Cats have been living alongside humans for thousands of years, and in that time, plenty of myths, legends and simply silly stories have been told about them. It’s 2023, we’re less worried about witches these days, but there are still plenty of commonly repeated claims about cats that might not be as true as you think.
As we’re big believers in sharing im-paw-tant cat knowledge here on the Natusan blog, we thought it was time to debunk some cat myths…
Purring = happiness
Many people believe that a purring cat is a happy cat, and that can often be the case - but there are other situations in which a cat might purr as well. While cats will purr when they’re content and happy, it can also be a sign that a cat is in pain.
Cats may purr as a form of pain relief or self-soothing, because it’s believed that the vibrations of their purring have healing qualities. They can also purr when they think it’s time to be fed, in behaviour learned from their time with their mother. You can read more in our article on why cats purr.
Cats hate water
While it’s true that some cats don’t like water, this isn’t the case for all cats. It’s thought that cats may dislike water because their coats don’t dry very well, and getting wet can make them feel uncomfortable, cold, and slow them down.
But some cats don’t mind water at all. Every cat is different, and this is one assumption that definitely doesn’t apply to all cats.
Cats love milk
In cartoons and old stories you’ve probably heard of people putting out a saucer of milk for the cat - but your feline friend might not thank you for it.
While cats may happily drink milk if it’s given to them, most cats will become lactose intolerant once they’re weaned, and may not be able to properly digest it. If you want to give your cat milk as an occasional little treat, special cat milks exist which are more easily digested by a cat’s tum.
Cats can see in the dark
Cats have very different eyesight to us humans, and it’s true that they can see much better than us in low light conditions. Their eyesight has developed to allow them to hunt in the low light conditions of dawn and dusk, but in real darkness, they can’t see much at all.
You can find out more in our guide to how cats see, but this also leads us on to our next myth to be busted…
Cats are nocturnal
The previous myth about cats being able to see in the dark ties together with the idea of cats as nocturnal animals. There’s some truth to this - or at least, it’s easy to see how the idea became so widespread.
Cats are crepuscular, which means they’re most active in the hours of dawn and dusk. This means they’re much more active than us humans at this time, but in the dead of night, they’re most likely to be asleep, just like us.
Cats are aloof or antisocial
There’s a long-held belief by many that dogs are the sociable, loving pet and cats are more reserved and aloof, preferring their own company to that of their humans. While it’s true that cats are more independent than dogs, that doesn’t make them any less loving as pets. Many cats love a fuss, and will snuggle up to their humans for attention.
We even put together a guide on how cats show affection towards their humans so you can recognise the signs that your cat really cares.
And a few more myths…
These aren’t the only cat myths floating around, and we’re sure you’ve probably heard of more! Whether it’s a cat’s nine lives (nope), or the fact that they always land on their feet (often, but not always), there’s plenty of fake feline news out there!
Keep your eyes on our Cat Guide series of blogs, which are full of facts and information about our four-legged friends.
23/05/2023 by NatuTeam