Why do cats always land on their feet?
I have wondered that for a while after I realized that the part that they land on (most of the time) is not the heaviest part of their body.
The physics of why cats are always able to land on their feet has been understood for some time now..... it's called an aerial righting reflex. I must say it is remarkable.
Cats have ears that are very sensitive to position. Even in humans our sense of what is up and what is down is dictated by some small specialized parts in our ear. We're actually not great at this.... have you ever dove into a swimming pool and after getting underwater realized you didn't know which way was the surface and which way to the bottom? Cats are just too sensitive to get confused like that and the reason they land on their feet is because they use this and their strikingly flexible spines to right themselves very quickly, usually in a matter of a seconds, allowing them to land on their feet which is the position they'd least likely be injured when they hit the ground. Hope that helped!
It's a myth that cats ALWAYS land on their feet. The others have explained the physical or biological reasons cats do tend to land the right way, but failed to mention the factor of distance. A cat won't land on it's feet if the distance is either too small or too great. If too small, they can't get twisted to the right position quick enough. If too large, even if they get righted, gravity will tend to pull the heaviest part of the body back around toward the ground. In the latter case, they may or may not have the time to once again get their feet back under them.
I saw your question and was so curious too as to why it seems as though cats truly do, for the most part, land on their feet. I see you have some very interesting answers. I just thought that is the way God designed cats for some specific reason. They are fascinating animals. My cat always seems to land on his feet no matter what.
Blessings for a lovely evening
I thought that they were all pretty good, but Sheila did bring up that it depends on the distance.
Yes, if they are already low to the floor then no way to land on their feet. Mine will just instantly flip his body and be right back on his feet. there are a lot of great answers and I learned something.
Tid-Bit for the day.
I had to answer your question as correct. However, while a feline can jump up to high places and down from higher heights, they are no different then a human being. These high jumps put them at risk for displaced spinal discs if they jump with the slightest wrong movement. Then like a human they need a chiropractic adjustment and steroids to ease the swelling around the vertebrae. I know this is true because we had a feline who did this and our vet is trained in chiropractic adjustments.
Thank you. Since I have never owned a cat I never knew of this. It is amazing what you can learn with a simple question.
their body is heavy, so use feet to land, softer paws like sponge. Anyway God's creation, natural instinct
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