Common Myths About Uncommon Cats

Cats are known as mysterious creatures, with complex personalities and the overall tendency to make humans work for their affection. There are so many little tidbits of information about cats in the world that it can be difficult to tell what is true and what is myth, from whether or not cats really land on their feet to if black cats are really that unlucky. Below is a compilation of facts and debunked myths about our most fun and fascinating animal companion: the cat.

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FACT: Cats are mysterious creatures.

Known for being aloof and enigmatic, cats don't give anything away that they don't want humans to know. Typically, cats flick their tales when they are upset, but they may also be happy or deep in thought. Cats tend to have sophisticated vocal expressions and complex body language. With cats, you just never know what's really going on.

MYTH: Cats have nine lives.

The adventurous behavior of cats leads us to believe that they have more than one chance on this earth. However, it is important to remember that cats are susceptible to illness like humans are, and need regular visits to the vet to remain in good health.

FACT: Cats land on their feet.

The truth is that cats are not immune to falling from heights, especially when their attention turns to a nearby critter that they want to catch. Cats have been known to fall accidentally from open windows, so keep them shut around adventurous felines.

FACT: Cats need their teeth to be brushed.

This might seem like a silly idea, but cats are susceptible to tooth decay like humans or dogs. Brushing your cat's teeth regularly helps freshen breath and avoid more serious dental problems in the future. But be careful - only use dental care tools that are approved for pets.

MYTH: Whiskers help cats keep their balance.

While whiskers are important for cats, these cut accessories are not used for balance purposes. Whiskers are used as "feelers," to help cats navigate, and can also be an indication of a cat's mood. Don't pull or cut whiskers, as they are connected to nerve bundles and, if whiskers are removed, can cause a cat pain.

FACT: Pregnant women should not clean a cat's litterbox.

It is okay for pregnant women to interact with cats, but it is definitely not recommended that pregnant women clean out a litter box. Cat feces and litter can spread toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection with severe consequences.

MYTH: Black cats are bad luck.

Every Halloween, black cats are ostracized for the color of their fur, accused of causing mishap in neighborhoods and households across the country. Meanwhile, it has been proven that cats of a sprightly orange color are twice as likely to get themselves into trouble.

MYTH: Cats need milk, at least every once in awhile.

While the image of cats lapping at bowls of milk is adorable, they really do not have what it takes to break down the lactose found in milk and other dairy products. This can lead to unfortunate issues such as vomiting and diarrhea. Instead of milk or water in a plain old bowl, offer cats a specialized fountain with moving water - they will love it!