Felines are wonderful, mysterious creatures that we simply can’t get enough of. Even if there’s still a lot to detangle when it comes to cats, we’ve still managed to grab some of the ludicrous myths and debunk them once and for all.
As time went by, cat parents learned many things from their little furry friends, so no one is more appropriate to debunk cat myths than a cat owner. If you’re a cat owner, then you must know what it feels like to finally be able to debunk so many unknown secrets. However, let’s not get carried away: we will NEVER know what’s happening in a cat’s mind. Here are some of the oldest cat myths, debunked:
Cats have nine lives
This myth has been continuously perpetuated for decades. The whole deal that cats have nine lives is probably due to their mystical good luck, but no one knows if it’s real or not. That’s why we thought that going back in time might shed a little bit of light on the whole concept and finally satisfy our unsettling curiosity.
One of the main theories behind the whole Nine Lives myth comes from the religious beliefs of ancient Egypt. It seems that the Great Ennead of Heliopolis was an important group of nine major Egyptian gods, such as the Sun God Atum-Ra.
According to the legend, Atum-Ra took the form of “the great cat Mau”, to win the battle against the chaos serpent Apophis. Another great theory originates from Celtic folklore, where the Cat Sith was, in fact, a witch with wonderful powers.
Whenever they needed to, they morphed into cats. However, as soon as a witch decided to morph on the ninth change into a cat, she would live forever as a faery feline. Even if cats possess extraordinary survival instincts, the whole idea that they live nine lives comes only from magical stories and beliefs.
Cats always land on their feet
Because of the righting reflex, most cats possess a natural ability to twist their bodies in amazing ways, which does nothing but perpetuate the cat myth. As felines are able to right themselves if they ever fall, it’s not a golden rule that they always land on their feet.
Even if they are full of grace and agility, accidents might happen, and falling from a significant height might hurt them a great deal. However, more often than not, felines are able to land safely, but this doesn’t mean that we don’t worry every time a dangerous situation is just around the corner! After all, they are our furry friends!
Cats can’t receive the same training as dogs
Well, if you train them properly, cats are able to learn the same tricks as dogs, but in a more feline manner! Just as dogs, cats learn efficiently and rapidly when you apply positive reinforcement, and they become more motivated to complete the training if their favorite clickers and treats are involved.
Kitties will easily learn time to come and sit, lay down, and even roll over. In fact, you can even teach them to go to the bathroom in the toilet and flush when they finish “the job”, so as far as I can tell, they can do way more than any other dog would! I mean, you can’t train a dog to do that!
A wagging tail shows that your cat is happy
Everyone on this planet knows that when a dog feels good, he wags his tail back and forth. Well, this interpretation is easily passed on to cats. As cat lovers must know, cats’ and dogs’ behavior is completely on the opposite spectrum, so a cat’s tail movement might roughly differ from a dog’s.
As it turns out, when a cat wags or twitches his or her tail, it’s mostly because they are incredibly annoyed. So if you are petting a cat and the tail starts moving, make sure you’re paying attention to other body language signs that might show if your cat is irritated or not. Who knows? The little furry creature might even be hurting!
Pregnant women need to stay away from cats
Toxoplasmosis is a terrible disease that can be transmitted from a pregnant mother to the fetus. Unfortunately, there’s a common misconception that this disease can also be passed from cat to human, even if it’s not completely true. In fact, pregnant women would have higher chances of contracting this disease by eating meat than by cuddling with their own furry friend.
There’s only one cat-related pregnancy risk when it comes to cats, and that revolves around cleaning their litter box. Toxoplasmosis can be found in infected cat feces, so pregnant women are highly encouraged to pass the task to someone else in their household, so they can be fully protected from a negative outcome.
Milk is good for cats
We’ve seen it everywhere: in movies, on TV, and on the streets: when we encounter a stray cat, the first thing that pops into our mind is to give her milk. However, cats and milk aren’t a good mix! For the sake of the feline’s health, we need to stop perpetuating this myth, as it might only harm them.
In reality, milk is not recommended for your cat’s proper digestion. Even if the cat begs for your ice cream bowl, it is still highly important not to give in to its demands. A cat’s digestive system doesn’t have what it takes to break down lactose the way our bodies can, so giving felines milk might lead to serious gastrointestinal issues.
All cats can’t stand water
Some cat breeds will successfully manage to break the stereotype that cats are afraid of water. For instance, Bengals, Maine Coons, and Savannahs love water! There are a couple of water-loving cat breeds that love getting the occasional bath but also playing in pools and puddles. In fact, you might be surprised to know that some know how to swim!
Black cats bring misfortune
In the majority of Western cultures, if a black cat crosses your path, then it’s definitely seen as a sign that something bad is bound to happen! However, this particular cat myth is far from the truth. There’s absolutely no clear origin story that might back up this unfair superstition.
The only thing that might have led to this belief is that these wonderful ebony kitties received a bad reputation from superstitions that were circulating around 1500. In those times, black cats were highly associated with witchcraft, and people believed that witches turned to black cats at sunset so they could walk freely on the streets.
Declawing cats isn’t that difficult
We all know that cats love scratching carpets, furniture, walls, and anything that comes across their little claws, and it’s all due to their natural instincts. Declawing isn’t a smart solution for a cat’s scratching behavior.
There’s a wide misconception that declawing is nothing but an extreme version of trimming a cat’s nails, but that’s not true. In reality, declawing is a surgical amputation that removes even the last knuckle of the cat’s paw. We’re talking about ten amputations! And the worst part is that, after such a terrible procedure, cats suffer from chronic pain for the rest of their lives.
If you’re curious to learn more about pets, here’s what you need to read: These 11 Adorable Dogs Will Get Along With Your Cat!