The saying ‘cat’s always land on their feet’ isn’t necessarily true. Understandably, not all cats can execute the perfect landing when they fall.
Milk, a domestic short hair fell from a two storey apartment balcony when he was only four months old, resulting in head trauma, kidney bruising and leg fracture that required surgery. It has taken him two months to fully recover.
“I first met Milk when he arrived with blood coming out of his ear and a limp leg – he was in quite a state,” remembers Dr Pinfold.
“We see cases like Milk’s more often than we would like. It’s traumatic for pets as well as their carers. There is a myth that a cat will always land on all four paws when falling from a height – this is simply not the case.”
“The height of the fall won’t necessarily determine the severity of the injury either. Further to this, additional risk of injury is added after the fall as the cat may be disoriented and become lost or get hit by car,” added Dr Pinfold.
Lort Smith recommend cat carers living in apartments with balconies keep their feline friends safe by keeping them permanently indoors.
Pet carers can easily achieve a satisfactory arrangement where their cat has access to a window where they can view the world and sun themselves.
“If the cat must go onto the balcony, ensure there are no gaps in the balcony, that the balcony is tall as cats can jump quite high. Most importantly, actively supervise your cat at all times,” emphasised Dr Pinfold.
Milk spent two months rehabilitating in foster care and has now been successfully rehomed through the Lort Smith Adoption Hub.