Cats are said to have nine lives, but studies suggest these might be used up a lot faster if they fall above the 6th floor and below the 10th floor of a building … this holds all the way up to the 20th story or more. A strange survival statistic, to be sure, but science (as always) has a fascinating explanation for this bizarre phenomena.
First, the lower-level fall: cats, as they say, tend to land on their feet – they right themselves quickly in the air and land lightly when it comes to small falls or jumps.
Second, the fatal mid-level fall: cats dropping more than six stories (but less than nine or ten) tend to be in the most danger of death or severe injury – as they accelerate downward, their fight their descent with paws outstretched and often end up hitting head first. Ouch.
Finally, the stranger higher-level plunge: after they reach terminal velocity (the rate at which a falling object no longer accelerates), the cats relax, let their arms go up and land largely on their bellies, which can handle the impact better than their limbs or heads.
So, counter-intuitive as it may be, cats once again prove to be mysterious creatures with curious powers – this time, though, it is not about superstition or religion, but scientific studies that show a fascinating side to our favorite felines.