Why Safety Nets Are as Important on the First Floor as on the Tenth Floor

It doesn’t matter what floor you live on. Windowsills are popular spots for our cat companions. Therefore, an accident might occur wherever you are.

I keep seeing cat owners trivialising the importance of safety nets. However, it should be standard equipment if our cat doesn’t go out, no matter the floor we live on. Cats instinctively look for elevated places with a good view into the area. So, they spend a lot of time on windowsills.

Some cat owners think they don’t need any safety measures for windows when they live on higher floors. They say their cat is not stupid and will not voluntarily jump out of the window. Moreover, it sits there very often and nothing has ever happened. And their previous cat also didn’t fall out of the window. They have many arguments.

Despite that, I see several dozens of cases every year when the pet falls out of the window. All it takes is one stupid coincidence. The cat snaps at a fly which flies just slightly out of its reach or a bird passes the window. In such cases, the hunting instinct wins and an accident might happen. The cat might be startled by something, even your voice, when it is broody, focused or it relaxes. Also, it might be dazzled by a window which is being opened on the other building across the street and so on.

There are also people who only use a narrow venting gap to get some fresh air inside. That way, the cat doesn’t fall out (even though there are some who can do that anyway) but it can get stuck in the gap and suffocate. There have also been many cases of that. So, if you try to get some fresh air inside through the window, at least do it when you’re present. You might buy a grid in the pet store which covers the side or top open space.

However, even those who live on lower floors and on the ground floor sometimes underestimate the safety related to windows. They say that if the cat falls, it’s not fatal in such cases. However, it might not be true. When unexpectedly falling from low height, the cat doesn’t have to be able to turn in a way it would fall on its feet and therefore, it might injure its spine. Even though it survives the fall itself, it will be definitely a huge shock. In a better case, you will be able to find the cat after some (shorter or longer) time, but you might not be able to find the cat or a car on a road might kill. It often happens that when the pet is in shock, it runs straight to the road.

I was helping to find the cat of my neighbours (living on the first floor) once. It was a young cat and it was its first experience with the world outside. Fortunately, it fell out to a courtyard inside the block of apartment buildings but it still took a couple of days before we were able to find it. It was anxious months after that and it suffered from an eating disorder. It took really long time and a lot of care and effort in order to help it deal with the experience.

So, I’m begging you for all the cats, do not underestimate the situation. I really hope your cat will never have such an accident but it’s not worth pushing your luck. You can learn what options there are in Cats and How to Secure Your Window. It’s true that some of the options might be quite expensive, but you may help your cat to be safe even for a few hundred Czech crowns.

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