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What are the Biggest Myths about Cats, and What is the Truth?
Cats perhaps have the biggest myths and legends surrounding them than any other animal in history. You've heard the crazy notions that cats are evil, or they are unlucky, or they have nine lives.
As cat lovers, we know none of those are true, but here are some common myths and ideas that people have about cats that maybe you didn't know. And, we've uncovered the truths.
Cats Are Nocturnal
You've seen your cat play in the wee hours of the night, and because of that it seems like they are normally nocturnal. You've also seen them sleep most of the day, which also may lead to that idea.
But the reality is that cats are crepuscular, which means they are most active when the sun is going down, and when the sun comes up. The hyper-activity during the dusk and dawn hours are because that is when they are instinctively prone to hunt.
You can make them less of a dawn-and-dusk cat by keeping them more awake during the day by playing with them maybe with one of our wands or strings. Find them a warm comfortable bed of pillows and give them toys during the evening, so that they will be more adjusted to your time schedule.
Cats Purr Only When They Are Happy
You know a kitty is happy when you hear her purring, but a cat can make the same sound when she is feeling sick or in pain, or if she is feeling frightened. Cats produce the noise to comfort themselves when feeling disturbed.
A cat will also purr to comfort her young in times of stress.
Purring is a natural sound that comes from the brain. The brain sends a message to the voice muscles and then they twitch and vibrate the vocal cords when the cat inhales and exhales. That becomes the purring sound that we know and love.
All Cats Hate Water
Not true, and in fact, some cats love the water and seek out going for a swim.
We have a story about how to train your cat how to swim, if he is so inclined.
The reason why cats may not like water is because their coats tend to not dry very quickly. Also, water weighs down the kitty fur, and a feline may feel trapped or overburdened with the weight of wet fur. They are also not very pleasant to look at if you've ever seen a soaked kitty.
Cat descendants came from dry desert areas where there is very little rain, so they developed a way to bathe themselves, and generally don't need to get into the water. But again, it depends on the cat, and some will love it.
Cats Should Be Given Milk
You see it all the time on TV shows and movies that cats get milk when they are hungry, but the reality is that cats do not need milk, some cats don't like milk, and giving them cow's milk can make some cats very ill.
If they are given a proper balanced diet, cats do not need the calcium in milk. Cow's milk can upset a feline's stomach, especially if they are not used to it. Many cats become lactose intolerant after being weaned from their mothers, because they lose the enzymes that helps them digest milk.
Also, milk contains calories that could make your cat a bit chunky. Kittens must have their share of milk from their mother's in order to survive, or there is a formula of milk that is provided by your veterinarian. But, otherwise, it's best not to give them milk.
Cats Can See in The Dark
Just like humans cannot see in the dark, felines cannot see in total darkness. They are able to adapt better to low levels of light than humans, however, because their corneas in their eyes are much thinner. The irises or colored part of the eye, open wider to allow more light to enter in.
That's what makes the cat's eyes glow at night in a very spooky way when a light hits them.
They may see better than you can in the dark, but they're not able to see anything in total darkness any better than you.
All Cats Land on their Feet
You don't want to test this by throwing your cat around, but cats do have what is known as a "righting reflex" which means they can twist around in the air very fast when falling and land upright on their feet.
But, it doesn't always happen, so be careful, and don't depend on a cat landing upright. Cats have very flexible backbones that help them when flying through the air, and that's why they can jump to great heights and jump off tall fences in a single bound.
Cats are curious and they will try to jump several stories from balconies or windows, so it's best to keep them from falling out by keeping those tempting windows and doors closed.
Cats Want to Be Left Alone
For thousands of years, cats have been domestic animals, so the idea they are solitary creatures is obviously not true. Of course, they may seem more aloof than their canine pet counterparts, but they are actually not necessarily solely solitary critters.
Cats can form very close bonds to people, other cats, and yes, even with dogs. They can develop separation anxiety when away from their owners for a long period of time, and can even become ill if they are abandoned by their humans.
It may seem surprising, but cats do care, and some of this aloof attitude may be just an act.