We’ve all heard them, and some of us probably still believe they’re true.
There are more stories and myths surrounding the nature of our feline friends than there are breeds themselves. From providing faithful familiarity to witches, to coming back the very next day after being surely thought a goner, cat myths purr-vade our society with some misinformed opinion of how cats should actually be treated and cared for.
It’s one thing to pretend your bright orange bengal is the living embodiment of Shere Khan, but lest you get careless as a cat parent, or make inadequate meal decisions, there are a number of reasons to keep your cat fancy firmly planted in reality.
Here are nine myths that need some busting. Be sure and share this newfound feline knowledge with your other cat-compassionate friends as well!
1. Black cats are unlucky
They’re no more unlucky than your dirty socks.
Black cats have suffered undue classification as “the other” since before anyone remembers. There are few sources on the origins of this myth, and even the illustrious digital publication, People, insinuates that “No one’s exactly sure why” black cats have been labeled unlucky, save for one Celtic story about a cat sith.
There is indeed a disturbance in the feline force when shelter cats are looked over because of their perceived luck. All colors of cats are just as cuddly and compassionate, and making the choice to adopt and not shop may be all it takes to prove this myth false.
2. Indoor cats are disease free
Indoor cats may live a cleaner life than their outdoor cousins, but they still need to be taken to the veterinarian regularly for check-ups.
According to Healthy Pets, even indoor cats won’t have much of a chance to thrive if they’re not getting proper nutrition.
“No matter where your cat spends her time, if she’s not eating a species-appropriate, nutritionally balanced diet, she’s at risk for poor health,” writes Dr. Karen Becker. “An annual physical examination and bloodwork to detect early organ dysfunction is priceless, in terms of being a proactive pet owner.”
3. Cats will steal a baby’s breath to sample the alluring smell of mother’s colostrum
Cats like a warm snuggle just like the rest of us. They also, like the rest of us, go to fairly great lengths to avoid things like murder.
With a sleeping baby in the room, a cat may try to lay near the infant out of curiosity or comfort, but no child has ever been reported suffocated by a cat.
This is an irrational myth based on zero evidence and provides no reason to keep your cat away from babies. The untold wrath and anguish of a parent whose afternoon solace has been cut short by a cat waking their baby from a much needed nap, however, is most certainly a real and present danger. If anything, you should believe that.
4. Cats hate water
While your cat may not enjoy a bath, many felines are perfectly happy jumping in the tub after it’s been recently drained, or sipping from a slow faucet trickle.
Cats are curious, as we all know, and their curiosity doesn’t fall short of a little water. A little, that is.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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