Prevailing Cat Myths and the Proof Against Them

cat mythsAround the world and throughout centuries, we’ve managed to create explanations for things that defied logic. As collective understanding developed, ideas that mystified our ancestors were later invalidated by science, technology, research, and, perhaps, common sense.

Cat myths, like urban legends, are captivating. However, when given the opportunity to grapple with feline truth, these myths are obvious relics of the past.

What’s the Deal?

Perhaps cat myths evolved out of a sheer disbelief of their perceived magical powers. They can jump to incredible heights, balance on high wires, see in very low light, walk around without being heard or noticed, and hunt prey like their powerful wild-cat cousins. In short, they’re amazing! But, long ago, their skills also made them suspicious and unworthy of trust.

No Way, No How

Have you ever heard that parents should keep cats away from newborns? Like other prevailing cat myths, this one was absolutely invented. Many people thought cats stole the breaths of babies or that they were attracted to the smell of milk.

While many cats are likely drawn into cribs or bassinets by the comfort-factor, there isn’t any evidence that cats are risky for babies (provided all interactions between kids and pets are supervised).

Expectant mothers should have someone else scoop litter, but simply having a cat while pregnant won’t automatically increase the risk of toxoplasmosis.

Other Cat Myths

There are dozens of other strange cat myths out there. The following represent the most damaging to a cat’s overall health, wellness, and happiness:

  • Cats prefer to be alone. Most cats we’ve had the privilege of seeing enjoy the company of other cats, people, and even dogs. It’s good for them and good for us!
  • They always land on their feet. They’re certainly nimble and quick, but it’s never good to assume a cat won’t get hurt from a fall. Broken bones, torn ligaments, and even internal injuries can result from a poor landing.
  • Cats detest water. OK, some cats don’t like to get wet, but there are lots of felines out there who love a dripping faucet, shower, and sprinkler.
  • They cannot be trained. So false! A cat can be trained to walk on leash, perform tricks, wear clothing, and obey commands. They can even be trained to use the toilet!
  • Cats, especially indoor ones, don’t need regular check ups. All pets benefit from routine wellness exams and proactive disease prevention, and cats are notorious symptom-hiders, making regular exams critical to longevity. We understand that it can be hard to travel with a cat, but then again, there’s always crate training to consider!

The Truth About Cats

Cats make excellent pets, but their lifelong health is closely linked to how we perceive them. That’s why it’s vital to debunk cat myths and shed light on the truth. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about your cat’s well being. The staff at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital is always here for you!