There are many urban legends and myths surrounding the cat species. While some are from old wives’ tales and misconceptions, others are simply observing the species in the wrong light. Here are 11 common house cat myths worth debunking.
Myth : Cats have nine lives.
Fact : Cats are simply just amazing death escaping artists. This is where the popular myth came to pass. People would see cats face deadly situations and live (such as falling from a tall building). The nine comes from ancient cultures who believed the number to be lucky.
Myth : All cats hate water.
Fact : While most cats dislike being in water, there are some who actually enjoy it. Certain domestic breeds produce kittens who are very likely to enjoy water enough to play in it. Let us not forget tigers. Tigers love playing in water.
Myth : Cats should eat fish.
Fact : When was the last time you saw a small cat catching a fish from a river? Fish should be an occasional treat for house cats, in fact eating too much fish can lead to steatitis. And no, tuna is not healthy for your cat. Most brands are filled with mercury that is enough to harm us, and they are a lot smaller than us!
Myth : Cats can have cow’s milk.
Fact : Most cats are lactose intolerant and can become sick from drinking milk. Humans are still adapting to drinking milk and eating cheese from centuries ago, cats have a much longer way to be tolerant to milk than we do.
Myth : People are allergic to cat hair.
Fact : When a person is allergic to cats, it is not because of the fur. The allergen comes from the skin oils and the dander is what they are allergic too. Because cats heavily clean their bodies, this makes the saliva a possible allergy as well. A person can actually own cats their whole life and encounter one and be allergic to that one and only cat.
Myth : All Calico cats are females.
Fact : Though it is much more rare in comparison, there are male Calico cats. Because the color is dominantly defined by the sex of the cat, when a male does occur, they are almost always sterile.
Myth : Cats always land on their feet.
Fact : The motion known as the “righting reflex” actually needs enough space between the cat’s point of falling and the ground to turn right side up. In more cases than not, cats who fall from greater heights end up with damaged limbs, tails, or spines; And yes, even death can be a result.
Myth : Cats purr when they are happy.
Fact : Most of the time, a cat’s purr signifies as them being happy and content, but that is not always the case. A cat in pain can purr; This shows the purr is more like an emotion than an expression. We cry from being sad, just as we cry from being over joyed.
Myth : Cats do not get rabies.
Fact : Like most warm-blooded mammals, cats can get rabies.
Myth : Cats can eat garlic to kill off worms.
Fact : Putting garlic in a cat’s food can actually make them sick. It is commonly known to cause anemia and should never be an ingredient in their food.
Myth : Cats who get declawed feel no pain.
Fact : A cat’s nails are directly connected to bones and nerves. When removing a nail, bone is removed and nerves are sometimes damaged. It is also a myth to believe recovery is easy. More cats suffer from depression when they have their nails removed.