There are many myths around cats and their behaviour that are often mistaken for facts. Cats are such enigmatic creatures that stories about them have become urban legends often passed down from generation to generation. Here we’ll address five of the more common myths and misconceptions.
1. Cats hate water
Fiction. Some cats enjoy water activity – they’ll drink from a running tap, hold their paw underneath the faucet to flick the water all over the place, or even join you in the shower. If started from a young age, some cats will even learn to tolerate a regular bathing regime. The Turkish Van is nicknamed “the swimming cat” for its love of water.
2. Cats always land on their feet
Fiction. Cats are extremely agile and have the fast reflexes of an acrobat, correcting falls in double quick time, but they don’t always land on their paws. If your cat has a fall, it’s best to get them checked over by your local vet. A cat’s leg bones can break under the strain of a heavy landing, and if they land awkwardly a fall can damage or bruise internal organs.
3. When you move house, putting butter on your cat’s paws will stop them leaving
Fact and Fiction. Whilst putting butter on your cat’s paws won’t keep them in the house by virtue of magic, what it does do is give your cat something to focus on instead of fretting about their change of habitat. Cats are fastidiously clean animals who will lick themselves until polished, especially if it’s something as tasty as butter, and because licking helps them calm down they’ll also feel more settled in their new home.
4. Cats steal the breath of babies
Fiction. Cats have been demonised as witch accomplices for years, but it’s not true that they steal the breath of babies. Cats do like warmth and comfort and this myth may have come about because cats are known to curl up and fall asleep alongside a sleeping baby in a cot. On some occasions, this has led to smothering, so it’s sensible to use cat proof nets if you have a newborn, or make sure you close the door when your baby is sleeping.
5. Cats have nine lives
Fiction. Cats are curious by nature and this trait often leads them into dangerous situations. Luckily, they have quick reflexes and a natural body suppleness which seems to give them a magical ability to escape from life-threatening situations relatively unharmed.e.g. falling from a great height and landing on their feet. Unfortunately, they only have one life – they just like to live close to the edge.
What other myths about cats have you heard?