(Related: Safety: Keep kitty indoors!)
It may seem like something out of the twilight zone – cats falling? Sadly, it really does happen.
Look at this handsome boy. Dawn blogged about his misfortune:
“This cat is being looked after by a caregiver. Look at the angle of his legs and that is a diaper he is wearing. Since his fall, his back legs are paralysed and he has problems with defecation.
The caregiver said that she believes it is a cat that belongs to a family she knows and the cat fell. This is not the first cat of theirs has fallen.” – source.
This boy is not the only fallen cat Dawn talked about. Check these entries out:
- “A woman called yesterday to say that she saw a badly injured cat … The cat was apparently on a ledge and bleeding badly.”
- “this is not the first time that the cat has fallen, and that it belongs to a family on the fifth floor.”
- “Another caregiver also wrote in yesterday to say that a family living above her also had a number of kittens fall to their death. Unfortunately, this family doesn’t seem to particularly care about the cats, and keep asking people to take their existing cats away as well. They have also dumped their cats downstairs, giving problems to the caregiver, whose colony is actually fully sterilised.”
- “It’s actually quite easy to wire up your windows and doors so your cat cannot get out.”
- “I had a conversation with a woman who was telling me that it wasn’t possible to keep cats in houses with gardens, and I was trying to convince her that it can, and has been done successfully. Wiring can be done on windows in flats and houses. Some people even wire up their gardens.”
- “She mentioned also that two days ago, her bamboo pole had snapped as if something had fallen from a height and broken it. This coincides with when the cat fell. “
- “The poor cat had been sitting bleeding on the ledge since Sunday.”
And if you still need convincing about the necessity of meshing up, watch this video which demonstrate the single-mindedness of cats on a mission, and stars Moo Moo, Lynn’s cat.
Cats are naturally curious creatures, much like young children. It is also believed that cats have amazing depth perception. Coupled, these two traits give you the agile furry that sometimes run amok in your home. But wait, if cats have such great depth perception, why do cats fall, some to their death, from high-rise buildings? The truth is Cats Won’t Always Land On Their Feet.
I have a theory about it too, i.e., cats have good normal level depth perception, but they’re not equipped with vertical depth perception, or perhaps they’re just not built to recognise the danger of leaping out of high-rise windows.
And cats will leap, fearlessly, after distractions, birds, leaves and probably UFOs. Young kittens, with their natural sense of being impervious, and their boundless energy are the most at risk.
If you have cats, never place furniture right by windows. Windows should also be meshed up. However, this is not a choice if you have recessed windows or windows without thresholds. These MUST be secured or made inaccessible, as cats have fallen off while napping on ledges of such windows.
Meshing need not be an expensive affair – it is pretty easy to DiY. Plastic meshing can be easily bought from petshops or DiY stores (they should be cheaper than petshops). Measure and cut out a suitable length, and use wire ties to secure to your window grilles. If you do not have grilles, making sure your mesh is catbounce proof may be a challenge. However, this discussion thread provides some ingenious solutions.
Remember, even Superman only had a superdog, there’s no supercat, so unless you relish the anxiety of worrying about your kitty flying out the window, please don’t encourage your kitty to practise and audition for a non-existent role.
But meshing is not just for high-rise dwellers. There are very practical reasons for ground-floor dwellers and those living in landed properties to mesh up exits too – prevent harm from traffic accidents, food poisoning from eating unknown foods, injuries and diseases from fights and abuse, capture and death from being rounded up.
If these aren’t reasons enough for meshing up and keeping your cats indoors, I don’t know what else to say.
(Created: 19 Oct 06)