You have probably heard someone say that cats always land on their feet, no matter how they fall. But is this really true? If you have a clumsy cat at home, you may already know the answer. They don’t always make a perfect landing and this depends on a lot of things.
The mystery of falling cats has been researched for hundreds of year. The oldest documents concerning this topic dates back to 1700! It shows cats are fascinating animals and I think every cat lover agrees! But what’s so special about a cat that they have the ability to turn mid-air and land on their feet?
This skill is called the “righting reflex” and basically is an inbuilt balancing system that allows cat to orient themselves to have a perfect landing. However, it doesn’t mean they will always land on their feet! The height of the fall can make it difficult to land safely.
A cat’s body is perfectly designed to guarantee the success of a safe landing. Our purry friends have unique skeletal structures with a flexible backbone and without a collarbone. This allows them to easily make corrections while falling. This reflex is already developed at a very early age. This has been first seen in kittens when they are barely 3 weeks (yes!) old and by the time they are 7 weeks old, this skill is fully developed!
Scientists and researchers believe that the higher the fall, the more time cats will have to be able to prepare for a perfect landing. A lot of stories can be found from cats falling from a couple of stories high and seem to get away with it without even having a scratch. Of course, this is not always the case. Don’t try this at home!
Since cats like to go on adventures and usually aren’t scared to climb in trees, they have adapted to survive when things would go wrong. Their legs also play a vital role. It may seem they are long and vulnerable, but they are actually very muscular and are used as shock absorbers when they land.
To conclude, cats usually land on their feet, but we prefer them next to us on the couch!
My Purry Friends