British Shorthair Cat Survives Fall From 18th Floor Apartment

Colin Fredericson
By Colin Fredericson
April 17, 2019Animalshare
British Shorthair Cat Survives Fall From 18th Floor Apartment
A judge looks over a British Shorthair cat during the 5th TICA international cat show at the Aoshan Shiji Plaza in Wuhan, Hubei province, China on Oct. 22, 2016. (Wang He/Getty Images)

A cat in Melbourne, Australia survived after dropping from an 18th-floor apartment last week.

Charlie, a British shorthair cat, fell from an apartment balcony and landed on a roof, 7News reported. He came away from the ordeal with only a broken jaw and fractured foot.

The cat spent two days at the veterinarian and underwent five hours of surgery, according to a 7News video report.

Charlie’s owner, Amy Thompson, set up a GoFundMe page to help with veterinary treatment. She said the cost of Charlie’s recovery is significant.

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Daily balcony inspection #britishshorthair #kittensofinstagram #dailycuteness

A post shared by Charlie Super Cat (@charliesupercat18) on

“The cost to get him back on track is huge. I’m reaching out for your help with the cost of surgery, and the 6-week aftercare. The cost of everything over 2 days in a 24hour emergency clinic including the surgery was $4,700. This is financially stressful for me, and the costs over the next 6 weeks’ recovery time will add to this difficult situation (estimated to reach $7,000),” wrote Thompson, on the fundraising page.

The page has a funding goal of $5,000. A total of nearly $1,500 has been raised from donations by 20 people in four days.

Thompson said that Charlie’s injuries could have been worse if he fell from a shorter distance, due to the nature of how cats react to falling.

“The vet said cats do this crazy thing where they flatten out and sort of float if they fall from higher levels (above the 11th floor), and they have worse injuries if they fall from lower levels!” Thompson wrote on the GoFundMe page.

The BBC’s Science Focus says that a cat surviving a fall as high as 32 stories has been documented.

A 1987 study in the Journal Of The American Veterinary Medical Association said cats that fell from less than seven stories were likely to have more severe injuries than those that fell from higher distances, Science Focus reported.

The logic is that cats reach the maximum velocity they can fall after a drop of about seven stories. Since they stay at the same speed for the rest of the fall, they tend to relax and distribute the impact over a wider area of their bodies’, resulting in less impact on higher drops, according to the study.

Charlie’s case is not uncommon. In fact, it is so common that veterinarians have a name for the large numbers of falling cat accidents: High-Rise Syndrome.

According to WebMD, cats accidentally fall from high places due to a cat’s ability to focus their attention on something that interests them, while losing focus on their stability.

Cat’s lack of a fear of heights also tends to put them in dangerous situations, since they can’t maintain a solid grip on every type of surface.

The cat might also get an injury not from the fall, but from the unfamiliar environment, they land in.

A cat’s chances of survival are still very high. If given quick and appropriate veterinary attention, a cat has a 90 percent chance of survival after a fall.

Charlie the British shorthair also has his own Instagram page, with recent updates on the cat’s condition.

“Hello! Here’s a video of me a few weeks ago rolling around playing and being silly. I can’t wait to play like this again! But right now I’m recovering from falling onto a roof from 18 levels. My human stupidly left the balcony door open when she went to work I decided to go on an adventure and walk the balcony ledge. But then I slipped,” says the text to accompany the latest video on the page, a video that shows Charlie in better shape.

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