How do cats survive even after falling from a great height?

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Have you ever wondered how the cats have such a remarkable ability to survive even after falling from a great height? Here is a basic explanation behind this ability of the cats. Veterinarians and biologists have suggested that it is just a standard explanation of physics, physiology, and evolutionary biology.


  • Surface area: Cats have a large surface area as compared to their weight. Thus, they fall at a slower rate from a great height than any other more massive mammal.
  • Evolution: The cat’s body structure has evolved in such a way that it allows them to survive even after falling from trees (natural home).
  • Legs: Cats have long, muscular, and extended lower body parts instead of straight down. Thus, it allows them to absorb the shock of falling from a great height.

However, these cats might get severely injured, and some might even die.

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Scientific study

Scientists are unwilling to toss the cats from buildings. Thus, they studied the cats which have felt from a great height. Every cat has varied chances of staying or dying because of the great fall. But from the moment they fell and just after they hit the ground, most of the cats tend to survive due to their body mechanism.

  • Their large surface area in proportion to their weight, tend t reduce the force at which they hit the ground.
  • Cats reach terminal velocity at a slow speed as compared to that of any mammal, including humans or horses.
  • But some of the cats might suffer from lung damage, broken leg, broken tail, or even maybe a fractured jaw.
  • It is not just the case for cats; all the animals that live on the trees possess this ability to survive even after falling from trees. Some of these are monkeys and some reptiles.

About cats

  • Cats are arboreal animals, i.e., the animals which, if not adopted, then will live on the trees. Sooner or later, they have to fall to catch their prey, and if they miss it, they will land on the ground.
  • In some cases, the branches of the tree might break or whatsoever might happen to their habitat. Evolution has made them capable of surviving even after falling from a great height.
  • Cats can spread their legs out to create a sort of parachute, which helps them in a safe landing. The cats spread out their legs to expand the surface area of the body to increase the drag resistance.
  • Cats have long springy muscular legs that are made for absorbing the shock impact which they get after landing on the ground. The legs are angled under the body rather than just being extended downwards.
  • Cats bend their joints to get the lesser impact of the collision on their bones.
  • However, it is not the same for the domestic cats, as they have inhabited the situations to live on the ground and tend to get overweight. But still, with the help of their genetic habitat, they efficiently manage to climb up on the trees.

Winding up

You might think that you know it all but nature has a lot in their store. Thus, you must explore more and more. Here, you must have learned a lot about cats, their habitat, and their body structure that helps them to survive even after falling a 19-story building. Thus, if you live at height and have a cat as a pet, then you must make sure to shut all the windows as not every house cat will be able to survive it!

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