Window warning for cat owners as warm weather hits

Kenzo cat fall from height
Kenzo fell from a fourth floor balcony

As the mercury rises, Blue Cross has today issued a warning to cat owners of the dangers of open windows and balconies after treating felines for falls.

Several curious kitties have suffered broken bones in recent weeks after falling from heights, with three needing help for shattered pelvises.

The three cats - one-year-old Mishmish, four-year-old Kenzo and a two-year-old female tabby – came into our hospital separately after each fell out of open windows during the warmer weather. Mishmish fell four stories during the night after owners left the window slightly open for cool air. Kenzo also fell from the fourth floor where he has access to a balcony.

Mishmish’s owners said: “We left the window open only slightly to keep the air cool in the flat as it was a warm night. Mishmish is a slender cat and we didn’t realise she could fit through the gap.

“She didn’t wake me up in the morning as she usually does so I went looking for her; I found her outside, very quiet and calm, I knew something was wrong so I phoned up Blue Cross to get her seen by a vet. I was devastated to find out she’d broken her pelvis.”

Kenzo’s owner had a similar story. She said: “I have two cats; the other often goes out onto the balcony to visit my neighbour’s cat but Kenzo never showed interest before.

Mishmish slipped through a window that had been left open only very slightly

“I couldn’t find him one evening so I looked all over the flat, on every floor of the building until I eventually found him outside, scared and hiding underneath a motorbike cover.

"The only way he could get there was from the balcony I knew he must have fallen.”

Seb Prior, Blue Cross Senior Veterinary Surgeon said: “It is a myth to think that cats will always fall on all four paws.

“They may well land on their paws but the impact from such a great fall can easily shatter bones, like we can see for these three poor pusses, who are lucky to be alive.”

Last year, vets at our Victoria animal hospital in central London saved the life of a cat who had become impaled on a railing spike after falling from a window. Amputations are often necessary after a fall from height, and falls also commonly cause internal injuries and sadly even death.

Seb added: “Open only upper parts of windows or put safety mesh firmly across them so that cats don’t fall out. Don’t let your cat sunbathe on a balcony even if you think they won’t jump or fall – it is a risk for any cat and the consequences can be devastating.”

If your cat does fall from more than one storey, the animal should be checked by the vet. Even if your cat appears to be fine, there is a risk of internal injuries. Get a vet check after any fall if your cat seems to be behaving strangely.

— Page last updated 01/03/2021