There is always plenty of advice given regarding cats behaviour & characters – but how many of them are actually true.
Black cats are unlucky.
Black cats have been the subject of this myth for centuries and in some countries they are considered unlucky. However, in certain parts of the world such as the UK and Northern Europe they are thought of as bringing good fortune and prosperity.
All cats hate water.
Most domestic cats are not big fans of water but not all of them hate getting wet. Their dislike could be because their coats don’t dry very quickly which can be uncomfortable. The weight of water on their coat can hinder a normally agile cat so they can’t escape perceived danger as quickly. Also cats descended from desert areas where the land is baron with little or no water. This is this reason why cats can ‘forget’ to drink.
Cats are unloving.
By their nature cats are more independent than dogs, in part because they weren’t bred to spend a lot of time around humans. Also because the wild ancestors of house felines don’t live naturally in the same family groups that canines do. Studies have found that cats do not show any signs of distress when their owners leave and aren’t particularly bothered when their owners returned.
Cats always land on their feet.
Cats will often land on their feet when falling from a height. This is because they have a ‘righting reflex’ whereby they are able to twist very quickly in the air when falling. They also have very flexible backbones.
Cats have nine lives.
This probably originated in ancient Egypt where cats were treated as sacred animals and were worshipped as having psychic or supernatural powers.
This myth could also have developed over time due to cats’ ability to get themselves out of tricky situations, with their agility and dexterity.
Cats only purr when they are happy.
Cats often purr when they are happy and getting fuss and attention, it’s a comforting sound for both you and them. They will purr when they are frightened or feeling unwell in order to provide comfort to themselves. Cats also purr to comfort their young.
Cats can see in complete darkness
Cats are unable to see in total darkness any more than humans but they are much better at seeing in low levels of light. Their eye’s let in far more light than humans.
The corneas in a cat’s eye are much thinner than a humans and their irises open far wider both of which allows more light to enter. Cats have a highly developed reflective are in the back of their eyes – this is what makes them glow at night when caught in our headlights.
Cats are nocturnal.
Cats are not nocturnal but there are instinctively ‘crepuscular’ – which means they are most active at dawn & dusk. This is when hunting opportunities are rife and there is enough light to see well. Just because your cat is domesticated doesn’t mean they will ignore their genetic tendencies, but they will usually adapt to your routine.
You should give your cats milk.
Despite popular belief, cats do not need milk. If they are fed a quality balanced diet they will get all the nutrients they need. Once weaned cats became lactose intolerant as they lose the ability to produce the enzyme needed to properly digest it. Kittens need milk in order to survive but only their mother’s or a specially tailored formula purchase from a vet.
Cats do not like other cats.
For the most part, cats prefer to be the only feline in the home. They can be social and capable of forming friendships with their own kind but they don’t feel the need for it. It can also depend on their age. Cats that have lived together since birth will likely get along.
Cat relationships also hinge on there being plenty of resources available to them such as food, litter trays and sleeping areas. Cats do not like sharing or waiting for anything so competition can cause friction. To make your home as harmonious as possible, provide several feeding areas, places to sleep, hide and sleep.
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