danger in the summer, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends the following measures:

  • To fully protect animals, it is necessary to install comfortable and durable screens on all windows.
  • If you have adjustable screens, make sure that they are tightly attached to the window frames.
  • Note that cats can slip into window grilles protecting children from falling out, as they do not provide adequate protection!
  • Hosts should also ensure that the cat was in the house to protect it from additional risks, such as cars, other animals and diseases. People who want their cats to be on the street, it is necessary to equip fenced areas in yards or on terraces.


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