Cat Suffers Major Trauma, But Survives Six-Story Fall

PetMD Editorial
Published: June 27, 2017
Share this:

Another summer, another terrifying case resulting from high-rise syndrome

On June 21, a cat named Nora fell from a window on the sixth floor of a building in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, where she lived with her pet parents.

According to the MSPCA-Angell, where Nora is currently recovering, the feline suffered a traumatic brain injury, as well as lung and facial trauma, as a result of her near-fatal fall, which appeared to have happened because the window did not have a protective screen. 

Nora was taken to the Angell Animal Medical Center’s emergency and critical care unit, where she was diagnosed with a pneumothorax, "a potentially deadly accumulation of air between the chest wall and the lungs which often results from trauma." Because of this, Nora was put on oxygen for the first 48 hours of her time in the medical center. 

Since then, the resilient Nora has been recovering at the MSPCA-Angell, where she will stay until her injuries from her trauma heal and she can be placed for adoption. (Nora's owners opted to surrender her to the MSPCA after the incident.) 

Adoption center manager Alyssa Krieger said in a statement that she and the rest of the staff are taking Nora's recovery "day by day," but the overall outlook is very positive. 

Rob Halpin of the MSPCA told petMD that, "Throughout all of this, Nora has been calm and very docile. It’s hard to know for sure just how spunky she’ll be as her injuries have been so serious. But the adoption center staff suspects, based on the fact that she’s young and in overall fine health, that she will be active and playful once fully recovered." 

While Nora's case is shocking, it is sadly not uncommon. In the summer months, when pet parents keep their windows open, cats and dogs can often be the victim of falls from great heights. In fact, the MSPCA alone has already seen 10 cases so far this season. 

"The most basic advice is still the best: we must ensure that we have solid and fully functional screens in all windows that our pets have access to," Halpin urged. "The screens must be secure enough that cats cannot push through them. When in doubt, windows should be left closed." 

Image via MSPCA-Angell 

Read more: Summer Safety Tips for Pets