VIDEO: Why do cats land on their feet?

Finally, an internet cat video that doesn’t involve a pudgy tom trying to squeeze himself into boxes (no offense, Maru, you’re adorable).

This time I’m talking about Gigi, the somewhat unfortunate special guest on the YouTube Channel, Smarter Every Day.

The question on the table is: Why do cats always land on their feet? Watcher beware, the answer is much more complicated than you’d expect.

So it’s a matter of extending or retracting your limbs.

Humans actually do this too… you just got a chance to see the physics in action at the summer Olympics. Gymnasts use these methods to make a series of different turns mid-air, and the winter Olympics figure skaters use the technique to either speed up or slow down a spin. Unfortunately, we don’t have the same well-developed gyro system as a cat, so if we need to know where the ground is, the best plan is to use our eyes.


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