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Old 02-17-2010, 01:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How high can a cat jump down from?

So I had a scare last night with Miu. She managed to get onto the narrow window sill of a big foyer window. It's about 10-12 feet off the ground floor I think. I coaxed her back on the 2nd floor landing so that was a relief. Not sure if she was frightened or not, but when I called to her, she mewed back and almost promptly came to me when she figured out how to. However, just wondering. If she had jumped down/fell to the first floor, would she be okay?
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How high can a cat jump down from?

Cats are one of the most resilient creates I've ever known. I believe the record for the highest fall/jump was from a 46 story building. The cat landed on its feet and was fine.

I've read one study found that 10% of cats died from falling 2 - 6 stories. (I'd hate to know how they conducted this one lol). I've also read numbers even up to 200 feet.

But this really depends on your cat - Age, health, strength, are all factors. My cat sometimes jumps from the top of the TV cabinet or cat tree (both reach almost to the ceiling) to the hard wood floor. I cringe every time I see or hear him thud onto the floor, but he is always fine (but this may also explain the small limp he's been having for a few days, doh!).

I'd say she would be fine falling/jumping from anywhere inside/around your house, especially if there is a carpet or grass landing.
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How high can a cat jump down from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NosyKitty
I've read one study found that 10% of cats died from falling 2 - 6 stories. (I'd hate to know how they conducted this one lol).
Probably conducted by the people who tied a piece of toast to the back of a cat butter side up to see if the cat could still land on it's feet.


Rot-rho. Now I'm flashing back to the old WKRP in Cincinatti routine about dropping turkeys out of a helicopter as a Thanksgiving advertising stunt. "As God is my witness I would have sworn turkeys could fly"
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How high can a cat jump down from?

I submit this for evidence:



I'm not advocating to throw your cat off a telephone pole... but barring any health problems (previously broken leg, stability issues etc), any cat will be fine jumping from 12 ft.
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How high can a cat jump down from?

Yeah, my friends think I'm dumb. They all believe it's nothing and cite all those news stories where you hear about how cats are okay being thrown X number of stories down. I don't know. Perhaps I'm such an overprotective mom. When she jumps off from a bar stool chair of about 3 feet and I hear that big thud, I also cringe. She just walks off like nothing, but still...<shudders>. When she gave that little cry/mew sound after I called her name, I thought she was scared.

And yeah, the floor below the window as well as from the bar stool chair is tile.

Well, I guess as the opposite question, just to satisfy my curiousity....how high can a cat jump UP to? I heard an adult cat can easily jump 5-6 feet high.
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Old 02-17-2010, 04:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How high can a cat jump down from?

Just remember that cats jumping from/to high places is natural, normal behaviour. It stretches and exercises muscles and joints, and a cat would not be happy if they didn't have places high up to explore. There is no reason to be worried.

To be honest she probably mewed at you because you were calling her name in a worried tone, not because she was actually afraid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpaca
Well, I guess as the opposite question, just to satisfy my curiousity....how high can a cat jump UP to? I heard an adult cat can easily jump 5-6 feet high.
Sounds about right to me. Of course if they can find a shorter route, they will take it; but they can probably jump even higher than that if they feel it's a life-or-death situation.
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Old 02-17-2010, 05:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How high can a cat jump down from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpaca
Well, I guess as the opposite question, just to satisfy my curiousity....how high can a cat jump UP to? I heard an adult cat can easily jump 5-6 feet high.
My tiny little Siamese was jumping a little over 5 feet onto the top of a bureau when I first adopted her. She was relatively week after being mostly caged by a breeder, having been spayed a week earlier and having spent a few weeks in a cage before rescue but popped up 5 feet with no effort.

A lot depends on breed too. Bengals can jump higher than most cats. Then there's weight.
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How high can a cat jump down from?

My sister's cat fell about 20 feet from a tree and acted very injured from it- he wouldn't walk, and would fall over if my sister stood him up. She rushed him to the vet and when they got there... he was just fine! He was walking around, purring, and acting mischievously. "You said he fell out of a tree and possibly injured his back?" The vet asked with a chuckle. I believe they did Xrays just to be safe, but it turns out he was being over dramatic, because he went home with one pill of pain medicine and a pat on the head

As for UP... I've seen Nito do some seriously insane jumps, including sailing clear over my 3.5 foot baby gate, popping right up to the top of my 5 foot TV stand, and even scramble over a 7 foot fence (he didn't fully make the jump, but hooked his front claws on the top and scrabbled up with his back feet)
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Old 02-17-2010, 08:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How high can a cat jump down from?

Dave, I'm a Siamese person too! I used to raise them, but Nina is a long haired rescue. Aren't they wonderful? Smart and loving cats.

OFF topic...sorry.

I would make sure no cat could get through a window screen or off a balcony. They're good jumpers, excellent jumpers, but that doesn't mean they couldn't get hurt.

I had a cat years ago who, in one leap, landed on the top of my refrigerator. They're very good at what they do! Amazing, in fact, when you think of the high jumpers at the Summer Olympics!
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How high can a cat jump down from?

When I was growing up, I saw my parents' cat jump to the top of a 6-foot fence in one leap. (We wanted her to come back inside. She didn't want to. Hilarity ensued.)

Luckily for me, Misty and Stormy don't seem to think they can jump anywhere near that high. (And maybe they can't -- presumably cats do vary in athletic ability.)

I think that when they're calm, cats are probably pretty good judges of how far down they can jump. (Certainly Stormy never tried jumping off the landing when I had a second-story apartment, though she scared me to death by seriously considering it on several occasions.)

I think the main problem is when they get overexcited (say, by a BIRD!) when I think they may try jumps they wouldn't consider in more reasoned circumstances. They can also slip and fall just like people can.

Jumping down from (say) a kitchen counter is nothing to a grown cat, though.

Aside One: I think those studies are conducted by looking at reports of injured cats brought into vet clinics.

Aside Two: Why were those people shoving the cat off the pole?
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