Summer has officially started and with it comes a distinctly seasonal affliction at least one Twin Cities cat has experienced already: High-Rise Syndrome.
High-Rise Syndrome is the phenomenon of felines falling from higher than two stories, such as from high-rise buildings or skyscrapers. With warmer weather, people open up their windows and sometimes kitty takes an unexpected leap. High-Rise Syndrome also refers to the injuries sustained by a cat falling from a great height.
High-Rise Syndrome affects countless Minneapolis and St. Paul cats every year. Earlier this month, in fact, a 9-year-old feline survived a 14-story plunge from an Upper West Side apartment building. Though many surviving cats can suffer such injuries as shattered jaws, ruptured lungs and broken pelvises, Copper managed to come away from his accident with just a broken foot.
If kitty takes the plunge, there is a 90% survival rate for feline victims who are given immediate medical attention. Cats that have fallen out a window should be taken directly to the nearest hospital. Even if the window from which they fell was on the first or second floor, have them checked out. Shorter falls can be more dangerous because cats might not have enough time to adjust their body posture to land properly.
High-Rise Syndrome is one affliction that is completely preventable. Take the following steps to reduce a cat’s chances of falling out a window.
- Make sure screens are tightly secured into window frames.
- If windows don’t have screens, don’t open them more than an inch: If cats can get their head through, their body can likely fit, too.
- Ensure kitty can’t climb through widely-spaced bars on a balcony.
- Use deck netting or wire mesh to keep cats safely enclosed on a balcony.
- Only allow the cat access to a balcony when properly supervised.
- Don’t allow cats out onto fire escapes, as they cannot be properly secured.
Cats are smart enough to know when they’re too high up to jump, but they’re also ruled by instinct. Sometimes all it takes is a flitting bird for a cat to forget how high up they are and make a leap they’ll end up regretting. It is a pet caretaker’s job to do everything possible to protect their pets from High Rise Syndrome.
Source: Cat Survives High Rise Plunge
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