I heard about this on the radio the other day. In Manhattan, apparently there a lot of cats who fall out of windows of high apartment buildings. The explanation for that isn't that important, but in a nutshell it's because a lot of apartments get hot and when their owners come home they open the windows, and cats wander out onto window ledges, and one gusty wind or one missed step and... Yeah. To preface this, it's important to note that it really is true that cats are able to land on their feet from most falls. This is called the cat righting reflex and it is a studied and known phenomenon. But according to a study that's been done, there is some really interesting data about these cats who fall out of windows. Local veterinary hospitals reported that when cats fell what was considered a relatively "short" distance, i.e. from 5 floors up or lower, their injuries are not that severe. Not surprising, right? After all, they're not falling that far. Cats who fell from 6-9 floors up generally had the worst injuries, which also isn't THAT surprising since they're falling from higher up. What IS weird is this: Cats who fell from higher than 10 floors had about the same severity of injuries as the cats who fell from under 5 floors. One veterinary hospital in Manhattan said their record is 42 floors, from which the cat emerged fine aside from some scrapes and a chipped tooth. The theory that some posited is that, as the cat is still accelerating and speeding up during the fall, it's tensing itself because of its increasing speed. But after about 9 floors, the cat hits terminal velocity - the point at which their speed caps out and they can no longer fall any faster, essentially because the wind resistance has become so great that it prevents them from continuing to accelerate. At this point they basically hit "cruising speed" and they relax and actually stretch out, flying-squirrel style. Then they land on the ground, kind of belly-flop, and walk away. Nature is fucking crazy. EDIT: If you are interested, I found the radio story. It's not that long. It is attached to two other stories, but the cat story comes first. http://www.radiolab.org/story/94843-taking-plunge/ For those interested in further listening, Neil deGrasse Tyson, the well-known astrophysicist, also wanted to revisit this story. http://www.radiolab.org/story/102525-vertigo/ Neil deGrasse Tyson section about falling cats starts at about 13:30 on this one.