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Updated: 9th November 2006

High Rise Syndrome

As most people know, when a cat is able to see, it will usually land on its feet. It's a neat knack they've had to evolve over eons of climbing trees to cache their kills, evade predators, and look down on the world from a high bough. Although the cat's claws are evolved in an arched shape that is better suited to climbing than for use as weapons, they are still the tools of agile and capable hunters.

Among the feline's numerous predatory gifts is the capacity to fixate on his prey–a skill useful when chasing a shrew through the grass, but a serious disadvantage in the urban world. People living in tall buildings often allow their cats to sit on window ledges and fire escapes, unaware that the traits which allow cats to clamber through trees aren't nearly as effective with metal railings, window panes, and brick. Cats have been known to fixate on something outside and leap or fall from high-rise ledges, an occurrence frequent enough that urban veterinarians have coined a phrase for it: High-Rise Syndrome.

Surprisingly, cats falling from lower floors have been found to suffer greater injury than those falling from higher. In fact, when given prompt medical attention, cats which sustain a fall from two to thirty-two stories have a 90% survival rate!

  • To read more of this article, click here.
  • (article snippets taken with permission from damninteresting.com)

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