Cat Myths

   Cat Myths, Misinformation and Untruths

My cat should have one litter of kittens before I get her spayed.

There are many reasons why the opposite is true. Female cats spayed before first coming on heat generally enjoy better health.

With advances in anesthetics many vets now recommend spaying cats as young as eight weeks.

There is no evidence to suggest that your cat will benefit from producing a litter before spaying.

There are millions of unwanted kittens born each year.

You may think that it would be easy to find good homes for the kittens if you allow your pet one litter.

This is all too often not the case and the kittens would end up as feral cats or in an overcrowded shelter, only to be put to sleep because nobody wants them.

Female cats do not need to have one litter, it is just a myth.

Declawing Does Not Hurt a Cat

Wrong. Declawing does hurt cats.

Maybe it is because anesthetics are used during the procedure that the myth has grown that declawing does not hurt a cat.

The procedure is much more than claw removal, it means cutting off each of the cat's front toes at the front joint – cutting through the bone! Unlike humans cats cannot rest after surgery, they have to move about and, in the case of declawing, this places weight on the wounds which is extremely painful.

Do not have your cat declawed, it is a painful and unnecessary procedure.

Cats Have Nine Lives

Hopefully nobody really believes this myth about cats. Cats are mortal the same as any animal.

calico cat
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So how did this cat myth evolve?

Probably because cats are supple and when they need to be, swift creatures and can get out of scrapes and situations that would be the end of lesser beings.

Why nine? In all probability only because nine is considered a lucky number.

In a few cultures the myth is that cats have seven lives.

Cat Myths - A Cat Will Always Land on Its Feet

Wrong, very wrong and a dangerous thing to believe.

Falling cats often do land on their feet but by no means always.

Cats have an inbuilt automatic twisting reaction and are able to twist their bodies around to land feet first.

However, falling from too small a height, a tree perhaps, a cat will not have time to twist around and therefor not land feet downwards.

Falling from too great a height and the cat will likely not survive whether it lands on its feet or not – and even if the cat lives it will certainly receive very serious injuries.

Many a vet has treated cats with injuries acquired through falling. This cat myth (a cat will always land on its feet) implies that cats will always live after a fall and survive without harm. This is simply not true.

Cat Myths - A Purring Cat is a Happy Cat

Whilst it is true that cats purr when they are happy or contented, it is not the only time that they purr.

Some cats will purr when they are ill or injured, and also when they are frightened or stressed by something. Sometimes cats will purr when they are close to passing away.

Much like humans will sing, or whistle, when they are happy and also, to comfort themselves when they are afraid of something, so may a cat purr.

Cats are also known to use purring as a signal to other cats. Perhaps to indicate submissiveness when challenged, or to indicate friendly intentions when approaching other cats.

Keeping My Cat Indoors Will Prevent Her From Getting Fleas

Not so. An indoor only cat can get fleas . . . My Cat Has Got Fleas

Cat Myths - Milk is Good for Cats

If you mean cows milk, it is not necessarily good for cats at all.

 Bengal Cat

Yes, put down a saucer of milk and your cat will most likely lap it up, but many cats are lactose intolerant and find the milk very difficult to digest.

This is likely to cause the cat diarrhea.

Once cats are out of the kitten stage they don’t need milk. You can probably give your cat a small quantity of cows’ milk very occasionally as a treat, but to do so regularly is asking for problems.

Lactose free pet milk is available from pet suppliers but the best thing for a cat to drink is fresh water a supply of which should always be available.

Putting Butter on a Cat's Paws Will Prevent It Roaming and Getting Lost

This myth about cats is usually about cats roaming from a new home and getting themselves lost.

There are many cat owners who swear that they used this trick and it worked, their cat did not roam and did not get lost. What they forget, of course, is that there is nothing to say that their cat would have lost itself if they had not put butter on its paws.

One of the theories behind this old wives’ tale is that by the time the cat has licked the butter off its paws it will have become less nervous about its new surroundings.

Another explanation is that the buttered paws will pick up soil from the cats new home and the cat will swallow the soil when licking off the butter.

Best thing is to save the butter for your toast. Keep your cat inside her new home for about a week this will give her time to establish it as her new territory, this will mean she will be less likely to roam when you do let her out. Finding a lost cat

Cats Like People That Don't Like Them

There is a room full of people only one of which does not like cats. A cat walks into the room and heads for that one person, rubs around their legs and tries to climb onto them.

That proves that cats like people that don’t like them!

No, it doesn’t.

What usually happens is that everyone that likes cats, looks at the cat, the person that doesn’t like cats avoids looking at the cat.

Felines find staring to be a threat, so they are not likely to be attracted to strangers who are looking directly at them.

The cat feels comfortable with the person that does not like cats because that person is behaving politely and not staring.

Cats Steal the Breath From Babies

This is one of the completely untrue myths about cats and babies. Information about this and other cat myths can be found on this page – cats and babies.

Having a Cat Altered Makes It Gain Weight

Not exactly true. Although many cats do gain weight after being fixed it is not the neutering itself that makes a cat overweight, it is the fact that neutered cats require far less calories.

If you feed your cat the same diet as you did before it was altered it will likely put on the pounds.

Black Cat Myths

Black cats are unlucky, or alternatively, black cats bring good luck. A black cat is, of course, just a cat.

You can consider yourself lucky if you keep the company of any cat whatever coat color, or pattern, the cat has. There are many black cat myths and superstitions probably because of their beautiful, dark and mysterious appearance. 

Try A Little Cat Psychology.
Cat psychology should help us recognize that when a cat misbehaves she is often only trying to tell us something. Perhaps we should listen.


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