Owning a kitty is often a joyous and rewarding experience, but like most other things, it comes with its own set of worries and fears. If your home features a balcony that is higher than two stories, for example, high-rise syndrome could be an anxiety-inducing possibility -- yikes.
What is High-Rise Syndrome, Exactly?
According to the ASPCA, high-rise syndrome is the very real danger of cats falling to the ground from especially high places -- typically balconies as well as windows that do not have screens. When it comes to heights, cats are often very brazen creatures, jumping from one perch to another without so much as a second thought. If you reside in a home, apartment or condominium where your cat has access to a high-up balcony, close monitoring and safety precautions are a must.
Even if a balcony is only one floor up, it is wise and smart for cat owners to provide their little ones with the greatest of security and attention. If a cat falls, it probably won't be directly on her paws. Instead, her legs may be slightly separated -- a major risk for injuries to both the pelvis and the head. Not good at all.
Also consider that even if your balcony is only one floor up, that very brief fall could still be very harmful to your cat. When the fall happens that rapidly, your poor kitty lacks the time to coordinate herself in order to land in a safer manner.
The ASPCA states that feline falls from balconies can lead to a lot of extremely serious consequences and can sometimes even be deadly. Other injuries that may occur with falls from balconies and other high spots include broken legs, rib fractures, perforations within the lungs, bladder rupture and broken jaws.
Look into easy, practical and simple preventative measures that can help keep your kitty happy and safe in your home, regardless of how high up your balcony may be. The ASPCA recommends installing full-screen enclosures for balconies. Doing this will allow your cat to safely look out at the chirping birds and the streets below -- without the very dangerous and scary risk of falling, phew!
Balconies aren't the only potential source of danger in your home. Make sure to also have strong and dependable screens inserted into every window. Your fluffball's safety is the most important thing, after all.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.