Exposing 10 Common Myths about Cats

10 myths about cats

A lot of ancient “wisdom” about felines isn’t so wise after all. Some of it is just plain silly – and some is downright dangerous.

The following are ten urban legends about our kitty companions that deserve debunking:

1. Myth: Cats always land on their feet.

Fact: Cats don’t have collarbones, their backbones are very flexible, and they are extremely graceful animals. This may have led to the old wives tale that they always land on their feet. However, the way your kitty is constructed is no guarantee he won’t be harmed in a fall.

2. Myth: You should give your cat cow’s milk.

Fact: Adults of any species typically have trouble digesting the milk of another species – and that includes cats. Like humans, many cats are also lactose intolerant, and cow’s milk offers no nutritional value to your kitty.

3. Myth: All cats hate water.

Fact: Many cats are intensely curious about the wet stuff and love moving water – a sink faucet, a water fountain for drinking, a running shower, even a flushing toilet.

4. Myth: Dry cat food (kibble) is best for cats because it helps clean their teeth.

Fact: Crunchy food isn’t any better at brushing and flossing your kitty’s teeth than it is yours. From a nutritional standpoint, dry food is the worst thing you can feed your cat – it is devoid of both the healthful, unadulterated protein and moisture cats need in order to stay healthy.

5. Myth: Cats that live indoors don’t get sick or need to see the veterinarian regularly.

Fact: While it’s true indoor living is much safer and healthier for domesticated kitties, they still need regular wellness visits to a holistic or integrative veterinarian. And 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. An annual physical examination and bloodwork to detect early organ dysfunction is priceless, in terms of being a proactive pet owner.

6. Myth: If you have a cat at home with an infant, the cat will be attracted to the scent of milk and can suck the air from the baby’s mouth, suffocating it.

Fact: There is absolutely no evidence cats are attracted to an infant’s breath, nor has there ever been a case where a cat has suffocated an infant in this manner. If you find your cat snoozing with your baby, it’s because kitties like to snuggle up against warm bodies, especially in quiet, darkened rooms – which nurseries often are. Sometimes fat cats are bigger than tiny infants, hence the recommendation to keep the cat out of the nursery.

7. Myth: Declawing is just a permanent nail trim.

Fact: Declawing is the surgical amputation of the first joint of each of a cat’s toes, and is increasingly viewed as inhumane and a form of mutilation.

8. Myth: Cats thrive on a vegetarian diet.

Fact: Cats are obligate carnivores, designed by nature to require animal protein. In fact, human-grade, unprocessed protein and moisture (water) should make up the bulk of your kitty’s diet. Regardless of your own feelings about eating meat, please don’t compromise your cat’s health by feeding him a vegan or vegetarian diet.

9. Myth: Cats are cold and aloof. If you want a loving, loyal pet, get a dog.

Fact: Many cats are very loving. Cats are not dogs, so other than having four legs, a tail and fur like their canine counterparts, they are very different animals and comparisons don’t make much sense. Dogs are by nature pack animals, while kitties are more independent. But cats that enjoy the same status in the family as dogs are often just as loving, attentive and present as their canine buddies.

10. Myth: Cats have nine lives.

Fact: Utter nonsense! Cats are smart, so it may appear they are “luckier” than dogs.

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24 thoughts on “Exposing 10 Common Myths about Cats

  1. This is an excellent post, and I’m glad you put this up. You are spot on with every myth. Are you a vet? I love cats, but most of my friends on the wordpress venue have dogs. I just have my one Bowtie cat, and she’s all I can handle. Cats are work, and I treat my kitty like gold, but I can also get on a plane, leave for a week, and come back and find her nestled in her favorite spot. And if I did not see the indentations in the various pillows around the house, I would not have known she even moved while I was gone. She’d be barely interested in getting up to lick me hello. That’s why I have a cat. Independence. Her’s and mine. She rules!!! Thanks for this great post. Patsye

  2. Pingback: Exposing 10 Common Myths about Cats | Kitty bloger | Nutrition For Pets

  3. I was about to reply to the beautiful and cute photo at the top of this page :). Then i saw the myths. Really interesting to read. I din’t know it all. I also love cats (and dogs). I’ve got two in home now that you can see on: http://imtryingout.wordpress.com. but that’s a test site, but i think i will stay using it for things about my cats and use my real domain for my photoblog about all my photos. I gonna follow your blog thnx to your like on my blog :P. see ya

  4. Thank you for talking about dry cat food! I heard a vet speak about this and changed my cats to canned food a few years ago. My older cat was arthritic and had a lot of gray hair. After a year or so on canned food, he became “younger” in his appearance (he is all black now) and he wakes up bouncing. he gallops and plays with the cat who is 10 years his junior. The difference has been amazing and all it took was hearing that I was literally starving my old guy of nutrition!

  5. very informative and well done. I have to say that I’ve been told repeatedly by vets that dry food as the main element of the diet is best for both cats and dogs, with small amounts of canned food added. but maybe these vets didn’t have the last word on things either. it’s great you’ve taken on important feline info to write about on the internet, along with the charming photos. again thank you for your faithful reading of my allmystars book.

  6. Good post. I actually had succumbed to myth about dry food being better for them. Now I know. Good thing we were already giving the kitties wet food too, as a ‘treat’. I’m sure they’ll thank you for the increase in quantity of they wet stuff.

  7. It’s great that you are writing about the myths surrounding cats – so many don’t understand some of these basic facts. I only wish more people would read these. As for personality, some cats can also be quite doglike. One of mine, Claude, (a.k.a. Claudie the Dogboy), was raised under the chin of one of my pit bull terriers, and he has remarkably dog-gish behavior – responds to hand commands – sits, shakes, etc. The more we interact with them the more responsive they are to us.
    Thanks for a great post.

  8. Love the Peaceful photo, and all of the rest photos. Thanks for taking the time to write up the myths. And, thanks for liking my contribution to this week’s photo challenge, my photo “Peace.” (The one with the zebras).
    ~Anne

  9. Awesome post… pet owners in general can learn a lot from little known facts such as these… most people just think having a pet is a “normal” thing to do and don’t give much thought to these types of things. Bravo! :-)

  10. At least they didn’t make any claims about cats not eating birds like they good little carnivoers…or omnivores….. that they are.

  11. I used to work at a Vet clinic and I’ve heard a lot of these myths and then some, but I’ve never heard of #6. That’s so crazy and I actually chuckled. Although, I can see how this myth got started. Cool list. I love it a lot!

  12. Reblogged this on Ten Lives Club at Pet Supplies Plus E. Amherst and commented:
    Great information! It’s so important to know the difference between the facts & misconceptions about cats. Especially if you have a cat or you are considering bringing one into your life. The mysterious nature of cats can be appealing but at the same time, they continue to be misunderstood by many. Cats don’t have superpowers! As much as I’d like to think mine does (of course, SHE believes she does)!

  13. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you really know what you’re speaking approximately!
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  14. I blog quite often and I seriously thank you for your information.
    The article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your website and keep checking for new information about once a week.
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