Kitten Thankful For Nine Lives After Surviving 13-Story Plunge

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on February 13, 2016

In Minneapolis, a curious kitten was able to shimmy under a cracked open window and fall from a 17-story apartment building.

When owner John Knuf arrived home from the grocery store, he found his 7-month-old orange tabby, named Brennan, lying on the fourth-floor landing. Although a screen was in the window, the kitten had somehow found a safety flaw.

The distraught owner climbed out on a fifth-floor ledge to rescue the kitten, who initially, was not moving. But when he picked Brennan up, the frightened kitty came back to life.

“It hit me hard when I saw him…He’s my little man. He wasn’t moving at first but when I picked him up he started crying,” said Knuf in a story by BluePearl Veterinary Partners, where Brennan was treated.


Miraculously, he sustained relatively minor injuries, receiving surgery for a dislocated hip and a broken shoulder.

Now, the resilient ginger tabby is recovering nicely.

“He’s acting like nothing much happened to him…He’s a little miracle,” said Julie Syverson to BluePearl, who’s the vet’s lead surgical veterinary technician.


According to BluePearl surgeon Dr. Andrew Jackson, stories like Brennan’s are common. When cats fall out of windows, it’s known as “High-Rise Syndrome.”

Strangely enough, cats that fall from more expansive heights may receive less injury than those that fall from between two and seven stories. “That’s because when they stop accelerating, cats no longer sense they are falling and relax, which allows them to better absorb the impact,” explains BluePearl.

Concerned about your cat’s safety? Check out these tips from the emergency vet:

  • Secure screens with screen guards.
  • Don’t leave pets on balconies unattended.
  • Keep patio furniture away from balcony railings and high patios.
  • Make sure windows are closed before throwing toys for your pets.
  • Never allow pets on a fire escape.
  • If your pet has fallen, be very cautious when approaching. Animals in pain are more likely to bite. Gently but securely wrap the pet in a towel and seek emergency medical care immediately.

Thanks for the insight, BluePearl! We’re glad to see that little Brennan has a surplus of lives.


(Featured image adapted from photos by BluePearl Veterinary Partners.)