Why do cats always land on their hands?

Why do cats always land on their hands?

Cats perform the so-called "rehabilitation reflex." The cat cleverly uses physical strength to turn its body and avoid injuries in a free fall. How does a cat manage to do the same?

Cats are incredibly sneaky and flexible, they can sneak into narrow places and jump at seemingly impossible heights, and they come out unharmed from such risky attempts, always landing on four legs.

But how do they do that, and are cats the only animals with the ability to resist death?

Mare's experiment with a falling cat.

Scientists in the 19th century were perplexed by the ability of some animals to change the orientation of their bodies when they fell, for example, by a known phenomenon of cats.

Etienne-Jul Maré was one of those scientists, and in 1894, Mary tried to understand the dynamics of the cat's fall by putting it upside down and taking a series of pictures with a chronophoto.

With this technique of photography, he captured successive stages of the cat's falling motion and published them in a magazine.

In the past, some people thought that cats were pushed away by a falling person to turn their bodies, but Mara's photos showed otherwise.

But it's against the laws of physics!

According to Newton's law of motion, no object can change its movement if it is not subject to external force, so how can cats challenge physics?

How do cats turn their bodies during the fall?

At the beginning of the fall, the cat is upside down, its four legs are directed to the sky, and its back is facing the ground; the only force on the cat is the force of gravity, which is directed vertically.

To turn your body, a cat needs an external force in a different direction so that it can turn its body and direct its legs to the ground. Since the cat floats in the air during the fall, there is no external force that can help it to turn over. Instead, the cat helps itself by twisting its body's muscles to rotate.

Refurbishment reflex

In order to protect the body and avoid injuries in a free fall, some animals turn into air in order to land safely on their feet. The ability of animals to reset their bodies during the fall is known as the recovery reflex. This recovery air reflex has been recorded in many mammals, including cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, rats and primates.

Cats and geckos reoriented their bodies by preserving the angular moment.

Mara's pictures show that a cat bends its back when it starts to fall. This effectively breaks a cat's body into two different parts. To understand the problem of a falling cat, we have to view the top and back of a cat's body as two rigid cylinders with different rotations.

The cat begins to turn its head towards the camera with its back legs stretched out while pulling its front legs. You may have seen the shapers pull their hands in while spinning. By pulling their hands inside, they increase their angular velocity, which helps them to rotate faster. Cats apply the same principle when they fall.

When the front of the body of the cat is rotated 180 degrees around the waist, the back of the body is rotated in the opposite direction about -5 degrees to prevent a change in the overall angular moment, so the resulting angular moment is zero, because the opposite rotation of the two separate parts of the cat balances each other.

When the head and the forelegs are on the ground, the cat pulls out the forelegs while reducing the forelegs.

When all four legs of a cat are turned to the ground, it can land safely and conveniently.

Unfortunately, we humans are not endowed with this amazing superlative ability, but people have a kind of control reflex called the postural equalization reflex, which includes visual right reflex, labyrinth right reflex, and neck right reflex, and these are just a few of them. These reflexes may not save our lives when we fall, but they certainly help us maintain the correct orientation of the body and the posture.

However, the control reflex in cats does not make them immune to the serious dangers associated with falling from high altitude. According to a study, 96.5 per cent of cats survived the fall. However, despite the fact that they survived the fall, many cats suffered from various bone fractures and irreversible changes in physical health. This suggests that despite their ability to get on their feet quickly, cats do not always come out unharmed after the fall.