Truth Be Told: Our Favorite Cat Myths Debunked
Cats can be elusive; a characteristic that has, over the course of centuries, placed a target on their sleek backsides. It hasn’t been all negative attention, though, and numerous cultures worldwide have honored the species as the symbols for fertility, good harvests, and even divinity.
As far as The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center are concerned, a modern day household just isn’t complete without a mysterious four-legged creature slinking about, or jumping onto surfaces multiple times their height. That’s why we want to dispel the most popular cat myths, and help our friendly felines take their rightful places alongside other faithful companions.
Possibly the most commonly heard cat myth is that felines have nine lives. This widespread belief may stem from the fact that cats can survive falls from great heights (additional cat myth: cats always land on their feet – NOT! We wish that were true!), but this myth really took hold in the 17th century when superstitions of cats and witches picked up speed. It was thought that a witch could transform herself into a cat nine times, making the cat reincarnated an equal amount.
That being said, this illogical attempt may be better described as a cat’s way of using those finely-tuned genetics to their benefit and longevity.
Speaking of superstitions, no other animal has such an undeserved reputation as the black cat. While cats are often seen as omens, it depends on which country you’re in. In Great Britain, a black cat crossing your path is considered lucky. In North America, the opposite is true. Indeed, black cats warn of evil spirits or dark powers this side of the Atlantic.
Erroneous Cat Myths
The next three are more personal to us, as they involve facets that are very important to a pet’s overall wellness.
- “Cats Can’t Be Trained” – Naysayers worldwide believe that only canines can perform tricks or follow commands, but it’s just not true. With patience, positive reinforcement, and lots of encouragement/affection, your cat may surprise you with a special fetching technique, high five’s, and sitting on command.
- “Cats Can Tolerate Pain” – Sure, cats can be stoic, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel pain. Here’s another one for you: pets do not only purr when happy. In fact, cats are often found purring when obviously suffering.
- “Cats Like To Be Alone” – Cats do hunt alone, but even feral cats are found to live in colonies. A lonely housecat requires extra attention and exercise, while cats living together can bolster health and wellbeing.
- “Cats Don’t Need Exercise” – Oh, come on! Of course that’s not true. Cats must stay active for optimal health and to minimize the risk of obesity, arthritis, and even depression.
Pass The Buck
Many people falsely believe that cats can compromise a female owner’s healthy pregnancy. Toxoplasmosis can certainly be a threat to an expectant mother, which is why someone else should always clear out the litter box for her. Otherwise, this cat myth is totally bunk.
The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center understand what it means to adore and appreciate all feline breeds. Please contact us with any questions regarding these cat myths, and enjoy your kitty’s interesting lineage!
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