HI-RISE SYNDROME is the phenomenon of cats falling from higher than 23 – 30 feet. It occurs mostly in the Spring and Summer. Any high fall or drop can cause hurt and pain or even worse. Long falls are generally from hi-rise apartment buildings without protective screens or balconies. Popular myths including the belief that cats can take care of themselves or that they have nine lives seems to have given pet owners the false idea that cats can save themselves from dangerous predicaments. The truth is that cats are as vulnerable to injury as other companion animals.
Cats have excellent survival instincts and they don’t deliberately jump from high places that would be dangerous. Most falls are accidental.
Cats have an incredible ability to focus their attention on whatever interests them. A bird or other animal attraction can be distracting enough to cause them to lose their balance and fall. Because cats seem to have little fear of heights and enjoy perching in high places, pet owners assume they can take care of themselves. Although they can cling to the bark of trees with their claws, other surfaces are much more difficult such as window ledges, concrete or brick surfaces.