My cat fell out of the window – What to do?

Surely you’ve heard it a thousand times that cats always fall to their feet . Perhaps for this reason, some people do not give much importance to the cat spend hours looking out the window of a fourth floor watching the birds. After all these years of living with cats living in buildings and too many deadly accidents, it is impossible to say that the fact that cats can land on the cushions is synonymous with survival.

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We know that terrible accidents are very frequent and serious and for this reason we want to give you some advice on what to do if this happens to your cat. In this article from YourCatCareguide we will explain to you what the first aid is if your cat fell through the window .

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Cat fell out of the building

If you immediately realize that the cat has fallen out of the building, whether it’s on the porch or the window, it’s vital to pick it up as quickly as possible before it catches up and starts running scared in a totally unfamiliar environment for it. The wounded cats usually hide in quiet places, more so if the area where they are is totally unknown. They have the instinct to be safe from any situation that makes them even more vulnerable.

Of course, before we can get down to the street, our little one has time to look for shelter and we often find signs in all the veterinary clinics of people looking for their feline, who fell out of the window a few days before. In theory it’s always relatively easy but in practice, especially when we talk about cats, the story is different.

“He’s still on the hunt, he can not move or he’s scared.”

You will have to gather many forces and be cold-blooded to be quick to act. Run for the carrier to get off with her. If you do not have a carrier, go down with a towel.

When you arrive, you may find the cat in the supine position (lying on one side) and in this case you will have to pass both hands with your back facing the sidewalk and the palm in contact with the animal’s body. In this posture, you should introduce the cat into the carrier, without bending or turning any end, nor his neck , just like when bakers introduce bread into the oven. The help is always fundamental, especially in this case, so it is best if someone helps and disassembles the top of the carrier to be able to put the cat on top without moving too much.

If you do not have a carrier you can, with the help of another person, create a hard surface with the towel, making a tight tension (like a stretcher) to take the cat to the nearest veterinary clinic.

If the cat moves but can not stand upright, it is a situation that can be very uncomfortable for him and very stressful. It is best to hold on the skin of his neck, as do the mothers with the puppies to carry them from one place to another, and put the cat on the carrier. Your first option should always be to get him by the chest, but in this case is not recommended.

Missing cat

After falling out of the window, the cat may have only mild injuries and can quickly escape to find a hiding place . Some cats suffer from run-down during the escape and others decide to hide under the cars, or between the bushes or any other place where they can be hidden.

If after searching for all possible hiding places you can not find your cat, you should follow the tips to find a lost cat : notify all veterinary clinics and animal shelters nearby (a good help is to put up posters with the photograph in the color of the cat near his house) and wait for it to be night to go out looking for and calling for him. It is easier for the cat to recognize your voice if there is not so much noise from people and cars. In addition, tranquility motivates the cat out of hiding.

Although the cat appears to be okay, you should put it gently on the carrier and go to a veterinary clinic to rule out typical ” parachute cat syndrome ” conditions.

Cat Falls – What to Do Before Taking You to the Vet

It is customary, when no apparent injuries are noticed, the guardian sees the cat so frightened that he takes him home and contacts the veterinarian for instructions, especially if it is outside the operating hours of the clinic and the veterinarian will take a few minutes to arrive . Some of the advice the vet may give are:

  • You should leave the cat on the carrier or somewhere else safe in low light and few stimuli.
  • Do not touch the cat or put on a cushion.
  • Place the cat on the carrier in a slightly inclined plane so that the cat has the head and chest above the abdomen.
  • Do not offer water or food to the animal. If it has been a few hours since he fell out of the window, it is normal that his first instinct is to feed the kitten, but he may have lesions in the mouth consequent to the fall and may have something dislocated. When they ingest water or food, they may drift into the airways causing aspiration pneumonia.

How to know if the cat is getting worse?

If you picked up the cat after it fell out of the building and it was relatively stable, in case the situation starts to complicate you may notice through:

  • Orthopedic position (stretches neck and looks up: is trying to get more oxygen)
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • He opens the carrier door and sees that his pupils are dilated and fixed.
  • If the color of his mucosa is white or bluish gray.
  • If there are serious injuries, you will hear loud vocals and the typical screams (signs of death in cats). In these cases there is usually not enough time to reach the veterinarian and observe or reach anywhere where he can be cared for.

