Does a Falling Cat Always Land on Its Feet?

"This cat's injuries are typical of a cat who has fallen out of a high building and landed on his feet and his chin. He broke his front feet and then he bumped his chin on the ground as he fell down," she said.

Without witnessing the fall, it's difficult to say why cats fall from windows; the cat's certainly not talking. It's believed that a house cat may spot a passing bird outside a window and when the prey instinct kicks in, leaps out to catch it. Sometimes a cat may be frightened by something unusual in the house and try to escape out an open window.

And what about dogs — how do they do in falls?

"Dogs don't do as well as cats," Hohenhaus said. "Because dogs are not as flexible as cats, they maybe have worse injuries, don't right themselves as quickly, and therefore have more traumatic injuries."

Safety First

The moral for pet owners, Hohenhaus says, is screens. "Fine wire-mesh screens are your safest bet if you have a pet in the house."

And if you have a terrace: "Don't let your pet out on a terrace without supervision or without a leash or without having the terrace be fenced or screened in some way," she said.

Ivan says he still can't believe how Simba survived the fall from the building's top floor.

"I learned my lesson and I'm keeping the windows shut on the bottom all the time," he said.

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