• Question: Why do cats always land on their feet?and why do they have 9 lives?

    Asked by birkl011 to Daphne, Darren, Jon, Katherine on 21 Mar 2012. This question was also asked by mattc003.
    • Photo: Katherine Haxton

      Katherine Haxton answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      I think they are just lucky to land on their feet – perhaps their instincts are better than ours. They don’t have 9 lives though, I think that’s just a saying because of how lucky they are to land on their feet!

    • Photo: Daphne Ng

      Daphne Ng answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      Cats have a natural righting reflex which helps them to determine which direction is up and down when they are falling through the air. This helps them land on their feet most of the time. In addition, cats have a very flexible backbone which enables them to land safely on their feet.

      Cats only have 1 life. It is because they appear to escape injury free despite falling from a height that they seem like they have 9 lives!

    • Photo: Darren Logan

      Darren Logan answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      Here is a pretty nice study from a University student interested in the same question: