Why Do Cats Always Land on Their Paws?
We are wondering, why do cats always land on their feet? Of course, it doesn’t work with some fed pets, but it’s still the exception rather than the rule. So what’s the cat secret? We are ready to tell you a few interesting facts about if it always happens so.
Have you ever heard about science that studies cats falling? It’s called “cats pasematology”. “Pasema” (from Greece) – it’s translated like “falling”. High-rise Cat Syndrome was first described by Dr. Gordon Robinson (a veterinarian at New York’s ASPCA Hospital) in 1976. About 150 owners bring him fallen cats every year.
Cat’s Vestibule Apparatus
According to recent experiments (which Twitter users have done with their cat) it turns out that cats do not always roll over in the air – there is an important nuance. And now someone is going to hide their slippers from angry pets.
The test was conducted in three stages. The guy reduced the distance for his fluffy friend with every flight:
- For the first time, the height was about four feet. A flexible cat successfully achieved this aim.
- Then four inches (about ten centimeters). The cat wins again and then even two inches (five centimeters) let him do a maneuver!
- But the real magic happened when the boy dropped his cat on the table just millimeters from the surface. Do you think the cat didn’t have enough time to react? We don’t think so.
After the experiment, opinions were divided among users. A lot of people were delighted with the experience (some did the same with their cat). And others felt sorry for the miserable cat.
Now let’s consider this phenomenon scientifically. Landing on paws is the ability that occurs in kittens as early as 3-4 weeks old.
In addition, the cats have righting reflexes. They spread on their paws reflexively while falling from a height to increase the body surface and to slow their descent – It’s called “the parachute effect’.
It’s all about the physics and possibilities of the cat’s spine. Cats don’t have a collarbone and their bones are more mobile than other animals. As a result, they can rotate the upper body in one direction and the lower part in the other. In this way, cats gain control of their falling and can land on their paws easily.
Observations of falling cats showed that when the animal falls, it instantly begins to adapt its body to the landing. A perfectly developed vestibule apparatus helps them in this fast and clear orientation.
The sequence of actions – firstly, the cat turns its head, then its neck and torso to keep them in line with the head. During the falling, the cats press their paws and tail to the body. That’s how the pets speed up the rotation. As soon as the cats land, they relax their paws and tail and let them out. As a result of this movement, they stop rotating.
The cat’s movements are accurate and energetic. They can coordinate position with the ground in seconds. Many people think that a cat tail helps to align their body but it’s false: some breeds of cats without tails can land on their paws just as well as cats with tails. These animals need their hind paws, not their tails to maintain momentum.
High-rise injuries are dangerous – your cat can get trauma and bruises, rupturing of the visceral organs, and internal bleeding. The owner might see fractures but only a specialist can detect internal pathologies. Therefore, if the cat can’t walk (or limp), or has become sleepy, lethargic, lying on its side, its limbs are cold, its mucous membranes are pale, and blood is oozing through the natural holes, you should see a specialist.
If a cat falls from a height it has more time for maneuvering purposes in the air. The pets haven’t time for grouping when they are falling from a low distance.
Ironically, such falls can affect your cat more than a flight from the window of the multistory building apartment house!
It’s a bad idea to check if a cat has nine lives. So, you should take the necessary measures for the cat’s happy and long life. If a cat lives in the apartment you have to use special lattice on the windows or to glaze the balcony.
Read more interesting facts:
- If you would be a cat you would say Meow* (happy sound)
- If you would be a cat you would say HRR* (angry sound)