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How Do Cats Land On Their Feet?

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Cats are special - but you knew that already. What we are here to talk about today, specifically, is their ability to always…well almost always, fall on their feet.

This unique ability amongst the feline world has now been clearly demonstrated in BBC’s Life in the Air series.

alt text The ability for a cat to fall on its feet is commonly known as the Cat Righting Reflex and is due, in large part, to their incredibly flexible backbone and lack of functional collarbone. This allows cats to spin their front half of their body in one direction, whilst simultaneously spinning their back half in the opposite direction and creating a motion that brings their body falling feet first.

Check out the BBC video for a more in-depth look at an African Caracal landing on its feet!

Besides the age-old adage of the buttered cat paradox and keeping in mind that kittens don’t perfect the skill of falling until roughly 6-7 weeks of age – if your cat can’t seem to land on its feet all too often, there may be an underlying concern such as an ear infection or neurological problem that should be inspected closer by your veterinarian.

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