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High-Rise Syndrome: Keeping your pets safe from falls

Sunny skies and warm weather typically are important elements to a great day – for both people and pets. During an especially nice day, you may even be tempted to curl up in a sunbeam with your pet, soaking up the Vitamin D. But warm weather also encourages people to open their windows, and for pet owners that live in buildings with more than two stories, this can lead to a very sad and scary condition called High-Rise Syndrome.
High-Rise Syndrome is a term coined by veterinarians at The Animal Medical Center in New York City due to the number and nature of injuries they were seeing from pets – especially cats – falling out of windows or off of fire escapes.

When Cats Fall:

  1. They are likely to suffer injuries that extend well beyond broken bones.
  2. Cats often wind up in this predicament after having been startled off their perch.
  3. If your pet does fall out of a window, bring them immediately to your veterinarian for evaluation and treatment.
When cats fall, they are likely to suffer injuries that extend well beyond broken bones. This is particularly true when they fall from heights between two and seven stories. In such cases, it’s common for them to sustain bruising to their heart and lungs, fracture of their lower jaw and roof of their mouth, and experience swelling of their brain. Many of these cats will also suffer a rupture of their urinary bladder, internal bleeding, and fracture of their ribs.
Amazingly, many of these cats can still survive and do quite well. However, the treatment process is long, painful, and expensive. Costs for treating severe High-Rise Syndrome cases are often in the range of $2,000 to over $5,000, and these pets are typically in the hospital for several days. These poor guys require true intensive care, often requiring supplemental oxygen therapy and temporary feeding tubes. This should all serve to highlight the importance of taking steps to prevent this emergency, as well as to prepare you for what you might expect should it occur.
Interestingly, and likely because of their flexibility and their uncanny ability to right their body and relax during such falls, cats that fall from heights over 7 stories typically sustain fewer and less severe injuries. But that's not to say that you should let them do it! Even these cats can suffer painful or fatal injuries.
Here’s a great video about cats and High-Rise Syndrome from the folks at National Geographic, it’s well worth a few minutes of your time to watch…


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Topics: pet safety tips, Summer Pet Safety Tips, High Rise Syndrome, Feline High Rise Syndrome, Falling Cats, Cats Falling from Heights, Dogs Falling from Heights

BBQs, Sun, Water, and Fun - Oh My! Summer Pet Safety for Your Dog.

Come summer, who isn’t ready for the sunshine, BBQs, fireworks, trips to the river, lake, beach, and all the other joys that summer brings?

Believe it or not, there is one group that likely isn’t ready… your pets!

With a few simple steps you can help prepare your pets and keep them safe this summer. This article will serve as an overview of the summer hazards that commonly sicken, injure, and kill cats and dogs this time of year. Awareness is such an important part of prevention. So please, give this article a good read and be sure to share it with your pet-loving friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. Here’s to a safe and wonderful summer for all – human and pet, alike!

Summer Pet Safety Tips:

  1. Summer carries dangers from heat, water, toxins, and an increase in injuries.
  2. Always consider your pet’s safety and comfort.
  3. Sometimes it’s better to leave your pet safe in the home, rather than exposed to danger.


Though that beautiful glowing orb in the sky improves our collective mood and helps to sustain life on our planet, it can lead to a few significant problems for our beloved pets, too.
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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, flea treatment, High Rise Syndrome, Dogs, Safety, Cats, Summer, Heat Stroke, Pets, Swimming, Boating, Barbeques, Sunburn, Blue Green Algae, Snails, Paw Pad Burns, Fireworks, Slugs, Antifreeze, Blog

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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