What is High-Rise Syndrome in Cats?

Cats are extremely agile robust little survivors. Because they have an extremely flexible backbone and no collarbone they have a “righting reflex” which allows them to orient itself as it falls so it can land on its feet.

By the age of 7 weeks kittens have usually fully developed this reflex.

But not all falls will have a safe landing. Some falls can be dangerous and even deadly. Falls between 2 – 6 floors are likely to be more dangerous than higher falls. This is because higher falls give the cat more time to orient itself.

Cat Friendly Feline Safe Apartment, High-Rise Syndrome

Cat Friendly Feline Safe Apartment Created By: ForRent.com

So why are cats falling out of apartments?

Cats are not simply jumping out of windows. Cats naturally like perching in high places.  In the wild cats would have their claws to cling to trees. Clinging to windows, window ledges and concrete is much more difficult, not to mention de-clawed cats. What usually happens is a cat is fixated on a bird, person, sounds, animal outside they are distracted, startled and lose their balance.

So please secure your windows and balconies to prevent a dangerous fall.

Cats that are indoor only cats can really benefit from fresh air, sunlight and the stimulation of the outside world. Balconies are a great way to extend their world. In Europe most pet stores sell mesh netting which makes it easy to secure your balcony for your cat.

Qualipet is my favorite pet store here in Switzerland. They sell many different options for securing windows and balcony.

balcony netting


Zooplus in the UK sells netting as well.

Balcony net to protect cats

However in the US I can’t find many options to buy this netting from pet stores. I think home improvement stores would be the best option. For those of you in the US, have you seen these netting for sale in your pet stores?