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Arts & Life

Myths About Cats

Kevin Dooley [Flickr]

Let's bust some myths that have plagued our feline friends for too long!  All cats are not alike - they can be as different from each other as humans are.  You may wonder what your cat is thinking or feeling, but understanding your furry buddy begins with knowing some facts about cats.  


There is more information about cats available today than ever before in history. And yet, wrong ideas persist - the cat myths.

For example, one myth says cats need milk to drink. For kittens, their mother’s milk is the ideal food. However, cow’s milk is not. While your cat may enjoy drinking milk, some cats cannot tolerate it. I had a cat that was actually allergic to cow milk. You may use it as an occasional treat, but milk should not be your pet’s main diet, or considered a substitute for water.

Another cat myth says a purring cat is a happy cat. Most cats do purr when they’re happy. They also purr when they’re hurt, and even sometimes when they’re dying. Kittens often purr when they are nursing. The purring sound comes from muscles in the cat’s larynx that cause the air to vibrate as the animal breathes in and out, producing that sound we cat lovers enjoy so much.

You may have heard cats always land on their feet. The cat does have an amazing reflex that helps it orient itself during a fall to land on its feet – but cats can break bones or die when they fall from extreme heights. Make sure you have screens on open windows.

Perhaps the most dangerous myth is that cats have nine lives. Because of their quickness, their agility, their flexibility, their wonderful sense of balance, and their ability to see in very low light, cats can survive some pretty tricky situations. But cats are not invulnerable. Like us, they have one life - it’s up to us to give them the care they need to make it a long and happy one.

June is Adopt-a-Cat Month - because more cats and kittens are surrendered to shelters during June than during any other month of the year. Have your cat spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted litters.

And if you’re looking for a pet, visit your local animal shelter or rescue group during Adopt-a-cat Month. When you discover the special feeling of holding a pet that purrs in your arms, you will realize it’s no myth that a cat can be a great companion – when you’re speaking of pets.


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