Mayhew are raising awareness of ‘High-rise syndrome’ a phenomenon which sees hundreds of cats per year injured after falling from tall structures.
The London based animal welfare centre is raising awareness of the common phenomenon familiar to vets, cat owners and animal rescue centres across the world.
Usually when a cat experiences a fall, their body will attempt to twist around in the air to ensure they land on their feet – but despite cats’ legendary ‘nine lives’, they don not always survive the drop.
Four-month old kitten, Leo was lucky to escape with his life after falling 30ft out of a second-floor window and landing badly, fracturing the roof of his mouth.
Leo also suffered from a bloody nose and a sore leg and lay on the ground unable to move for at least an hour before he was discovered. Luckily for the kitten, a student volunteering at Mayhew happened to be walking past where he had fallen, and spotted he was in considerable distress.
The student called a colleague to come out and help, and together they took poor Leo straight back to Mayhew. The blood coming from his nose was making him sneeze, and he was very quiet and subdued on the journey.
As soon as he arrived at Mayhew, Leo was examined by the nursing team, before being transferred to the RSPCA in Putney for further examination.
Whilst at Putney, Leo was given pain relief and a full vet check, and thankfully it was discovered that he did not require emergency surgery that night. The RSPCA Vets were confident that his mouth injury, sore and swollen nose and the soft tissue trauma to his leg should each heal on their own given time; and Leo was therefore discharged back to the Mayhew centre to rest and recover in their hospital ward.
A spokesperson for Mayhew commented: “Our vet team kept a close eye on Leo over the next few days and checked his fractured palate thoroughly when they neutered him. To everyone’s delight, it had indeed heeled neatly and as expected, and only a small scar now remains.
“Leo initially experienced some problems eating whilst his jaw was in the process of mending itself, and so our vet nurses and cattery staff helped to ensure he received all the nutrients he needed until he got back on his feet. He was soon eating, walking and behaving completely normally – but unfortunately, his original owners did not want to take him back.
“Therefore, when he was ready, we listed Leo for adoption – and we’re thrilled to say that he found the perfect match only a few days later and is now fully settled into his new home with a loving family.”
Leo was incredibly lucky to get such a happy ending, but for many cats who go through a similar ordeal, the outcome can be a lot more serious. Most cats have a natural fondness for heights and will readily climb and explore trees, buildings and other such structures.
If you live in a high rise building and own a cat, we advise ensuring that windows and balconies are made as ‘escape proof’ as possible and that you supervise your animal around obvious exit points to try and prevent any dangerous falls or accidents.