Preventing High-Rise Falls: A Cat’s Remarkable Recovery and the Importance of Safety Measures

‘Pink Nose’, a 4-month old Ragdoll kitten, survived a terrifying 15-metre fall from a high-rise flat in The Isle of Dogs, London. He was one of the lucky ones, thanks to his quick-thinking owners and the prompt and expert care of The London Cat Clinic (, a leading veterinary practice and 24/7 hospital that specialises in feline care.

Pink Nose was brought to the clinic’s 24/7 feline-only hospital by his distraught owners.

His owner Valentina said: “We had left the balcony window slightly open during the night to keep the flat cool, but in the morning, we couldn’t see Pink Nose. I rushed downstairs to find him just below the window, a fall of around 15 metres. It was horrible and he was clearly terrified.”

The clinic’s night team quickly examined him and took X-rays to check for any broken bones. They found that he had a collapsed lung and a ‘pneumothorax’, which is an accumulation of air or gas in the space between the lung and the chest wall. A pneumothorax can be life-threatening if not treated urgently.

The team inserted a chest drain to remove the air and relieve the pressure on his lung. Pink Nose stayed at the hospital for two days, where he received round-the-clock monitoring and care. He made a remarkable recovery and could go home with his owners.

Pink Nose’s story highlights the growing problem of ‘high-rise syndrome’, a term used to describe injuries sustained by cats falling from buildings higher than two storeys. The London Cat Clinic has seen an increase in admissions of cats injured after falling from high rise apartments – with three separate cases in just one weekend last month.

Dr Jeremy Campbell, Clinical Director at The London Cat Clinic, said: “We are very happy that Pink Nose is doing well, but his case shows how dangerous high-rise falls can be for cats. A fall from even a relatively small height can cause serious injuries, such as broken bones, facial and chest trauma, internal bleeding, and even death.”

Valentina said: “We did think the worst, expecting a shattered bladder or a broken back after falling from such a height. The clinic did loads of tests after stabilising him, and finding he had fluid in his lungs and air in his pleural space, which they had drained. They carried out orthopaedic exams for fractures, which he thankfully did not have and an ultrasound to check his liver and bladder.”

The case shows the importance of creating a safe environment for cats, especially those living in multi-story buildings, which his owners couldn’t stress enough.

Valentina said: “I’d definitely recommend window barriers and we have a guard that is solid glass all round. There were structural gaps in the guard that have now been filled. If you have indoor cats, I would recommend double-checking for any gaps in the existing structure, especially if renting. Never underestimate a Ragdoll’ lack of self-preservation instinct!”

The clinic is raising awareness about the risk of high-rise falls and advising cat owners to take precautions to prevent them. These include:

  • Keeping windows and balconies closed or securely screened
  • Providing indoor enrichment for cats, such as toys, scratching posts, and hiding places
  • Supervising cats when they are outside or on balconies
  • Seeking immediate veterinary attention if a cat falls or shows signs of injury

By following these simple steps, cat owners can reduce the chance of their cats falling from high places and avoid potentially serious injuries.

The London Cat Clinic is the only veterinary practice in London that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week only for cats. Whether you need a routine check-up, a routine or non-routine surgery, a specialist consultation or as an emergency day or night, The London Cat Clinic has you covered. To book an appointment, please call the clinic on 0203 740 1112.

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