**Does a Cat Always Land on
Its Feet? **

**by Fiorella Gambale, Ph.D.
**

Cats have excellent balance, and are remarkably acrobatic. When turned upside down and dropped from a height, a cat generally has the ability to land on its feet. Until now, no one has systematically investigated the limits of this phenomenon. In this study, I dropped a cat upside down from various heights, and observed whether the cat landed on its feet.

Dropping a Cat Upside Down from a Height of 6 Feet I dropped the cat from a
height of six feet. I did this one hundred times. The cat always landed on its
feet.

Dropping a Cat Upside Down from a Height of 5 Feet I dropped the cat from a
height of five feet. I did this one hundred times. The cat always landed on
its feet.

Dropping a Cat Upside Down from a Height of 4 Feet I dropped the cat from a
height of four feet. I did this one hundred times. The cat always landed on
its feet.

Dropping a Cat Upside Down from a Height of 3 Feet I dropped the cat from a
height of three feet. I did this one hundred times. The cat always landed on
its feet.

Dropping a Cat Upside Down from a Height of 2 Feet I dropped the cat from a
height of two feet. I did this one hundred times. The cat always landed on its
feet.

Dropping a Cat Upside Down from a Height of 1 Foot I dropped the cat from a
height of one foot. I did this one hundred times. The cat never landed on its
feet.

Discussion Popular belief is that "* a cat will always
land on its feet*." My experiments show this to be true for drop
heights ranging from six feet down to two feet. It is not true at a drop height
of one foot. Does a cat land on its feet when dropped from a height of less
than one foot? This preliminary study indicates that the answer may be no. However,
further experiments, preferably with the same cat, are needed to settle the
question.

Acknowledgments I want to thank the cat, "*Esther*,"
for her initial cooperation in this experiment. Thank you, also, to Esther's
owner, M.R. Young. And special thanks to the organization PFTAR (People For
the Tarring-and-Feathering of Animal Researchers), whose incessant yacketing
inspired this project.

Drop Height |
Attempts |
Landed on feet |
Did not land on feet |

6 ft. |
100 |
100 |
0 |

5 ft. |
100 |
100 |
0 |

4 ft. |
100 |
100 |
0 |

3 ft. |
100 |
100 |
0 |

2 ft. |
100 |
100 |
0 |

1 ft. |
100 |
0 |
100 |

Copyright © 1998 The Annals of Improbable Research (AIR). All rights reserved.