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Cats are shrouded in superstition, myth, and folklore. People used to think that a cat could suck the breath out of a baby. You’re believed to be the unfortunate recipient of bad luck if a black cat crosses your path. Some cat myths are harmless and even quite interesting, however, believing in certain cat superstitions can put your feline at risk. We’re debunking cat myths so that you can better understand your pet and give him the care that he requires.
Cats Always Land On Their Feet
The Cats Inn explains that felines have especially flexible spines. They can lick their own backs, twist in mid-air, and spring into strange spaces with relative ease. Cats also have a righting reflex that is initiated around four weeks of age. This allows them to rotate their upper bodies to face downward when they feel like they’re falling. Although this reflex helps cats land on their feet, it’s not foolproof. Even if they do land on their feet, they can become injured from a fall. Don’t test this theory by throwing a cat or dropping him off of a high surface. Keep your pet safe by closing upper-story windows and keeping him off the balcony.
Pregnant Women Should Get Rid Of Their Cats
According to the ASPCA, more than 3 million cats end up in shelters every year. Many owners give up their cats when someone in the family becomes pregnant because they fear toxoplasmosis. The condition is caused by a parasite that can come from cat feces. However, the parasite is also found in soil. Also, women are more likely to get toxoplasmosis from undercooked meat than from the litter box.
Most people who contract toxoplasmosis don’t have any symptoms, but pregnant women can pass the infection to their unborn babies, leading to miscarriage or stillbirth. Children with toxoplasmosis can be born with serious issues. Still, the CDC says that pregnant women don’t have to get rid of their cats. They can protect themselves by keeping cats indoors, where they are less likely to become infected with the parasite. They should avoid giving their cats undercooked meat. If they must scoop poop themselves, they should wear gloves and a mask while doing it.
Milk Is Good For Cats
Feeding your pet a high-quality cat food will give him the proper ratio of nutrients. Milk doesn’t add much nutrition to your cat’s diet. In fact, most adult cats don’t have the enzyme that’s necessary to digest lactose, the type of sugar that is found in milk. Therefore, giving your cat milk can cause diarrhea and an upset stomach.
Cats And Dogs Can’t Be Friends
Almost half of the pet owners in the U.S. have more than one animal, and the cat-dog combo is common. Those numbers point to the fact that cats and dogs can get along. Their interactions will be guided by their personalities as well as their environment. Some breeds of dogs are more likely to chase cats. Playful, rambunctious dogs shouldn’t be paired with anxious, skittish kittens. Getting your pets to love each other involves matching their personalities.
You can use obedience training to get your dog to leave the cat alone. Giving the cat plenty of places to escape when she wants alone time can also help you manage a household with more than one type of pet. If you’re bringing home a pet for the first time, gradually introduce her to the rest of your furry companions, and never leave them alone together if you’re not sure how they’ll treat each other when you’re away.
Cats Need Outdoor Time To Be Happy
Although cats have held onto more of their wild instincts than dogs, they can be perfectly happy when they’re kept indoors. Most animal experts agree that keeping a cat inside is the best way to keep it safe. An indoor cat can live for 10 to 20 years.
Indoor Cats Don’t Need Vaccinations
Even if you don’t let your cat outdoors, she will need some vaccinations. Core vaccines protect your kitty from the most common feline diseases. If your cat does escape and spend some time outdoors, she’ll be better protected from many additional conditions if she has had her vaccines. Many states require you to vaccinate indoor cats for rabies.
You Don’t Need To Groom Your Cat
Cats spend a lot of time grooming themselves. Some pet owners think that they don’t need to spend time grooming their immaculate kitty. Brushing your cat can help prevent hairballs, which can cause vomiting, and mats which are uncomfortable clusters of knotted hair. Clipping your cat’s nails can prevent the claws from breaking and causing pain. Cleaning your feline’s teeth can help prevent oral diseases and allow you to keep an eye out for growths or tumors.
Cats Can Be Left Alone When You Travel
Your dog needs to be let outside and taken for walks every day. You would never think of leaving him home alone for more than half a day. You may think that your independent cat can take care of herself. Many pet owners take off for up to a week at a time, leaving their cat with food, water, and no supervision. This can be dangerous. Cats can get sick or get into trouble at any time. They should be checked in on at least every 24 hours. Even the most autonomous animals require some playtime and affection. Your sweet kitty could get depressed without human interaction.
Cats Are Hands-Off Pets
Some people get cats as pets because they think that they don’t have to do much to be a responsible pet owner. Caring for a cat is an important job. You have to keep the litter box clean, provide fresh food and water, and give your cat love and attention. Although your cat may be aloof, she still wants to be part of your life. Play with her, stroke her fur, and keep her safe so that she doesn’t become another animal shelter statistic.