A two-year-old cat is recovering after a terrible fall from an apartment window. BluePearl Veterinary Partners treated Sammy after he fell four stories on Tuesday morning. The young feline suffered a broken right hind leg and broken toes on his right front paw—and "split his hard palate and air leaked into his chest cavity," according to the vets.
Dr. Rachel Carlson says, "Sammy’s doing considerably better today. He’s a very lucky cat. Thankfully, his owner did everything right and sought emergency medical care right away."
What happened? Apparently a pet sitter was watching Sammy for a few days, and when his human came back, the windows were a little more open than usual: "Something startled Sammy as he was sitting in the windowsill and he fell out the window, taking the screen with him."
Cats actually tend to survive falls from greater heights—like this cat that fell 26 (!) stories from a downtown Manhattan building—due to "high rise syndrome": Cats can right themselves while they are falling, and the more distance they have, the more of a change they have to right themselves.
BluePearl says, "Studies show that cats suffer more severe injuries from falls between the second and seventh floor than from falls above seven stories. That’s because when they stop accelerating, cats no longer sense they are falling and relax, which allows them to better absorb the impact." Check out this video:
In fact, BluePearl treated that cat, appropriately named Lucky, that fell 26 stories; he only had a broke toe and jaw. Here are BluePearl's tips on preventing cats from falling:
- Secure screens with screen guards.
- Don’t leave pets on balconies unattended.
- Keep patio furniture away from balcony railings and high patios.
- Make sure windows are closed before throwing toys for your pets.
- Never allow pets on a fire escape.
- If your pet has fallen, be very cautious when approaching. Animals in pain are more likely to bite. Gently but securely wrap the pet in a towel and seek emergency medical care immediately.
Consider seeing if your cat can amuse him/herself with a paper bag: