Why do cats always seem to land on their feet when they fall?

Posted by David on December 7th, 2010

cat_content_logoWhen a cat falls, it almost always seems able to land on all four feet. This ability – called the righting reflex – has been honed through thousands of years of evolution.

Ever wonder how a feline accomplishes this incredible feat? During a free fall, the cat’s eyes send a message to the brain, which in turn signals the muscles to twist around so the animal’s head becomes parallel to the ground. The body naturally follows.

It’s an amazing stunt, but don’t ever think about dropping your pet to test her abilities! Not only does an upside down cat need at least three feet to right itself – if the animal is nearsighted or farsighted, her self-righting mechanism could be off balance, and you could seriously injure your pet.

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