We all know how Siamese cats are hyperactive by nature. So much so that I spend my afternoons playing with Batman and Robyn with their favorite toys. I noticed from playing with them that they always land on their feet no matter how high they jump.
Siamese cats always land on their feet, often the right way up. Like most cat breeds, they have a “righting reflex” system. This reflex helps them find their balance and get back on their feet if they fall.
This characteristic is one of the many they have that made them one of the ten most successful mammals to ever walk the Earth. Let’s understand the science between Siamese cats and landing on their feet.
How Do Cats Fall Unharmed?
Siamese cats can land on their feet even when they fall from high places. The righting reflex gives them the ability to fall unharmed.
If you watch your cat carefully, you will see how their righting reflex lets them turn while they are in the air so that they can land on their feet.
Siamese cats can keep their balance and figure out where they are by using their sensitive ears. This keeps them from getting hurt if they fall.
Your little kitty learned this as a baby.
Siamese cats’ flexibility goes well with this righting reflex. Imagine how these cute creatures have 30 very flexible vertebrae. These allow our cat’s front half of the body to move by itself from the back half. The front half can stretch, compress, and arch the back, while the back half can rotate, bend, and twist.
Your cat has a small or sometimes non-existent collarbone that makes the back arch. This helps your cat’s cute front legs absorb the shock of landing. Thanks to their fluid-filled cochlea in the inner ear, they have a good sense of balance.
This part of their body is in charge of body orientation and balance. Wouldn’t it be nice if humans had this, too!
Here’s how the magic happens. When our cats start to fall and feel disoriented, its back bends, giving them two different ways to turn. First, the head and front half of the body turns in one direction. Then, as the front part of the body twists toward the ground, the front legs get tucked in close to the face.
At the same time, the back half rotates, with the back legs spread out, making less movement than the front half.
Then, the switch-up happens. With our cats’ front body facing the ground, the front legs reach for the ground while the back legs tuck in. The reverse actions make the back half of their body spin faster and slow down the front half.
Right before landing, their adorable back legs reach for the ground. This slows the rotation and lets the back half catch up with the front half. Their back arches keep the body from turning any further.
Can a Siamese Cat Survive a Fall?
Like most cat breeds, a Siamese cat can live through a fall as long as it can get its feet under them when they land. Their reflexes will keep them from grinding their faces into the ground. Most cats will be okay if they jump from less than 100 feet up.
If your cat is old, has been in any injury, or has stiff joints, chances of surviving the fall may be slim. Even if they survive, they may need medical attention right away.
How High Can a Cat Fall Safely?
Cats falling safely isn’t just a characteristic they possess. It comes with rocket science too! Physics says cats have a better chance of living if they fall from a hundred feet up than from a low height. This depends on:
Sounds weird? According to Physics, it isn’t. As RadioLab explains, our cats will get hurt if they fall from five to nine stories. But their chances of surviving are better if they fall from a higher story.
When your cat first jumps from a high window, there is no air resistance to fight against the force of gravity. Your kitty will feel like it doesn’t have any weight for a short time. During this time, he feels no weight and its instincts take over.
Your cat will use its righting reflex to turn around, so its feet are down and ready to land. This is a good instinct for him when he falls short distances. Once his feet touch the ground, he’s ready to land and make another move.
But if your cat falls from a very high height and hits the ground fast, landing legs-down will make things worse. If your cat didn’t know it was falling, it would fall in a different way. Such might not be suitable for landing but might make the impact softer. The lower weight can be bad for your cat landings in some ways.
Lower seeming weights are undesirable. This forces your cat to land on its feet rather than have its legs sprawled out and at ease.
A study published in 1987 had researchers examine 132 cats. These cats survived falls of an average of 5.5 stories. The result showed one-third of them would have perished without immediate veterinary care.
Do Siamese Cats Get Hurt When They Fall?
Any cats, including Siamese cats, can get hurt when they fall, even though they often land on their feet. We need to be aware of the issues that might arise when our cats fall. Our cats who fall may get sprains, fractured bones, or head trauma. They may also get chest or stomach injuries.
Consult a veterinarian immediately to assess and treat any severe fall-related injuries. While you get ready to take your cat to the doctor, consider using these first aid measures at home:
Check your cat’s breathing. Go to the closest emergency clinic immediately if your cat has trouble breathing. Cats “nose breathe.” So if you see them panting, it is a symptom that they are having respiratory problems.
Protect open wounds. If there is damaged skin after the fall, cover it with a fresh towel to prevent infection.
Manage bleeding. If the wound is bleeding, encircle the damaged area with a cloth. Press with gentleness and firmness.
Keep an eye on your cat for a while. After a fall, your cat may act normal as they walk and play. After falling, it may later become sluggish, weak, or experience breathing problems. So it’s critical to watch your cat for a few days.
Look for head injuries. Blood in the eyes, nose, or mouth may suggest injuries to the head.
Watch out for back injuries. If your cat becomes immobile, keep it as motionless as possible.
Observe their eating and bowel movement. When your cat falls, broken jaws happen. Watch what your pet consumes. Have your cat checked out by your veterinarian if he yells while he chews, spills food, or drools too much.
So, Do Siamese Cats Always Land on Their Feet?
Yes, Siamese cats can land on their feet.
But, please don’t drop your Siamese cat on purpose to test whether he or she will land on his or her feet. Here’s a cat’s perfect landing described visually.