Cats, even from 12,000 years ago, have always been creatures surrounded by myth and mystery. These felines spent thousands of years being misunderstood, and until now, myths about them have people forming misconceptions and developing fear. The problem with these myths is that they may bring harm to our furry friends, which is why we’re here to debunk some of the most common cat myths.
Myth #1: Cats have nine lives
Myth #2: Cats despise water
Some cats don’t like being immersed in water, such as during baths, but some cats do. Like humans, cats have their own preferences. Many of our feline friends actually find water fascinating and would often play with faucet water or just lay by the sink when there’s dripping water.
Myth #3: Black cats are bad luck
This myth arose from a cultural belief. Some cultures have these superstitious beliefs about black cats give, but some cultures also believe they bring good luck. Any black cat owner will tell you that black cats are just as lucky as other cats.
Myth #4: Cats always land on their feet
Cats do have the ability to twist their bodies mid-air to ensure they land on their feet, but that’s not always the case. When falling, cats will try to right themselves by using their inner ear to correct their balance and orientation. When falling, the likeliness of cats always landing on their feet depends on the height they’re falling from. Too high, and the impact can be deadly, while too short, and cats would have lesser time to adjust.
Myth #5: Always make cats drink milk
Usually, cats only drink milk when they’re still young and feeding on their mother. Like humans, cats can be lactose intolerant, which can lead to diarrhea or vomiting. Also, felines can get overweight due to the additional calories in milk.
It’s best to give cats water, but if you’re making them drink milk, regularly check up on them and immediately go to the veterinarian if you notice something wrong.
Myth #6: When cats purr, it means they’re happy
Cats actually purr for a lot of reasons and not just because they’re happy. These furry animals also purr when they’re sick, nervous, in pain, or worse, close to death. Carefully watch your cat’s body language when they purr and communicate any concerns to the vet.
Myth #7: Cats aren’t trainable
Cats are trainable, but only if you’re doing it right. You’re likely to succeed in training a cat by positively reinforcing good habits rather than training them to perform tricks.
Myth #8: Cats are loners
Just like humans, some cats are loners, and some aren’t. Cats living in the wild like living together and forming cat colonies, while outdoor cats like hunting alone. Cats in multi-pet homes often form close bonds with another cat, a dog, or other pets.
Myth #9: When they feel sick, cats eat grass
There’s no direct connection between felines munching on grass and being sick. Some cats just like to eat grass occasionally. But if you’re feline starts to snack on grass every day, it’s best to bring them to your veterinarian.
Myth #10: Only male cats spray
You would most probably find male cats spraying, but females do too. Female cats spray when they’re in heat, while both male and female spray when they’re nervous about household changes or when they’re being territorial. Cats will also start spraying when they’re anxious about situations such as conflicts between pets in the household.
Myth #11: Cats are dangerous to pregnant women
It’s perfectly okay to cuddle a cat during pregnancy. What you should be wary of is toxoplasmosis which is spread through cat litter and feces, also by digging in your garden or handling raw meat. Instead of cleaning the litter box themselves, pregnant women should make someone else do it for them.
Myth #12: Cats don’t need exercise
This myth is part of the reason why there are a lot of obese cats today. Cats are natural climbers and hunters. They definitely need to exercise for both their physical and mental healths. Create a space for your cats to move around. You can invest in scratching posts and wall attachments your felines can climb on. Provide your furry pets with toys that will get them to move.
Myth #13: Cats can steal a baby’s breath
Cats don’t steal away a baby’s breath. Rather, they might accidentally cause suffocation by staying up too close to a sleeping baby’s face. The felines might be fascinated by the scent of milk on the baby’s breath and get too close. Take precaution and don’t let a cat near a sleeping baby.