Home > Fun Stuff > Why Do People Say Cats Have Nine Lives?

Why Do People Say Cats Have Nine Lives?

October 1st, 2008

Surprisingly, some people still believe in this superstition. But where does this misconception trace its roots? And why do people still say that cats have nine lives when it is clearly biologically impossible?

Well, cats can survive a fall from high-rise buildings with minimal or no injuries. Cats can survive accidents that would have killed humans. And cats can survive on eating food that is not suited for humans. So, is it true that cats really have nine lives? No. It is just a saying with no grain of truth on it. The fact that cats have a higher chance of survival compared to humans have nothing to do with lives, it has everything to do with their bodies’ design.

Cats are able to survive from falls because it has four paws, have the ability to bend their legs, and have a good sense of balance. When cats fall from a building, they can still land on their feet because even if they fall upside down, they can easily reposition themselves on air to ensure that they will land on four paws. Cats also have the ability to cushion the intensity of their landing. Their bones will not easily break because the force of the impact is distributed to the muscles and joints.

It is surprising to note that unlike humans, cats actually have a greater chance of survival if they fall from a higher place. There are data available from New York veterinarians who observed that more cats will die from a fall of 2-6 stories compared to those who fall from 7-32 stories. Laws of physics suggest that the rates will vary.

Regardless of their mass, all falling objects accelerate by 22 miles per hour every send they fall. But once it reaches the “terminal velocity”, the object’s friction will allow the fall to slow down depending on the mass. The smaller the object and the bigger its area, the more it will slow down. So if a cat falls from a higher floor, it can spread its legs like an umbrella, this increases the area where air can push through. It slows down the cat’s fall and enables him to avoid fatal accidents.

It is clear that the belief that cats have nine lives has its basis. But continually believing this misconception will do nothing good. It will only make it appear ignorant and unaware of the cat’s innate design to survive otherwise fatal falls.

  1. Lisa
    October 5th, 2008 at 14:54 | #1

    What makes you to write about the cat story?
    It is a bit boring, actually.

  1. No trackbacks yet.