9 Common Cat Myths And Why They’re Dangerous To Believe

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.

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 PEOPLE magazine 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 smother babies


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.

5. Cats love milk


Kittens love milk, and they get it from their mother. Feeding your cat daily milk may help supplement the weaning process when they are very young, but adult cats don’t have the same stomachs. After the need for mother’s milk has gone, the feline digestive system adapts to handle solid foods, like wild prey.

According to Science Focus the low fat content in store-bought milk may prove problematic for cats. Lactose can do more damage than good and isn’t part of a nutritionally balanced diet for adult felines.

6. Cats have 9 lives


A cat has one life. Treat it with respect and compassion.

They may be resourceful creatures, seemingly able to avoid catastrophe without breaking a sweat, but cats are nothing more than mammals, just like us. They get sick, they get sad, and if neglected or treated poorly, they can die.

However far fetched this myth may be, you can give a cat a second chance by adopting a rescued animal from your local shelter. A feline friend in the hands of a caring human is a relationship that will last both lifetimes.

7. Cats that eat grass are sick


Cats eat lots of things. Grass happens to be one of them.

It doesn’t necessarily mean the cat is sick, it just means the cat is a cat. As Pet MD reaffirms, there’s really nothing to worry about. In fact, grass may actually be good for your cat, providing beneficial insoluble fiber and folic acid, as well as a natural laxative.

The moral of this myth is, don’t keep your cat off the grass.

8. Cats always land on their feet


The theoretical energy benefits of the cat toast engine notwithstanding, this myth is only partly true.

Lacking a collarbone, and relying on an acute sense of orientation and mobility, a cat can easily swivel its posture before landing in many short falls. As the BBC reports, “it pulls its front legs close which makes the front half of its body spin faster like a pirouetting ice skater. This creates a twist in its spine, allowing it to swing the back legs round and prepare for landing.”

There is a limit to the height they can fall from, of course. Like any animal, cats are liable to break bones if they hit the ground with enough force.

9. Cats are a interdimensional hyperspecies sent to investigate and control their human pet forms.


More research needed.


Photo: Pixabay

It is estimated that tens of millions of cats live on the streets of the United States. Sadly, many communities attempt to control their numbers through lethal methods such as catch and kill. Such methods are not only horribly cruel, they are also ineffective and costly. There is a better way.

GreaterGood supports truly humane trap, neuter, and release practices to control homeless cat populations through their program Good Fix. Can you spare $20 to help support this important work? Your donation will sterilize one cat or dog!

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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, spending time with his daughters, and coffee.
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