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Why Do Cats Always Land On Their Feet?

Cats seem to have a knack for landing upright. Why is that?

Dr. Mel offers a few reasons why cats are such expert landers...


“Hang on Buzz, come back here where you’re safe and sound. This bench isn’t very high and chances are that being a young cat without arthritis, that if he did land he’d land on his feet. But we’ve all heard stories of cats falling out of apartment buildings and landing safely on their feet and walking away without any injury. If a dog did the same thing they wouldn’t be coming off so well. So why does that happen? Well they’ve done a lot of research on this and they’ve found that there is a few reasons.

First of all cat have got a ratio of body weight to surface area which is different to human beings. The surface area is greater so there is a lot more drag when they are falling so the speed at which they fall is a little bit slower which gives them a little bit more time to right themselves. Their relatives, like tigers and leopards are what we call arboreal animals that live in trees like monkeys and so forth and apparently all of those animals have what’s called an aerial righting reflex which means that when they fall, they sort of know where they are in space so they can twist their body so that their feet are able to land on the ground when they hit the ground.

The other last thing that cats have to their advantage is that they have very long, muscular legs. Hang on Buzz show off your legs. When they land on the ground like that they take a lot of the concussive force so they don’t break their legs so they’re nice and springy. So you’re made to land, pretty lucky hey?”

Hip Surgery for rescued puppy

2 weeks ago whilst we were in Fiji we rescued an abandoned puppy that we estimate is about 3 months old. She was starving, filthy, covered in ticks and could barely stand or walk. We fed her, washed her, removed all ticks and just gave her love. We called her Pretzel as she was so skinny when we found her that all her bones were sticking out and her hip bones looked like a big twisted pretzel and her long skinny legs looked like Pretzel sticks. Our intention was to find her a home in Fiji but after a week or so she had gained weight, but we noticed that her left hip bone was still protruding and that when she walked we noticed that her left back foot turned out slightly. Also, when she ran she would use both back legs together and hop like a bunny. We took her to an animal shelter in Fiji called Animals Fiji and they examined her and advised that they thought it might be dislocated. They X-rayed her and then sedated her to try and manipulate the bone back into the socket. This was unsuccessful. The vet advised that it appeared that the end of the bone where the ball should be round was malformed either from a trauma/injury when young or by birth. He advised that he does not have the equipment in Fiji to treat her properly and that she would need surgery to correct the bone and to tighten the ligaments to her support her leg. We are exporting her to Australia on the 7th of March and are trying to raise some funds to assist us. We are hoping that you can assistance to find a Vet in Melbourne that could assist with the operation at a reasonable price.