Debunking Common Cat Myths

By Lorie Huston, DVM on Apr. 2, 2012

With cats being the mysterious creatures they are, a number of myths have sprung up around them. Many of these myths are far from being true and some even border on being ridiculous; but they persist, nevertheless.

Cats always land on their feet when they fall.

This is false. Though cats are fairly graceful creatures, they do not always land on their feet. Your cat can be injured in a fall much like any other animal. Even if your cat does land on his feet, if the fall is from a sufficient height, injuries can still occur. In fact, veterinarians have a name for these types of injuries. They refer to them as "high rise syndrome."

Cats are solitary creatures that prefer to be left alone.

Though each cat has his own personality, as a species cats are social creatures. Most cats enjoy interaction with their people. My cats actually come looking for me and each has his own little tricks to get my attention. They also respond to my voice (most of the time!).

All cats hate dogs.

Many cats live peacefully and harmoniously in the same household with a dog. In fact, some cats will actually curl up to sleep with the dog. Obviously, there are some cats that do not like dogs. Others simply tolerate their presence. However, in most cases, if a cat is acclimated to the dog correctly and given time to adjust to the new situation, the cat will come to accept the dog as part of the household.

All cats hate water.

Believe it or not, some cats actually like water, and some even enjoy swimming. Two of my own cats like to play in water. I have to keep the toilet lid down in my home to keep the floor in the bathroom dry. If I forget, water is splashed from one end of the bathroom to the other as they play.

Cats do not need veterinary care.

This is absolutely not true. Cats need regular veterinary care just like dogs. Currently, the number of cats kept as pets is much higher than the number of dogs. However, the number of feline veterinary visits is much lower than that for dogs. There are apparently many reasons for this. Some cat owners simply don’t realize their cats need care. For others, getting the cat to the veterinarian is difficult, prompting the cat owner to either delay or forego necessary veterinary visits.

Cats have nine lives.

Needless to say, cats live only one life.

A cat can suck the breath from a baby.

Cats do not have any mystical ability to injure a child. However, it is never a good practice to leave any pet alone unsupervised with a baby.

Dr. Lorie Huston

Image: Cat swimming / via Small World News Service


Lorie Huston, DVM


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