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Myths about Cats

Myths about Cats

There are so many cat myths it’s almost difficult deciding where to start, so we decided to start with the most common ones and help you decide what is the truth.

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Cats Have 9 Lives

Everyone has heard this at one time or another and you would be forgiven for believing this myth as this has been said for decades if not more. Sadly, this is not true. Your cat has one life to live just as we do and it is important that we make sure we help give them the best life possible while they are entrusted to our care. This includes preventative medicine, good food, hygiene and lots of love.

Black Cats are Unlucky/Lucky if They Cross Your Path

This has been a myth for the longest time associating black cats with witches and therefore unlucky if one crosses your path.  It has also been said that it is lucky if a black cat crosses your path. Which is it?

Well, it depends on which part of the world you live in. In Britain, Ireland, Germany and Japan crossing paths with a black cat are considered lucky while in America it is considered bad luck. British sailors would welcome black cats aboard ships as an omen of good luck and in Scotland, it is said that a strange black cat showing up at one’s home would bring prosperity.

We think anyone would be lucky to have a cat, black or otherwise.

Cats Purr When Happy

It is true your cat will purr when happy but cats will also purr when they are under extreme stress too. They do this as a way of self soothing when they are frightened, feeling unwell or in pain. You will need to be aware of your cat’s situation to determine if they are self soothing and if in doubt, schedule a vet visit.

 Studies have shown that the low vibration cat emmit when purring has a beneficial effect on pain relief, healing injuries and tendon repair.


Cats Drink Milk

This has been a common myth that has not benefited many cats or cat owners. You see most cats are lactose intolerant. Not all, but most. 

When kittens are born they have an enzyme that allows them to break down the lactose in their mothers’ milk, however, when they stop weaning the enzyme stops being produced.

Giving your lactose intolerant cat will result in upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhoea and gastrointestinal problems. 

We have probably all had an image in our head of a cat lapping from a bowl of milk but just remember, if you want to give your cat milk, make sure you have bought specially formulated cat milk available from most pet food stores.

Cats are Nocturnal

Many people think cats are nocturnal animals as they seem to come to life at night.

The truth is cats do become active in the evening, wake up from their long daytime snooze and suddenly want to be let out or to run around the house at top speed but not because they are nocturnal. They are not.

This is because they are actually crepuscular animals which means they become active from dusk and dawn when there are better hunting opportunities for them. Remember, your cat is descended from wild hunting desert cats and that instinct remains in their genes today.

Cats will happily sleep throughout the night however a change of routine and keeping your cat active during the day with play and attention will help change their sleep cycle.

Cats and Dogs Are Enemies

Cats and dogs, while being completely different animals from each other, can actually live together quite harmoniously with early socialisation and considerate and careful introductions.

With dogs being more likely to fatally harm a cat than the other way round, dogs would require early socialisation of cats in order to bring a new cat into the home.


Cats Hate Water

Many cats are fascinated with running water and some even like to play in it, especially if it’s running from a tap. 

What cats don’t like about water is being submerged in it as it weighs down their coat and makes them feel cold. Their agility would be affected by the wet coat and this would cause your cat to feel anxious and want to hide.

Pregnant Women Cannot Have Cats

It has been known that pregnant women can be infected by toxoplasmosis from cat faeces and transfer this infection to their unborn child during pregnancy and this has led to many cats being abandoned needlessly after years with their owners.

The truth is toxoplasmosis is very rare with cats who eat commercially bought cat foods, cats who have had their vaccinations, and been domesticated from birth and if a cat does not carry this virus then you will not contract the illness from them.

If in doubt, take your cat to the vet who will check if your cat carries the virus and as a double precautionary measure, don’t let pregnant women clean out the litter tray with bare hands and open cuts or sores.

We hope this has debunked some myths for you and you can have a better understanding of your furry friend. Remember, it is always worth doing your own research rather than believing old cat lady stories.


Myths about Cats

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