When somebody falls down from the third floor and still survives, we all think that it is a miracle. Have you ever watched your cats playing outside and flying from a high place? If you have spent much time around cats or to play with them, I am sure that all of us have seen cats falling down and land on their feet.

But we do not know the reason why cats always land on their feet.


Even when they fall down from a high place, they can still control their bodies to ensure that their flight is safe. Is that a miracle too, or there is a mystery here. Anybody can make a guess why cats can survive after their fall, but humans do not? Have you ever wished you could fly with such a grace style like that?

This article here will help you to figure out the mystery of a cat falling. 

Principle when cats falling

When falling down from a high place, how tall the place plays an important role for cats to avoid shocking and injury. The inborn ability of a cat to reorient its body during a falling process is called the righting reflex. This ability starts in kittens as young as three weeks old, and it fully develops around seven weeks old.

The cat’s innate ability has lots of support from their bodies. Their bone structures are light, and their fur is thick. That reduces their terminal speed when they fall down from a high place. So, all of those help to diminish the impact. Some cats can make their bodies flat so that their bodies will fall down more slowly.

If you are a cat owner, it is necessary to be careful when you open windows. Your cat enjoys lying there to observe his world and may accidentally fall.

Almost every time, cats will fall down with their feet. As soon as their bodies contact the ground, their feet will be the first to hit the ground. However, the height of the place where cats fall down can impact their landing ability.

You will be surprised when you know that cats that fall down from a higher place can reduce injury on their bodies. Because the higher the place is, the more time cats have to position themselves.

If your home is on the low floor of a building, it does not mean that your cats can be safe.

In fact, falling down or flying from the first or second floor of a building is riskier than falling down from seven or higher floors.

It is because cats do not have enough time to prepare and position their bodies in the right way.

The structures of the cat’s body

French scientist Etienne Jules Marey had a test on the reflex of cats by using his photographic techniques to capture a series of the cat’s fall when a cat fell down. He then watched how the cat began to orient himself the second the fall started in slow motion. 

Why do cats always land on their feet, physics?

We know that a cat falling starts to shift his balance from the second when the cat begins flying from the slow-motion. The cat’s body is in charge of making a decision for the side should be up, then he starts to rotate the head.

This decision gets oriented by the eyes and ears of the cat because there is a vestibular apparatus in the cat’s ear. This vestibular apparatus plays a role that is the same as a compass to make balance and orientation. After that, the cat’s spine can play its role in rotating his legs in both the front and back sides. Finally, their legs extend to land on correctly and in the right position. 

Actually, cats have a unique structure of bone, including no collarbone and unnormal backbone. That supports them a lot in directing his position when falling down.

While humans have 24 vertebrae, cats have 30, making it easier during his flight. It is possible to say that the falling process of cats is the same as a parachute. The cat’s body’s low weight supports his land on his feet and controls the speed of falling down.

Do all falls have the same results? 

It is clear that the management of falling down of cats is impressive and wonderful, but it is not certain that all falls are safe. Falling cats can sometimes get injuries. Falling down can be dangerous even they can die after falling.

Theory says that the higher of the place where cats start falling down, the safer they are since when they have more time to correct their position and reorient themselves to land. 

In fact, cats will not jump or fall down from a dangerous place. But your feline furballs are attracted by other nice things such as birds, butterflies, insects. When they get distracted from impressive things, they can not control or manage their balance and their ability. That is the reason why some falls or flight can give them death. 

Inborn or learned ability? 

In fact, the ability to land on feet is a gift from nature for cats. But they still need to improve and enhance their behaviors by their mother every day. They can learn from their mother’s experience in life or experience themselves.

Why Do Cats Always Land On Their Feet

This skill is not too difficult for them to practice and increase their ability. As soon as they are six weeks old, cats are able to do almost run and jump successfully. Their bodies can correct their position when falling down from a high place.

However, your cats need protection from their owners to make sure that they will be safe from windows. 

How can you protect your cats? 

In order to keep your cats safe during free fall, we provide you with some precautions to take: 

  • You should notice that the screens installed for the windows need to be tightly stuck into the windows to make sure that they are always unharmful for cats, and the cats can not break them down when there are attractive things outside. 


  • There is one thing that you should notice, which is the screens installed for the windows needs to be tightly stuck into the windows to make sure that they are always unharmful for cats and the cats can not break them down when there are attractive things outside. 

  • Since the cats are not provided enough protection when they try to fly or fall from the windows, make sure that you are well prepared and set up carefully for your house, especially the windows. When falling down from the windows, they can not have much time to rotate and land correctly because the windows are not high enough. 

  • One of the key points to secure their pets is keeping them indoor, in your house, and avoiding all risks that can be around them. When your cats are in security indoor, they can be protected from falling down when trying to chill and have fun and from other diseases that are around them from other animals or pets that are bringing the viruses or mites. If you are afraid that your cats can be bored or stressed, you can make a cat’s house and give them a house’s yard in the garden to play. 

Final lines

If you are a cat lover, it is pretty sure that you would like to know more about your pets. You want to dig deeper into their ability and the risks around them as well. While cats have gifted ability given by nature and they practice to improve it day by day. There are still lots of dangerous things outside that we can not predict. To make sure that your cats are always safe or protected, you should do some things to support them. 

Sometimes, watching cats falling or flying from a high place is one of the favorite things of some people. But it will put your cats in risks of injuries or even death. The best way to care for your lovely cats is to protect them from falling down in the first place. 

I believe that after reading this article, you have gained more knowledge. Information about an interesting skill is here or the ability of your cats.

You should have the answer to the question, “Why do cats always land on their feet?”. However, it is not entertainment when people take advantage of their ability. I hope that your cats will be safe with their gifted skills. Good luck!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here