How to Protect Your Cat From Falls

How to Protect Your Cat From Falls

Recently, while browsing a Facebook group, I came across a tragic post about a cat falling from a ninth-floor apartment and losing its life. Such heartbreaking incidents are not uncommon in cities.

As a responsible cat owner and dedicated researcher, I have compiled essential tips and strategies to help create a safer environment for your cats without compromising their ability to explore and indulge their natural instincts. Let's delve into how we can collectively protect our feline friends from falls!

What are the risks associated with falls?

The risks associated with falls vary depending on the height of the fall and how your cat lands. Generally, smaller falls pose little risk. However, if your cat falls from a great height (such as from a balcony), there is a greater risk of injury or even death. Cats can suffer broken bones, internal bleeding, tissue damage, or even spinal cord injury from a fall from a great height.

How can I protect my cat from falls?

The best way to prevent your cat from being injured by a fall is to make sure they are not exposed to situations that put them at risk in the first place. Here are some practical tips you can follow

  • Keep windows closed when your cat is around – this will help prevent her from getting onto balconies or other areas where she might fall

  • Cat-proof your windows and balcony – Never trust your cat to be “smart enough” to not jump off the building. Accidents can happen especially when they are excited or scared.

  • Secure furniture – make sure bookcases and shelves are securely fastened so they do not wobble when your cat climbs on them

  • Stay alert – watch where your cat goes so you can keep him away from dangerous areas like balconies or rooftops

  • Always use harnesses/leashes when outside – these provide extra protection when you take your cat outside. Make sure you choose a harness that fits properly and is comfortable for both you and your pet

  • Create a designated play area – set up a safe and stimulating space for your cat to play in, with toys and climbing structures, to reduce their desire to explore dangerous areas

  • Monitor their behavior – if you notice your cat showing a particular interest in heights or risky areas, take steps to redirect their attention and discourage this behavior

What should I do if my cat falls?

In the unfortunate event of your cat experiencing a fall, it's crucial to respond promptly and cautiously. Adhering to these steps will help guarantee your feline friend gets the appropriate care.

  • Check for breathing – cats often go into shock after a fall. Check that they are still breathing normally before proceeding

  • Check vitals – palpate the body and look for painful or tender areas. Also check the eyes for signs of concussion

  • Transport your pet safely – if possible, prop it up with a towel or blanket when you bring it back inside; ideally, take it directly to the vet if possible

  • Keep him warm – animals tend to go into shock after trauma; if you cover it with something warm, this can help alleviate the symptoms of shock

  • Watch it closely – keep an eye on its behaviour over the following days/weeks and watch for signs of infection/illness due to internal bleeding/injuries it sustained in the fall

Falls can cause serious injuries in cats. Therefore, it is important that owners take steps to protect their pets from such accidents. By following our tips above, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of such an accident occurring, while ensuring that you know what actions to take if one does occur. In the end, prevention is better than cure, so make sure to keep your windows closed!

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