Cats are often seen as mysterious creatures surrounded by myth. We look at some of the common facts about cats and examine whether they are fact or fiction…
1. Cats do not have a sweet tooth.
Fact. Unlike dogs, cats do not have a sweet tooth. This is due to the taste bud receptors of a cat located on its tongue, which cannot detect or taste sweetness. Many people argue this fact, saying their cats like ice cream, which they may do – but what they are tasting and liking is more likely the texture of the food, or the fat content.
2. Cats can’t see things directly under their nose.
Fact. Although cats have razor sharp eyesight, they have a blind spot and can’t make things out that are directly under their nose. So if you are wondering why your cat can’t find the food scraps you’ve put down for it, this is why.
3. A male cat will lose his friendly personality if neutered.
Fiction. A neutered male will be just as friendly, loving and affectionate as an intact male. Just like humans, a cat’s friendliness or not depends on its individual personality. More importantly, neutered males are less likely to roam and fight and less likely to urine spray to mark their territory.
4. Cats are generally right-pawed.
Fiction. A recent study found that cats are usually left-pawed, unlike dogs and humans who are usually right-pawed or right-handed. A high proportion of cats are also ambidextrous which means they use their right and left paws to perform common dexterity tasks.
5. A cat’s claws are designed for ascending not descending trees.
Fact. A cat’s claws curve under which makes them a useful tool for climbing up trees but not so useful for climbing down trees, as they can’t grip as strongly. How many times have you seen a cat stuck in a tree or come down backwards, sliding as they go?
6. Cats are colour blind, they can also see in total darkness.
Fiction. Cats are not strictly colour blind, although they see a much more limited range of colours than humans do, the colour spectrum that cats and dogs see is mostly comprised of blues and yellows. Cats can not see in total darkness, but as they only require about one-sixth of the light that humans do, their night vision is much better than ours.