Already at the vet

After falling through the window, your cat may have a series of lesions, of greater or lesser severity, that fall within the “parachute cat syndrome”. If the cat had time to react and turn around to fall, it will have made the fall with the four ends extended and the back arched to minimize the force of the impact. But the effect of the impact, more or less intense according to the distance to which it was, brings a series of consequences:

  • Jaw rupture : We often find the mandibular symphysis broken.
  • Fissure of the hard or soft palate : These lesions need repairing and sometimes feeding the cat by catheter until the palate is completely closed.
  • Fractures of the metacarpal, metatarsal and phalanges : The fingers of all limbs often have many lesions.
  • Femur, tibia, and hip fractures : The more flexible hind limbs better cushion the impact. It is therefore common to find more fractures in this region than in the anterior limbs. Some injuries go unnoticed at first sight and are only detected on the physical examination by the veterinarian.
  • Diaphragmatic hernias : The impact causes a rupture in the diaphragm that separates the thorax from the abdomen and the abdominal contents (intestines, liver, spleen ….) pass to the thorax preventing the lungs from expanding. Sometimes this situation is very evident and the cat is breathing hard and the abdomen gets thinner. At other times, a small hole appears through which part of the intestine leaves and only a stop is noticed in the physical examination of the animal.
  • Hepatic and bladder rupture : If the bladder was filled with urine at the time of impact, there are strong chances that it will rupture due to tension. The liver may suffer bruising or breakage. The same can happen with the abdominal aorta, which can trigger an internal hemorrhage that is usually fatal.

What tests will my cat do if he fell out of the window?

Each veterinarian will do a series of different tests, as appropriate and what the physical examination reveals, but there are common things:

  • Stabilize before you start exploring : oxygenating and sedating is almost mandatory if the cat is having difficulty breathing. If the cat does not tolerate a mask or is very nervous, which aggravates dyspnea, a mild and relatively safe sedative such as midazolam may be necessary. The x-ray requires cat immobilization and for this we need to be sure that it breathes properly. Usually we use this moment to catheterize the central vein. Analgesia with some opioids can suppress breathing, so if the cat breathes poorly, there are many other drugs available to decrease pain.
  • Physical examination : Mucosal color, auscultation, temperature, abdominal palpation, and heartbeat provide a lot of information to the veterinarian before further testing.
  • Imaging Diagnosis : It may take a few hours before the cat is stabilized. The x-ray shows the diaphragmatic hernia and the ultrasound indicates if there is fluid in the abdomen (urine, blood), the integrity of the liver, spleen and bladder. If the cat is sedated and there is no ultrasound, they may choose to probe the bladder and check for urine through the catheter. If it exits, it indicates that the urine is stored in an intact bladder and is assumed to be unbroken. You may also want to have a contrast x-ray to confirm.

It should be borne in mind that bladder or hepatic rupture and dyspnea (by diaphragmatic hernia, pulmonary contusion, etc.) are critical and very unfavorable situations in which almost nothing can be done either by the owner or by the vet. Many cats are able to overcome the stabilization phase and it is possible to intervene surgically. However, some die during surgery or because of postoperative complications.

Back home with bruises

If the cat was lucky and was discharged, he will go home to recover. The discharge usually occurs after 24 to 36 hours of veterinary observation if the cat only has a bone fissure that does not require surgery or a lung contusion. In this case the veterinarian will ask the cat to rest completely (sometimes it has to be caged) and that you check his urine and his stool (a lubricant may be needed to defecate better, such as olive oil or paraffin liquid). You should also be aware of the breathing and the color of his mucous membranes.

In some cases, the cat needs to take painkillers daily and sometimes antibiotics . It may take some time for the cat to fully recover.

Pre-cure prevention

When the cat falls for the first time from the window or the porch of your house, it is an accident. Whether you have forgotten the open window, the cat is not yet cleared, there are birds in the area or simply something caught his attention and he jumped.

However, when the cat falls two, three or more times from the same window, it is already a case of carelessness or negligence. There are many solutions for the cat not to fall again: mosquito nets, aluminum , etc … There are numerous methods of containment that allow to pass light and air and are not so expensive when we are talking about saving a life.

necklace with an identification plate does not usually please the felines, but you can always opt for the microchip. Thanks to this mechanism, many tutors can find their parachute cats.

But after falling once, it does not drop again …

In this regard, cats are a bit like humans, stumble twice or as needed, with the same window open. The saying that “curiosity killed the cat” exists for some reason.

Sometimes we leave the window in a convinced position that has no danger, but many cats die hanged or suffocated when they try to escape through small openings. It’s the typical situations that we do not believe until they happen to us. Believe me, unfortunately, it happens more often than you think! Remember that if you believe that there is something that is impossible for your cat to do, it will prove to you otherwise.

This article is purely informative, in we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read the similar articles in My cat fell off the window – What to do? , we recommend that you enter our First Aid section .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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