Cats have been the source of much speculation and mystery over the years, with plenty of weird and wonderful superstitions surrounding these curious creatures. There are also a few commonly held beliefs about cats which are simply not true. Here, we debunk seven commons myths about cats.
1. Cats Always Land on Their Feet
As a cat owner, you will definitely have heard this one before. While cats are very agile creatures that can leap, twist and turn with seemingly ninja-like stealth, they can still seriously injure themselves if they fall. Cats do have a ‘righting reflex’ which enables them to flip and turn quickly, helping them to land on their feet, however, it won’t protect your feline friend from a hard impact if they fall from a great height. Falling very short distances can also be tricky where they don’t have time to turn and land on all four paws.
Injuries from major falls and can be serious and very costly to fix, so The Blue Cross recommends keeping windows closed if you live in a high-rise or multi-story home, and ensure you fix any wire mesh to prevent cats from jumping through.
2. Black Cats are Bad Luck
Black cats have had a bap rep stemming back to the Middle Ages when they were thought to have demonic powers, connected to witches. The fear of black cats even reached settlers in America with people to this day thinking black cats are bad luck, which may explain why many black cats are the last to leave rescue centres. Of course, none of these old cat superstitions has any truth to them and black cats are no more lucky or unlucky than any other coloured cat. In fact, black cat hair is probably harder to see on your sofa, so why not consider one for your next pet!
3. Cats Don’t Like to Roam Outside Their Territory
While it’s true that cats are territorial animals and will generally establish a ‘home base’ range where they sleep, eat and stalk on a fairly regular schedule, some cats love nothing more than a good adventure. From hikes atop rugged Canadian mountains to canoe trips through British Columbia, and even the odd helicopter ride, we recently rounded up 8 of the world’s most adventurous cats who call the world their territory and are loving every minute!
4. You Can’t Walk a Cat on a Lead
Dogs may be the kings of ‘walkies’ but most cats can also learn to walk on a lead. For owners who don’t have any outside space but want to give their cats a sense of the great outdoors, training them to walk on a leash can be a really fun and rewarding experience. Don’t be daunted by the task – our cat expert Anita Kelsey shares her 5 steps to train your cat to walk on a lead.
5. All Cats Hate Water
If your cat hates bath time, you might have the scars to prove, but not all cats hate water. In fact, some cats don’t mind a good splash around, including these 8 cat breeds that actually like water. Most cats are naturally curious about water, and moving water in particular, which is why you may have seen your cute companion drinking from the kitchen tap or with their head in the toilet bowl!
6. Cats are Aloof and Independent
Cats have long been considered frosty and aloof compared to their ‘loving and loyal’ canine counterparts, but do they really live up to this label? According to cat expert Anita Kelsey, much of this perception is to do with our own expectations as pet owners. Just like dogs, some cats are also more inclined to enjoy a cuddle than others. If it’s a snuggle partner you’re after, check out this round-up of 6 of the most affectionate cat breeds.
7. Cow’s Milk is a Great Treat for Cats
A saucer of cow’s milk has long been thought of as a lovely treat for your cat, but is it really good for them? Not according to Dr Cailin Heinze, an assistant professor of nutrition at the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, who told Vet Street: “Most adult mammals have at least some degree of lactose intolerance — and cats are no exception. Lactose is a sugar, and undigested sugars draw water into the intestine, causing diarrhoea. They are also fermented in the gut, and can cause bloating and flatulence.” If you want to give your cat something tasty, stick to good quality meat-based treats and stay away from the white stuff.
Have you heard some other myths about cats that you know not to be true? Tell us in the comments below!