Stranger Than Fiction: Are Cat Myths Rooted in Truth?
Cats have lived with (or at least alongside) us for ages. Despite this proximity, true understanding of their habits and abilities didn’t begin until the modern era. To compensate for this lack of knowledge, people created and spread various cat myths over the years. They’re easily recognized nowadays, but without scientific research and veterinary medicine, were cat myths somehow rooted in truth?
Most Definitely Not
Perhaps the most common (and wrong) cat myth out there is that black cats bring bad luck. The subjects of countless stories, black cats are just as worthy of love, affection, and protection as any other cat. In fact, many countries like Japan, Germany, and Scotland have sustained an appreciation for black cats.
Don’t Try This at Home
You know that one about how cats “always land on their feet?” While this idea was probably conceived after witnessing all their amazing body-righting techniques, cats don’t always spring back up after a fall. Sure, their “righting reflex” is strong and they’re able to twist quickly in mid-air to ensure they land paw-side down. However, injuries from falls (or worse) aren’t easily or quickly treated.
Cat owners should always be sure that window screens are secure and that balconies aren’t easily accessible to curious cats.
3 Times 3
What about cats having “nine lives?” The old adage proclaims a cat plays for three, strays for three, and stays for three. From time to time, cats definitely find themselves in questionable circumstances, which possibly gave root to this cat myth. Also, they’re famous for surviving against all odds, like falls from great heights or natural disasters.
Cats are equipped with incredible vision, but they aren’t classified as nocturnal. Instead, they’re most active during the hours surrounding dawn and dusk, otherwise known as crepuscular. Hunting is at its best at those times and they can see better.
Cats Hate Water
Yes, cats are perceived as hating water, but this isn’t always the case. Cats evolved from a species of desert cat that didn’t require the ability to swim or hunt in the water. Plus, when they get wet, their thick coats get pretty soggy and don’t dry quickly, leading cats to feel uncomfortably cold.
If you expose a kitten to water in a positive, rewarding way, you’ll see that, instinctively, they’re open to the experience. So, cats don’t hate water, but you do have to play nicely around it!
One of the worst cat myths out there is that cats are solitary creatures who prefer to be left alone. Not only do cats enjoy attention from people, they also like to play and snuggle with other animals (including dogs!). Please don’t let this cat myth keep Fluffy from companionship, exercise, and snuggle-time warmth!
Purring and Other Cat Myths
Cats purr when they’re happily snoozing on your lap, but they also do it to comfort themselves when they’re in pain or experiencing fear. You can take purring as a sign to look into your cat’s wellness.
Also, cats don’t benefit from cow’s milk (or really any kind) despite all the images of them lapping it up.
Please let The Pet Experts know if you have any questions related to cat myths. We’re always here for you!