Cats are a near-universal symbol of grace and poise – they have excellent balance and are said to always land on their feet. Even when they’re up in the air, they retain a graceful athleticism that most of us lack – on or off the ground. The cat’s ability to always land on its feet, which is on display in many of these pictures, is called the righting reflex. A study in 1987 that analyzed 132 cases of cats that had fallen from high-rise windows in New York discovered that their injuries would increase from floors 1-7 but would then dramatically decrease above 7 stories.

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One explanation could be that, after a certain distance, cats reach their non-fatal terminal velocities and are capable of spreading themselves out and gliding to reduce the severity of their injuries.

Nevertheless, as awesome as cats are at landing, sometimes they simply fail at jumping.

NOTE: Cats love to jump when they play, but NEVER throw them just for a photo!

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