Cat Myths

Cat Misconceptions and a Few Legends

Probably you’ve heard a few cat myths, urban legends and misconceptions. If you haven’t, well here you will find quite a few myths about our feline companions.

Do cats always land on their feet?

This is one of the most widely-known cat myths. Many people believe this myth because cats are very flexible animals, and many times they do land on their feet.

However, they don’t necessarily land on their feet every time they fall, especially if they don’t have enough time to reposition themselves during the fall.

Cats may seriously injure themselves, even if they land on their feet, particularly if they fall from high places. To prevent your cat from falling, you must secure windows by using strong screens and window guards.

Cats and garlic

This was a popular cat myth when I was a little girl. According to it, if you add garlic to your cat’s food (or any other pet’s) it will eliminate worms and other parasites. There’s no scientific evidence, however, that this is true.

Cats and milk

"Milk is an important part of your cat's diet and you should give milk to your cat everyday." This is just another cat myth. Even though cats like cow milk, it is not a necessary part of their diet. In fact, many cats may get sick from drinking cow milk because many cats, just like humans, are lactose intolerant.

Cats have nine lives

Of course cats don’t have nine lives. But they do seem like they do. Indeed, cats are very lucky beasts. Most likely, this myth stems from the fact that cats are very resilient even when they’re sick. Besides, there have been many reports of cats surviving very harsh environments, even without food and water, for very long periods of time. And, there’s also the myth that they always land on their feet. While it is true that cats are extremely flexible animals and they usually land on their feet, they don’t fall on their feet every time. And as I said before, they can get seriously injured or even die from a fall.

If you spay or neuter your cat, he or she will gain weight

Spaying or neutering your cat will not automatically make him or her gain weight. Usually, cats will gain weight because they continue with the same amount of food intake as they grow older (sometimes even increase it), not because they are spayed or neutered. To prevent you cat from becoming overweight, ensure that she follows a diet that fits her age and lifestyle. Consult your vet for information on your cat's nutrition.

Cats and allergies

Interestingly enough, a cat’s fur is not the primary cause of allergies. As with other animals, dander, urine, and other allergens found on the animal’s skin are the real causes behind cat allergies.

Oh, that happy purr…

Most people believe that cats purr when they’re happy. And that’s true. However, cats also purr when they’re sick, stressed or in pain. One of my cats used to purr a lot when she was recovering from major surgery. Purring seems to be a means of expressing strong emotions, both positive and negative.

Indoor cats never get parasites

This is another wide-spread misconception. While it’s true that indoor cats are healthier than exclusively outdoor cats, being indoors does not guarantee that your cat will not get parasites or become sick. Many parasites are airborne or can be brought into the home by humans. Plus, if your cat ever goes outside – even for a brief moment – she can also come in contact with worms and parasites.

Cats can’t be trained

It would seem like cats can’t be trained. They’re independent, self-reliant and don’t like being told what to do. But cats can be trained. Granted, they might not be as easily trained as a dog. Nonetheless, many cat owners have trained their cats to use the toilet, walk on a leash and even do tricks.

It’s okay to declaw my cat, he will not be hurt

Declawing is a painful experience for a cat. The procedure to declaw a cat goes beyond merely removing the claw; it involves surgery to remove the tip of the toe (including the bone). Take into account that – just like humans – the tips of a cat’s toes have lots of nerve endings, which makes the pain even more acute and unbearable.


Cat myths have been around for some time. Many have change throughout the centuries, others have remained. Here are some myths from times past:

-- According to a Chinese myth, cats can see ghosts.

- Japanese sailors believed that bringing a Tortoiseshell cat on board would bring good luck.

-- During the middle ages, cats were associated with evil.

-- The Finnish people believed that the souls of the deceased were taken to the other side by cats.

Related Links

Cat lore around the world

Cat Facts

More facts about cats

Superstitions about cats

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