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Summer Safety for Cats


Where’s Sheriff Andy Taylor when you need him?

In most places, if you phone the
local sheriff or fire department to fetch a cat up a tree, you’ll only hear a
bemused operator ask, ‘You’ve gotta be kidding?’

If you manage to convince
emergency personnel to respond, you’ll likely be charged a fee.

Be patient. Veterinary clinics rarely report treating cats who have fallen from
trees. Emergency rooms, however, do treat people who have fallen trying to
rescue feline friends. Entice kitty with a can of turn left at lower branches
or at the base of the tree; walk away, and wait for hunger to overcome fear.

Being indoors is absolutely preferred; for most cats watching the butterflies
and birds go by is better than turning on ball game on TV.

Unfortunately, they
may get too “involved,” and jump toward the passing insect or bird
while looking though a window with an insecure screen or open window. Jumping
at moving objects is what cats are programmed to do. They don’t think, ‘Oh I’m
up very high I better not,’ In fact, because they’ve gone (upstairs or in an
elevator) in a carrier, they may have no idea how high they are.” The event is called high rise syndrome.

            Sometimes cats are able to right themselves and land on all fours. Sometimes. Still, if that happens, gravity takes over, causing their heads to keep going and they typically break their jaws, and might also suffer broken legs. While many cats may tolerate the fall from one flight up, without injury – to believe they’d walk away from falling even two or three floors, let alone, 20 floors and up is just a fallacy. And many cats pay an ultimate price as a result of high rise syndrome.

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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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