If you’re a cat owner, you may have found yourself wondering why your cat does what he does. Why does he zoom around the house at night and then during the day, sleep in the same spot on the recliner? How come he can almost always land on his feet? Why does he narrow his eyes at me looking as if he wants to murder me? Cats are mysterious creatures, which may be the reason why there are so many myths about them. Here are eight common misconceptions about cats.
Myth 1: If you want an affectionate pet, get a dog.
If you’re a cat lover, then this statement will no doubt make you angry. While it’s true that there are cats that don’t seem to appreciate human companionship whatsoever, there are also cats that love to be affectionate – always looking to be pet, snuggling in your lap, or sleeping on your face at night. Every cat has its own personality, much like any species of animal. Your cat is as unique as you are.
Myth 2: All cats hate water.
While it is true that the majority of felines dislike getting wet, it doesn’t mean that every cat does. Most cats don’t like water as they can become cold and weighed down, making it difficult to escape. If you’ve ever seen a wet cat, you’ve probably noticed how forlorn they look. They may even begin to start shaking with cold. If you do decide to bathe your cat, be sure to introduce them to the water gently.
Myth 3: Cats have nine lives.
There are many theories as to how this myth got its origins, from Shakespeare to Egyptian worship of the Cat Goddess, Bastet. It may also be in reference to the danger that they find themselves in as they are very curious creatures. Or it could have originated from the fact that cats are usually able to land upright. Still, this is obviously a myth as both indoor and outdoor cats need regular check-ups and are susceptible to disease, rabies and fleas.
Myth 4: Cats always land on their feet.
You may have heard from cats falling from an open window two stories up and landing on its feet, unscathed. This is due to the fact that cats have a reflex that allows them to quickly turn and twist while in midair, as well as possessing flexible backbones. Yet, this doesn’t always mean that a cat will land on its feet. It is highly recommended that if you like to open your windows that you have properly installed screens. Please don’t assume that your cat will survive falling out of a window.
Myth 5: Cats only purr when happy.
There’s nothing like having a warm purring cat on your lap. Your cat is happy and you are happy. But cats do not only purr when you’re giving them affection or feeding them. Mother cats will purr to comfort their babies. If your cat isn’t feeling well, he may purr in an effort to comfort himself. In reality, purring has a comforting effect overall- it can even help to lower your blood pressure!
Myth 6: Cats are nocturnal.
Due to their hunting instincts, cats are crepuscular, meaning that they are prone to become active in the evening or in the early morning. Even though your cat is domesticated, it still will have these tendencies. However, your kitties will adjust to your schedule. When you leave the house for the day, most cats will curl up in a comfy spot and snooze until you return. When you go to bed, they will likely follow, but may wake several times during the night (especially if they hear an unfamiliar noise).
Myth 7: Cats need milk or cream in their diet.
You’ve probably seen cartoons where the farmer, while milking, will squirt warm cow’s milk into the mouth of a barn kitten. For kitties who were raised on dairy products, consistently giving them bowls of milk or cream should not harm their stomach. However, in the case of those who were weaned off of their mother’s milk, those cats will have become lactose intolerant as they no longer are able to make the enzyme to ingest milk. So unless you have barn-raised cats, it’s probably best to keep dairy products to a minimum.
Myth 8: Cats cannot be trained.
Cats are not known for obeying orders, in fact, they are often thought of as the ones who make commands of every other species – including their human owners. But, with time and effort, training felines is possible. Just remember that many indoor cats have already been trained to use the litter box! You may venture to try to train your cat to do more spectacular tricks, such as learning to use a regular toilet. Or maybe you’d rather stick to plain and simple – like fetch or follow.
Whatever myths you may have heard regarding our feline friends, there’s no doubt that once you have owned one or two yourself you discover how quirky and unique they can be!