Coming In For a Safe Landing

“Cats always land on their feet.” We have all heard this fact countless times, and it really is true that cats will almost always land on their feet, all thanks to their natural righting reflex. Cat’s amazing falling process starts when the fluid in the vestibular apparatus in the ear moves because of gravitational pull and disrupts the tiny hairs also found in the organ. All of that movement sends messages to the brain to let the cat know which way is up and which way is down. The second thing that happens is that the cat’s body starts to twist to be right side up again, and as Dr. Dodman explains, the cat goes through these 5 steps to land safely.

1. The cat turns so that his head is right side up.
2. He then moves his front legs close to his face to protect it from impact.
3. He twists his spine so the front portion of his body lines up with his head.
4. He twists the back portion of his body to align with his head.
5. He bends his hind legs and relaxes his muscles before he touches the ground.

This process of falling and twisting is so intriguing and I hope all of you cat owners out there appreciate it too, it’s just another phenomenon that makes owning a cat so fascinating.