Continuing on with our ‘Cat Month’ we thought we’d take a look at some of the more common cat myths and set the record straight.
1.) Cats Always Land on Their Feet
This is perhaps one of the most well-known myths of them all and most of the time it’s actually true. However, from time to time cats can land on their chins and if their fall is from a great height then they can injure their pelvis even if they do land on their feet.
2.) A Female Cat Should Have a Litter of Kittens Before Being Spayed
Cats do not have an anticipation of motherhood and there is no reason to wait until she has had a litter of kittens before having her spayed. In fact, it is better to have her spayed before six months of age to prevent an unwanted pregnancy.
3.) All Cats Hate Water
Whilst a majority of cats will not be fond of water there are some that like to play with it and the Turkish Van breed of cats actually really enjoy swimming in water.
4.) All Cats Prefer Food From a Tin
This is not true, each cat will have its own preference, some prefer tinned/wet food, others actually prefer dry food whilst some are picky and like a mixture of both.
5.) Giving a Cat a Saucer of Milk is Good for Them
Whilst the majority of cats will indeed enjoy a saucer full of cow’s milk, many of them will be lactose intolerant meaning that they can’t digest the sugar, giving them diarrhoea. If you would like to give your cat milk then there are special kinds of milk specifically designed for cats to digest.
6.) Rubbing Butter on Cats’ Paws Will Help Them Find Their Way Home
This myth is often given as advice when a cat owner moves home and is letting the cat outside for the first time but it is completely untrue.
7.) Cats Can Have Fish
Cats can indeed have fish but make sure it is the occasional treat and does not become a fixed part of their regular diet. Giving cats too much fish can lead to steatitis (yellow fat disease) as a result of a lack of vitamin E. Cats require high amounts of taurine in their diet and fish does not provide this in a sufficient enough amount.
8.) You Can’t Train a Cat
Whilst it is nowhere near as easy to train a cat as it is a dog, it is not impossible. Cats are very smart animals when they want to be and can even learn to sit or lie down on command.
9.) A Cat Purrs Because It Is Happy
Cats definitely purr when they are happy but the purring is not exclusive to happiness. Cats have also been known to purr when they are in pain, when they are giving birth and even when they’re dying. Purring is an expression of emotion rather than an expression of happiness.
10.) Cats Have Nine Lives
The most well-known myth of them all is unfortunately not true, believe it or not. There is some dispute as to where this myth comes from. Some think that it originates from William Baldwin’s 1553 book ‘Beware the Cat’ which states “it is permitted for a witch to take her cat’s body nine times”.
Alternative posts to read:
Training Your Cat
8 Books About Animals
Cat Month Recap and Resource Hub