Top 5 Cat Myths Debunked

PetMD Editorial
By PetMD Editorial on Oct. 12, 2009
Top 5 Cat Myths Debunked

Cats have nine lives. Cats and dogs are archenemies. Cats will steal a baby’s breath. We all know these are silly cat myths, and if they weren’t so silly, they’d be heading our list. However, there are tons of cat myths out there, and some of them seem to ring true.

Here are the top five cat myths we've busted wide open.

#5 Cats Love to Lap Up Milk

Some would even go as far as to argue that it's good for them. We see cats drinking milk in cartoons all the time, a treat given to them by their animated owners. Of course, some cats do love the taste of milk, but it’s not really meant to be a part of a cat’s diet.

Because many cats are lactose intolerant, feeding them milk can cause diarrhea. It is fine to give your kitty a small saucer of milk as a treat on a rare occasion, but cats love and need to drink water. That’s their number one drink of choice. There is no substitution.

#4 Cats Always Land On Their Feet

Actually, kitties are extremely good at landing on their feet. If they fall from a certain height, they have the time to twist their body around and relax into the fall, and land on their feet. But (there’s always a but) they don’t always land on their feet.

If they fall from too short a distance, then they don’t have time to twist around (we’ve all seen an embarrassed cat stalk off after a less than elegant fall from a chair). Basically, don’t drop your cat to experiment, and make sure your windows and balconies are kitty-proof.

#3 Cats Love Fish, and It’s Good For Them

If you really think about it, cats mostly hate water and fish live in water (see where we’re going with this). So really, it’s understandable why many cats don’t like fish. Plus, it’s not a natural part of their diet. Fish do not contain taurine, which is absolutely essential to a cat’s health. I guess it’s back to the beef, chicken, and duck diet!

#2 Cats Only Purr When They’re Happy

Anyone who actually owns a cat will quickly balk at this erroneous statement. While you may only have noticed your kitty purring merrily away when you pet him, cats purr at other times, too. They purr when they're frightened, stressed, injured, ill, and even dying. Cat experts have yet to understand why or even how they purr, but it sure is interesting to hear such a curious sound come from these furry darlings.

#1 Black Cats Are Bad Luck

We think not! Black cats got this bad rap back when they were burning women at the stake for being a witch. Suspected to be their familiars, black cats were cast out as bringers of bad luck and basically evil. However, a cat is simply a cat. They are not bad luck or evil. In fact, they can bring much joy to your life.

So now that we've debunked the top 5 cat myths, share your newfound knowledge with your friends.

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