Common Cat Myths


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1. Cats should have a litter before they are spayed.

This is not true. Cats that have a litter before they are spayed are not better for it in any way. In fact, spayed cats are healthier and have eliminated the risk for life-threatening uterine infections.

2. Street cats are always healthier than purebred cats.

This is not true. Both purebred and "street" cats can be unhealthy. Both can have diseases, however, many mixed breed "domestic" cats do not have many of the genetic diseases common in purebred lines.

3. All cats prefer canned food.

Some cats do but some cats will only eat dry food.

4. Cats cannot be trained.

This is not true. Cats are very smart and can be trained to do tricks.

5. Cats like tasty food.

Cats have poor taste buds and eat primarily based on their sense of smell.

6. Cats will let you know when they are sick.

This is not true. Cats generally are very good at hiding that they are sick by survival instinct, thus not to appear vulnerable to "prey". Often by the time they show you that they are sick, their disease or condition is quite advanced.

7. Cats don't need heartworm prevention.

This is not true. Cats can get heartworm disease, even indoor cats. Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes, which can come inside.

8. Cats don't need litter box trained – they naturally know where to go.

There is a natural instinct for many cats; however, not all cats understand the litter box concept.

9. Cats are happier and healthier when they are outdoors.

This is not necessarily true. Many cats are happy being outside at certain times, especially when the weather is good. However during bad weather – they would prefer to be inside. But cats are defiantly not healthier when outdoors. The average lifespan of strictly outdoor cats is estimated to be approximately 1 year of age; indoor-outdoor cats about 3 – 6 years and indoor only cats have an average lifespan closer to 13 – 15 years.

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About The Author

debra-primovic Dr. Debra Primovic

Debra A. Primovic, BSN, DVM, Editor-in-Chief, is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Nursing and the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Following her veterinary medical training, Dr. Primovic practiced in general small animal practices as well as veterinary emergency practices. She was staff veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic of St. Louis, Missouri, one of the busiest emergency/critical care practices in the United States as well as MedVet Columbus, winner of the AAHA Hospital of the year in 2014. She also spends time in general practice at the Granville Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Primovic divides her time among veterinary emergency and general practice, editing, writing, and updating articles for, and editing and indexing for veterinary publications. She loves both dogs and cats but has had extraordinary cats in her life, all of which have died over the past couple years. Special cats in her life were Kali, Sammy, Pepper and Beanie.