Cats are a species that get a bad rap even from animal lovers, likely due to the many misconceptions and urban legends involving them. But, just like most other animal-related myths, these beliefs are very far from the truth. In fact, some are so delusional cat lovers aren’t even sure where they came from!
#1 – Cats Don’t Need Attention
Cats are known to be solitary animals, but this is actually quite far from the truth. Yes, they may do better at being alone than dogs, but it doesn’t mean they are not social animals. Cats form strong bonds with their humans and can become stressed and lonely if left alone for extended periods. They need love and attention, so don’t think you should get a cat if you’re going to be away all the time.
#2 – Cats Can’t Be Trained
You might not see many jumping through hoops and rolling over, but cats can definitely be trained. Think about teaching your cat to use the litter box – that’s training. Using clicker training and tasty treats, many cat owners are finding that teaching their cats tricks is easier than ever.
#3 – Indoor Cats Can’t Get Sick
While the general health of indoor cats is much better than outdoor or indoor/outdoor cats, they do still need regular veterinary check ups and vaccines. Your veterinarian will know what’s best for your cat and understanding that there are still highly contagious diseases for indoor cats will keep your kitty healthy. Pathogens can travel into your home on your clothing or even through the family dog.
#4 – Cats Always Land on Their Feet
Cats are extremely agile creatures that are capable of landing on their feet most of the time. It’s impressive to watch, but accidents happen and cats can fall and hurt themselves. Cats are actually at a higher risk to injure themselves when falling from low heights because they don’t have the time to twist in mid-air so their feet hit the ground. These injuries can be severe, including broken bones, sprains and even respiratory issues.
#5 – Cats Don’t Need Exercise
This couldn’t be farther from the truth! Cats need physical and mental exercise just like any other living creature. Playing with your cat stimulates their body and mind, and allows you both to spend quality time together. This offers them the loving attention and physical and mental exercise that they need for happy, healthy lives.
#6 – Cats Will Suck the Life Out of a Baby
This is one of the most absurd misconceptions we’ve heard, but it’s been around a long time. This myth comes from the fact that cats enjoy lying next to warm bodies of babies while they both nap, so you want to be careful that your cat doesn’t accidentally block your newborn’s airways. But with proper supervision, your cat and baby will likely form a very strong bond together.
#7 – Pregnant Women Can’t Have Cats
Pregnant women are at risk for a possible infection called Toxoplasmosis. This disease is spread through contaminated feces and litter. So it is true that pregnant women should not be cleaning out litter boxes at all. However, the cats themselves are perfectly fine to hang out with. Petting your cat will not get you sick.
#8 – Cats Have 9 Lives
We’ve all heard this, but we all know cats only have one life. Making sure your cat gets annual veterinary visits to prevent any illnesses will make sure this one life lasts a long time. Taking your cat to the vet only when sick is not recommended, because so many ailments can be prevented with routine care.
#9 – Black Cats Are Bad Luck
This myth comes from ancient times when people were being accused of witchcraft. These people often had black cats which soon became associated with the witchcraft. Myths started that witches were able to turn themselves into black cats, and the rumors spread from there. Now, though, we know that black cats are just as good as any other cats.
#10 – Cats Should Drink Milk
Cats have been depicted drinking milk from a saucer for ages, but the reality is that milk really isn’t that great for our feline friends. Cats are often lactose intolerant and will suffer diarrhea and other gastrointestinal upset from drinking milk. Your best bet is to stick to a diet that’s made specifically for felines.
#11 – Declawing is Harmless to Cats
Declawing used to be a popular method of reducing home destruction caused by a cat’s needs to file their nails. Fortunately, this practice is becoming outlawed in more and more places. Declawing has been proven to be a very painful procedure that has lasting ill-effects on your cat. If you’re having an issue with scratching furniture, make sure you’re doing everything you can to provide ample scratching space in appropriate areas. Declawing is often unnecessary and almost always cruel.
These myths have plagued cats for as long as centuries, but they are truly wonderful creatures that deserve our love and support. Cats are harmless animals that just want to be our beloved companions and share our homes. If you know anyone that doesn’t like cats, they probably fall for some of these misconceptions. Or maybe they just aren’t worthy of a cat’s true love!