Cats in High Places: Feline High-Rise Syndrome

Cats Window

Cats falling from high places—over two stories, often from apartment windows or balconies—is so common that there is a name for the types of injuries sustained in these falls: Feline High-Rise Syndrome. The most frequently-occurring injuries from falls are trauma to the chest, face/mouth, limbs, spine and abdomen. This trauma includes broken ribs, teeth and bones, as well as bruising and bleeding.

Cats that fall from heights of over 24 feet can suffer serious injuries that require immediate veterinary attention. Your vet will examine your cat and take x-rays. Treatment for fall-related injuries includes oxygen for chest trauma, dental work for fractured jaws or teeth, and surgery for broken limbs and abdominal trauma.

Cats are very curious and love high places. If you live in an apartment, or have high areas in your house such as balconies or railings overlooking great rooms, there are precautions you can take to prevent dangerous falls and High-Rise Syndrome.

  • Make sure your window screens are secure and strong, and replace or repair any broken ones.
  • Use child-proof window locks with caution, as cats can slip through spaces as small as their heads.
  • Block off high spaces such as balcony railings with mesh or plexiglass (cats can climb mesh so plexiglass may be safest)
  • Close windows when you leave the house and restrict your cat’s access to balcony areas.

A few simple precautions can prevent serious injuries to your furry friend!

Check out this article on Feline High-Rise Syndrome for more information: