Why Doesn’t My Cat Land On Its Feet?

Your cat’s behavior has many causes, so understanding it is essential.

If your cat doesn’t land firmly on its feet, it could suffer. Some people believe that their cats have specific gaits due to their size.

Others blame their felines’ nimble fingers and sharp minds for getting them in and out of any door or opening on the house. So, why doesn’t my cat land on its feet?

Cats land on their feet because their bodies are designed for it. For instance, cats have a very flexible spine, so they’re able to twist and turn their bodies while falling.

Their flexible spines also allow them to land on their feet very easily, even when falling from great heights.

Cats also have very flexible hips and shoulder blades, which allows them to land on their feet easily upon landing.

Finally, cats’ claws are retractable, which allows them to land on their feet more easily.

Cats land on their feet because they have certain anatomical features that help them do so.

Why Doesn’t My Cat Land On Its Feet?


Cats lose a lot of their physical talents as they become older.

This is why elderly cats are more vulnerable to injury than younger ones; they’re more likely to injure themselves because they’re not as capable as they used to be.

For instance, an older cat might have trouble jumping onto higher surfaces or leaping as far as it used to; this is because the muscles in its legs and back aren’t as strong as they used to be.

An older cat might also have arthritis in any of its joints, which makes it harder for it to move around and jump as well.

Can’t Stretch Its Legs

When a cat jumps, there are muscles that are responsible for stretching its legs out so that it can land on its feet with all of its limbs intact.

However, if a cat can’t stretch its legs out properly, it might have a difficult time landing on its feet when it leaps.

For example, if a cat is standing on a box that is two feet high off the ground, and it has to jump onto a table that is four feet off the ground, it has to stretch its legs out and jump far enough so that all four of its paws land on the table at the same time.

This injures the cat because it isn’t able to land with its paws fully extended on the ground below it.

As a consequence, they must walk with a limp on their back leg for the rest of their life.

Cats that leap from lesser heights may not experience any problems at all because they don’t have to stretch out as far to land on all four paws on the floor below them.

However, if a cat has to jump from a height that’s too high for it to stretch its legs out properly, it can experience joint problems as a result of the stress placed on the joints and ligaments in its body.

Uneven Surfaces When a cat leaps from one surface to another, it has no control over how high it falls or lands.

Jumping From Unsafe Heights

When cats fall to the ground, it’s common for them to fall forward onto their chests rather than backward onto their feet.

This is dangerous because the force of the fall could fracture any bones in their face or head. It could even cause brain damage.

This is because these bones are fragile and the force applied to them can be substantial when they hit the ground.

Therefore, it’s not a good idea to let your cat jump from unsafe heights; always lower them to the ground gently.

When leaping from dangerous heights, cats often land on their feet rather than their chests; this is because the front paws have more flexibility than the back paws, so the cat can twist as it lands, thus lessening the impact.

It will buckle as soon as possible and the cat will land on its feet – just as it did in the wild.

This is why, even reaching the tops of trees by climbing with all four feet on the ground can be dangerous for cats – they are more likely to land on their rumps.

It’s dangerous, and they don’t enjoy it at all.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Cross Their Front Paws?

Final Words

Some cats naturally do better than others at landing on their feet when they leap from one surface to another.

This is due to their age, leaping from safe distances, and their flexibility in their front limbs.