The favored proverb “cats have 9 lives” might be derived from their capability to seemingly all the time land on their ft. This distinctive expertise for aerial strikes actually rivals Cirque du Soleil. It’s a trait that’s held by only a handful of mammals. Monkeys, lemurs, primates and squirrels shortly come to thoughts. However bushes are their major habitat. Cats, not a lot now. So how do they do it? Let’s discover why cats all the time land on their ft!
Cat righting reflex
The flexibility that cats possess to proper themselves as they fall is due to their reflexes. Cat-like reflexes turn into an actual lifesaving ability! How cats land on their ft seems to be many voluntary and involuntary responses working in tandem. They basically are in a position to twist their physique in reverse instructions. Then they can prolong their again legs to create extra of a parachute whereas retracting their entrance legs to extend the rotation velocity on the entrance of their our bodies.
All tree-dwelling animals have an aerial righting reflex, in accordance with biologist Robert Dudley, with the animal flight laboratory on the College of California – Berkeley in a BBC article. And whereas cats will not be residing in bushes since they got here indoors to stay with people about 9,000 years in the past, they’ve carried out their fair proportion of tree-dwelling and have developed over the centuries to face up to falls. Their entire physique is designed for it!
Nevertheless, by no means attempt to check your cat’s righting reflex – this can be a silly and harmful concept. A cat pushed or thrown doesn’t have the identical benefit of a cat who has misplaced his footing or miscalculated a leap.
Felines’ type follows operate
Listed below are the weather that make your cat’s physique a death-defying marvel:
Cats decide which means is down both visually or via small bones of their ears.
Quantity vs. mass: Cats have a whole lot of floor space in comparison with their weight.
It’s a leg day day-after-day! Cats’ legs are lengthy and muscular. They’re able to divert the power used for climbing into decelerating (suppose springy!).
Cat legs are angled coming off his physique somewhat than straight. Coupled along with his versatile joints, they’re good shock absorbers.
Their backbone is further exceptional because of having 30 vertebrae.
The versatile skeleton of a cat lacks a collarbone – additionally useful throughout a fall – the forceful power doesn’t get jammed up.
Stressed in a excessive rise
A number of years in the past, Sugar, a cat from Boston, made worldwide information by surviving a 19-story fall. A chief instance of cats all the time touchdown on their ft – as a result of the miraculous feline suffered minor accidents. However, there are different kitties who haven’t fared as effectively.
Through the 1980s, the Animal Medical Middle in New York Metropolis noticed a dramatic enhance in cats plunging from high-rise buildings. There have been so many incidents that they coined the phrase, “Excessive Rise Syndrome.” The white paper on the syndrome states that 132 cats fell from buildings over a five-month interval in 1988. Thirty-seven p.c of these cats required emergency medical therapy. Amazingly, 30 p.c required no therapy. And 90 p.c of the cats who obtained medical consideration survived.
Whereas these stats are fairly steep within the cats’ favor, there are stats not mirrored in these numbers. When a cat falls or jumps from a high-rise and is killed, he isn’t taken to the veterinarian for therapy. It’s not actually recognized what the general fatality charge for cats falling from excessive locations is precisely.
For well being and security causes keep in mind:
Set up screens on each window.
Examine the screens periodically (cats can scratch and stretch on them!).
Preserve your cats inside: Don’t permit entry to balconies and terraces.
*Catios are a good way to present your cats outside entry.
Our most exceptional home visitor
With all their abilities, each apparent and extra secretive, cats have enchanted individuals for hundreds of years. And whereas our fascination with all issues cat continues, one in every of their best mysteries uncovered is why cats all the time land on their ft!
Concerning the creator:
Denise LeBeau is a author, editor and photographer with virtually 20 years of expertise of making content material for animal-related points, endeavors and occasions. She labored at Finest Buddies Animal Society for 12 years the place she had two columns within the Finest Buddies Journal, and held a number of content material creation roles together with internet managing editor and outreach marketing campaign editor. Denise has been an ongoing contributor to Catster since 2014, writing for the journal and web site. The self-professed poet laureate of the pet set is at present the supervisor of improvement for an animal welfare company, the place she works with a workforce to create content material throughout media platforms. She lives in Hampton Bays along with her two rescue Siamese mixes – Flipper and Slayer, and her LBD (little brown canine), Zephyrella.