babyboo_17 asked in PetsCats · 1 decade ago

Why do cats land on their feet?

my boyfriend just asked me this question and now i wanna

my theory is cause of some sort of good balance that they have, but is it actully something else? i dont know what you think?? :)

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago

    If cats fall a short distance, they can almost always right themselves and land on their feet. If they fall more than one or two floors, however, they may sustain severe or even fatal injuries. The number of cats who become injured from falling is increasing, partially because of the large number of multi-story apartment buildings. Cats who are injured during falls are often said to have 'high rise syndrome.'

    The uniqueness of the cat's skeleton is one of the reasons they can right themselves so quickly. Cats do not have a collarbone, and the bones in their backbone have more mobility than in many other animals. For these reasons, cats have free movement of their front legs and they can easily bend and rotate their bodies. This allows them to land feet first. Their feet and legs can cushion the impact. This righting reflex begins to appear at 3-4 weeks of age, and is perfected at 7 weeks.

    If cats fall a larger distance such as two or more floors, even though they can right themselves, their legs and feet can no longer absorb all of the shock.

  • 1 decade ago

    They don't always land on their feet.

    I've owned cats for darn near 50 years, and I can tell you that they do fall and land on other parts of their bodies. I've watched mine roll off furniture and land in a heap on the floor (no injuries), I've watched mine make flying leaps and miss, and land on the floor (had to take one to the vet for the equivalent of a sprained ankle). I've watched them end up not landing on their feet when they tussle with one another, when they run and bump into something, when they get distracted by something.

    Heck, I've had cats land on ME in a heap when they make a leap onto the bed.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Cats have exceptional coordination and balance and a flexible musculoskeletal system. They are normally able to orient their bodies in space in such a way as to land on all four limbs.

  • 1 decade ago

    The flaps on their ears pick up variations in the air and allow them to maintain and reestablish equilibrium/balance. So while they are in the air, their bodies reflexively readjust to the upright position.

    Good stuff.

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  • 1 decade ago

    the tail keeps the cat balanced

  • 1 decade ago

    it's their reflex. like when we get cold we have goosebumps. just born that way

  • 1 decade ago

    Because they have magical whiskers.

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