High Rise Syndrome In Cats All you need to know about high rise syndrome in cats.

High Rise Syndrome In Cats

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A cat who occupies a balcony in a high-rise apartment complex is more likely to get High Rise Syndrome (HRS). If not treated in a timely manner, HRS is a serious illness that can be fatal to cats.

A cat that lives on the balcony of a high-rise apartment building has a higher chance of suffering from High Rise Syndrome (HRS). HRS is a serious condition that can be fatal for cats if not treated in time. In this article, we will explain what causes HRS and how you can prevent it and what pet medications can treat your cat if it suffers from this condition.

What Is High Rise Syndrome?

High-rise syndrome is a condition that affects cats that are kept on the balcony of a high-rise building. It happens when the cat is unable to jump down from the balcony, even though it is safe for them to do so, and there is no real reason why it shouldn't be able to jump down.

This can be caused by one of two things:

  • The cat becomes too scared to jump down because they are afraid it won't be able to get back up again (something called acrophobia). In this case, you should take them down and try again later when they have had some time at home without any fear-inducing situations happening around them. If you try bringing them down too quickly or without giving them enough time between trips up/down, this may not work either.

  • The other possibility is that something happened while they were climbing up or going down before, which scared them into thinking it was dangerous or unpleasant out there. For example, a bush brushing against its face when climbing up onto a ledge might seem like some predator was trying to attack from behind.

What Are The Symptoms Of High Rise Syndrome?

There can be certain obvious symptoms of HRS in cats, such as:

  • Head pressing - Your cat’s head may be pressed against a wall or floor, with its ears flattened, eyes half-closed, and whiskers flat.

  • Head shaking - Some cats repeatedly shake their heads when experiencing high-rise syndrome.

  • Circling - Apart from head pressing and shaking, your cat might also start to circle around the place where they are being kept.

  • Stumbling - Your cat may stagger or fall over when they walk because of this condition.

How Can I Treat My Cat?

If your cat has been diagnosed with high-rise syndrome, it is important to know that you can help your pet manage the condition by monitoring its weight. If your cat is overweight, you can help them lose weight by reducing the amount of food you give them. If your cat is underweight, you can help them gain weight by increasing the amount of food you give them a specialized diet like Purina’s cat food and Hills prescription diet designed to ensure the right weight level. It's also important to keep in mind that some cats may not have a preference for high-rise syndrome and will eat anything they find on their travels around town.

How To Prevent High Rise Syndrome?

As they say, prevention is better than cure; below are some tips to prevent high-rise syndrome. 

  • Keep your cat and all the scratching posts inside. This is the most important step, as preventing High Rise Syndrome is impossible when your kitty is outside.

  • Make sure the balcony is safe for your cat. The balcony should have a roof and be large enough that your cat can move around freely on it without feeling cramped or hot. It should also provide them with places they can hide if they choose. This will help them feel more comfortable in their surroundings. You can feel free to use feline diffusers to keep the cat calm or go for other calming pet supplies to keep the cat distracted. 

  • Ensure that there are no gaps between floorboards where a paw could get stuck, as this could cause injury or infection if exposed to bacteria from other cats or wildlife (such as rats) which live in sewers below apartment buildings with balconies.


It's important to keep your cat safe when he or she is on the balcony. Keep the balcony door closed at all times, and ensure that no other animals can access it from outside. If you have a small balcony, it's best if you don't let your cat outside at all, as they will be safer inside. Make sure that if your kitty isn't an indoor cat, he or she has a cat harness and leash so they can't jump off of heights (or walk downstairs).

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