So about a month ago our cat managed to fall out of the window onto our balcony, from 2nd floor to 1st floor. It was at night, so we didn't see exactly what happened, only heard the noise when he landed. Sounded like he hit our garden chairs, which where standing there folded together.

As soon as we opened the door to the balcony, he ran in, up the stairs and was hiding under the bed. I then slowly pulled him towards me and we checked if he was in pain somewhere (touched all feet and everything). But he seemed alright, except that he lost the fur on his nose. Looked like he hit some sharp edge and his fur literally was shaved off. He was also bleeding a bit, but nothing dramatic. It wasn't running freely - just a bit of blood on the wound.

He then calmed down very quickly and was acting quite normal again so we decided not to go to a vet. (It was a Saturday night I believe).

Since the incident I have the impression that he often can't manage to jump up on objects. He tries, but instead of jumping on them he jumps against them. Sometimes he nearly makes it and other times he's not even close to getting up. On the other hand, there are times he jumps up without a problem.

Can it be that he is just more 'careful' or just has more fear of jumping over the object? I believe the day he fell out the window that he tried to jump on the windowsill and was just to fast, so he didn't manage to stop and then fell down.

So the specific question would be:

Is it just that 'the shock is still in his bones' or are his 'senses' somewhat 'damaged' and in fact of that he can't aim that accurately anymore?

  • 8
    There are a number of medical conditions that could cause this type of behavior. I suggest a visit to the vet. Sep 11, 2015 at 14:26
  • 4
    Cats are generally very good at hiding illness and injuries, so I would recommend if the cat has no obvious serious injuries after a fall like that, to take it in the next day anyways. Now that the cat is showing strange behavior, definitely a checkup is in order.
    – Kai
    Sep 11, 2015 at 15:41
  • 1
    Without any doubt. You and your cat need to visit a vet. We are, of course, curious to know, if your cat is fine after that.
    – Ariser
    Sep 13, 2015 at 16:09

2 Answers 2


Sounds a lot like you may be dealing with ataxia, which is basically loss or reduction of control and coordination of body movements in an animal. There are several sources for ataxia:

  1. spinal compression
  2. inner ear damage
  3. brain injury

Based on the description of what has happened, the loss of coordination might seem to be spinal related. Basically compression from the fall, especially if it was unbalanced as a result of objects in the area and forcing uneven pressure on the spinal column. If ataxia is the problem, that's not really confirmed.

Having said that, as a function of the activity, it could be other damage including hairline fractures or deep bruising (bone or tendon) that makes certain angles more painful and difficult than others. Cats hide pain extremely well, so lack of response to your probing is not indicative.

As recommended, I think a vet trip is very, very wise. If nothing else, it may be something that just needs time, but having the x-ray check is probably a good confirmation and look-see by a qualified vet (which I'm not) is never a bad idea after a bad incident.


Your description is that of a cat with some type of injury as a result of a fall - well, actually as a result of the sudden stop at the end of the fall.

A cat who suddenly becomes clumsy after such an event is showing the effects of an injury. Even if you didn't notice any broken bones or such, it was quite a hit if fur was scraped off.

We would have taken him in as soon as the behavior began. We would figure out some way to pay the vet bill afterwards.

Take the cat to a vet.

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