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How far down can a cat jump without getting hurt?
January 29, 2006 1:31 PM   Subscribe

How far down will/can a cat jump? Mine is up on a shelf 7/8 feet off the floor and I'm wondering if its worth distressing her and hauling her down or just let her get bored and get down herself.

Will she get hurt? I heard about high rise syndrome but I dont know how high is high, persay... She jumped off my shoulder to a shelf in my closet and then up to the next shelf, and while seems to be attempting to get down every once and a while, doesnt seem to serious about it yet. Could she get hurt or refuse to jump the distance down?
posted by gilsonal to Pets & Animals (16 answers total)
 
Give your cat a clear landing zone and leave it alone.

Unless your cat is particularly heavy, an 8 foot landing should be no problem.
posted by Good Brain at 1:40 PM on January 29, 2006


Well, cats get stuck in trees, so getting stuck on a shelf wouldn't be that shocking.

If it were my cat, I'd probably just keep an eye on her and watch for signs of distress. As long as she's happy up there, I wouldn't worry too much about it. If I were really worried, I'd get a stepladder and get up closer to her and see how she reacted... if she didn't seem eager to come down, I'd probably not force the issue.

Unless she's overweight, I don't think a seven-foot jump down will hurt her; most cats can jump six feet straight up. They are very strong and flexible. As long as there's nothing sharp between her and the ground, she should be fine.
posted by Malor at 1:45 PM on January 29, 2006


Ditto above, unless the cat is fat or directly above the (in use) stove or something crazy, I would leave it alone to do as it pleases. (Isn't that always the right answer with cats?)
posted by tiamat at 1:53 PM on January 29, 2006


Unless the cat is old or overweight, it should be fine. It'll probably meow or warble if it's distressed and wants help.

Though, all of the cats that I've personally (been) owned (by) have been totally insane, and they thought nothing of routinely defying the laws of physics. Walking on the ceiling seemed to be normal for them.
posted by loquacious at 1:55 PM on January 29, 2006


She's probably not getting down simply because cats love heights. She'll let you know if she starts stressing about it.
posted by cmonkey at 1:56 PM on January 29, 2006


Cats can jump insanely well, if she thinks she can't make it she will most likely cry for help. If you're really worried, give here a pillow or a mattress to land on.

Though, all of the cats that I've personally (been) owned (by) have been totally insane, and they thought nothing of routinely defying the laws of physics. Walking on the ceiling seemed to be normal for them.

This is, as far as I've experienced 'normal' cat behavior. Things like these are why I prefer cats over dogs. (Even the 'being owned by' part.)
posted by lodev at 2:12 PM on January 29, 2006


My cat manages to jump down from the top of my 7/8 foot shelf all the time with no sprains or broken bones. He also once fell off a balcony three stories up with no sprains or broken bones. I think your cat will be fine.
posted by granted at 2:17 PM on January 29, 2006


If you leave a chair or table below the cat, she may use it as an intermediate step to leap down.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:22 PM on January 29, 2006


She's probably not terribly pleased about the idea of jumping so far, but she's also far more unlikely to let you bring her down unless she's used to you picking her up all the time and holding her. Even if cats can safely jump eight feet without trouble, some don't particularly care for it.

Give her some stable surface to jump down to about halfway, and she'll probably be down in a minute. Otherwise, she'll jump down when she's bored/hungry enough. If she's older and you do decide to bring her down, pet her for a minute first to calm her down and wear something thick enough to withstand tight grip claws.
posted by Saydur at 2:33 PM on January 29, 2006


As others have said, I reckon she will be fine, unless she's real old or otherwise unhealthy, and she will let you know if she wants help. I've seen friend's cats jump similar and greater heights on several occasions.

This video gives you an idea of the ability of a healthy kitty.
posted by MetaMonkey at 3:07 PM on January 29, 2006


My two cats don't have a problem in the 8 to 10 foot range; they aren't terribly pleased to have to jump down from there, but do it all the time anyway.

(MetaMonkey, that video is unfrickingbelievable.)
posted by delfuego at 3:40 PM on January 29, 2006


Much of it depends on the weight of the cat in relation to its breed (if it is a purebred) or build (for cats of indeterminate origin).

But generally, 7-8 feet should not be difficult for a healthy cat. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that given the proper motivation (normally hunger) the average cat can get itself out of almost any trouble it manages to get into.

Consider that its distant relative, the Mountain Lion/Cougar/Black Panther (for all belong to the same species) can jump eighteen feet against gravity into a tree.
posted by The Confessor at 3:49 PM on January 29, 2006


Mine jumps down from our second story railing, I'd guess it's about 15 feet up...
posted by hatsix at 4:19 PM on January 29, 2006


A friend's cat jumped out of my third-story window once. If it was injured, we never found any indication. A few days later, he was back around.
posted by bingo at 7:42 PM on January 29, 2006


That video is awesome.

That cat was all like "Dude, what's with the frickin' pole!? WTF, do I look like an enraged, rabid badger? I'm outta here!" *takes flying leap from top of telephone pole, sticks landing on small square of grass all the way across a street, barrels off at 50 mph to find ...a quiet sunny spot to take a lengthy nap in*
posted by loquacious at 9:44 PM on January 29, 2006


If you stand in the right place at the right time he'll probably use your head/face as a stepping stone/launch pad.
posted by JamesMessick at 5:57 AM on January 30, 2006


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