It is only after you have committed to the action that you suddenly realize, “Oh no! I threw my cat!” Now, there may be a lot of reasons why this happens.
Maybe your cat jumped on you, startling you, and you threw them off as a reflex action.
Or, you may have been trying to dislodge them from a higher perch and may have knocked them off without meaning to. Regardless, you are going to want to know if your feline friend is OK.
Don’t worry. Your cat still loves you, and you still love your cat.
Here is what you should be aware of:
How Do Cats Land on Their Feet?
You’ve probably seen your cat fall lots of times. Not only do cats love jumping from incredible heights, they also fall down accidentally quite a bit. Now, the one thing that you may have noticed is that cats look as if to always land on their feet.
Then, how does this happen?
This largely has to do with the fact that felines are very flexible creatures. To be more specific, their spines are very flexible. This means that when a cat is falling, there are able to independently twist the front and back portions of their body in opposite directions.
In doing so, they create a turning motion that allows cats to right themselves before they fall. This is why you will notice that they land on their feet in most instances. However, this isn’t always the case…
Will They Always Fall On Their Feet?
No, cats don’t always land on their feet, regardless of what people say or even what it may seem like when your cat is falling. The manner in which felines land will depend on the height that they are falling from.
If your cat is falling from just a few feet, then they will orient themselves to land on their feet. This is because at this height the risk of breaking a limb is low. Due to this, cats won’t take any further precautions to change the way that they land.
In case a cat is falling from a significant height, though, their survival instincts kick in. When felines hit terminal velocity, they are no longer accelerating. At this point, there are in free fall and can’t feel the effects of gravity.
When they reach this speed, cats splay out their legs, exposing their stomach. Thus, when they do finally hit the ground, it is their chest and belly that make contact with the surface. Cats do this to avoid breaking their legs during their fall.
Now, landing on their belly doesn’t mean that a cat is going to be OK. In such circumstances, cats can experience broken ribs, collapsed lungs, and other injuries. Due to this, it is important that cats aren’t thrown from more than few feet away.
What Happens When Your Cat Falls On Her Feet?
There is no way to really know what happens when your kitty lands on her feet. They may walk away without a scratch or they could end up hurt. This depends on the following factors:
- How high they fell
- Whether the jump was intentional or not
- The force with which they were pushed
Most cats can fall from several feet away without an issue. And, there have been incidents where cats have fallen from over 30 stories and lived to tell the tale. However, you should keep in mind that these are rare events. The greater the height, the higher the risk of injury or even fatality.
As mentioned, if your cat didn’t have to fall too far, they are probably alright. This, however, can depend on whether they jumped or were thrown. If your cat jumped of its own accord, then it was prepared. As such, it had time to orient itself properly, reducing the risk of injury.
If your kitty was thrown, though, this may not always be possible, although many cats do still manage to land on their feet without any issue. At the same time, if your cat was thrown, you should think about the force with which they were tossed.
If they were thrown with a great deal of force, it means that they will hit the ground with that same level of force. This means a harder impact and a greater chance that they may end up with injuries.
Can They Hurt Themselves?
Yes, it is possible for cats to hurt themselves even if the jump was intentional. Being thrown increases the chance of this considerably. As does jumping or being thrown from a greater height.
If you have accidentally thrown your cat, it is a good idea to check them out. To begin with, watch how they move. Does it appear that your cat is avoiding placing weight on a particular leg? Are they walking in an odd manner or like they are in discomfort?
If your cat is in pain from an injury, they may not let you handle them. In fact, they may hiss at you or act defensive. Another sign that there is something wrong with your cat is if they hide themselves under the couch or in some other secluded spot.
In case you are worried about an injury, it is better to be safe than sorry. Take your cat into the vet to be thoroughly examined. This way, you will be able to see if there are any internal injuries as well.
Remember to handle your cat very carefully when taking them to the vet. For instance, you can try to lure them into their carrier with treats rather than picking them up and placing them in there. Even when traveling, try to keep the carrier as still as possible and avoiding moving it around too much.
Accidentally throwing your cat doesn’t make you a bad owner. Still, you should try to avoid this behavior as there is always the potential to hurt your cat. In the event that your cat falls or is thrown, make sure to check them out well. And, as a precaution, take them to the vet.