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Why Do Cats Always Land On Their Feet When They Fall?

Saturday, February 23, 2019
posted by Jim Murphy

As a Cat falls, the righting reflex allows the cat to orient it’s body so that its paws are facing the ground. The reflex is activated even after the cat is blindfolded or falls in complete darkness. As a cat falls, it may also spread out it’s body to increase drag and slow the fall. Cats can often survive a fall of up to six stories in height. Humans, on the other hand can usually survive a fall from about two stories.

On the other hand, dogs are not built the same and can injure themselves as humans do in falls from much shorter distances. I once had a small dog who leaped from a stairway going upstairs in my home. He leaped through the railing from about four steps up and landed on carpet. He still sprained his leg and was limping for a few days.

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