12 Common Myths About Cats That Are Actually False!
Cats get a bad rap. We mentioned it a little bit when it spoke about ‘Why Cats Are The Most Under-Rated Pets’.
We also talked about why cats are so awesome.
Unfortunately most people who are reading about why cats are awesome, already think cats are awesome. What we don’t talk about is why people don’t like cats in the first place.
There are so many false myths about cats that cause people to dislike them so let’s talk about them, and de-bunk these myths. Cats version of myth busters
#1 They Are Always Mean
The first myth is the one that most people always seem to get. Cats are mean.
Usually this reason has more to do with the person itself rather than the cat.
Cats are different than dogs. It’s the simple truth. And they also react to humans differently than dogs. You cannot expect to just go up to a cat and have them immediately love you.
They need time to build trust.
Just as some kids don’t like strangers at first, cats are the same way. Give them space and patience and build their trust, and chances are you will see a more loving side to the cat.
There is SO much more that goes into why cats are not always mean, most of which are covered below, so let’s move onto the next myth.
#2 They Don’t Want To Cuddle
For some reason, me included, people think pets are their forever cuddle buddies.
And this isn’t to say that some cats won’t cuddle with you, just as some dogs don’t like to snuggle either. Again, it goes back more to the human rather than the cat.
Some cats express their love and kindness differently than others.
A perfect example are my four cats. One will stay by my side no matter what, inside, outside, everything. However, if I try to snuggle with her she will walk away. The second, will lay in between my legs at night but will NEVER let us pick her up. She absolutely hates it. (And that’s okay).
The last two are sisters and have similar mannerisms. They will sleep on your chest, in your arms, will let you carry them like babies, everything.
In looking at my cats, you wouldn’t say that the second cat is mean just because the way we like to show affection is not the same as hers.
If you want a cat to cuddle with you, make sure they have that personality at the shelter.
#3 They Want To Kill You
I honestly don’t know where this myth started.
But to keep it straight and simple…cats do not want to kill you.
If you see them “massaging” you, they are making biscuits. Which I will explain why cats knead in a future post.
But in the very least, you are their main source of food and warmth. They do not want to kill you.
If you are mean to them, maybe. But if you are mean to cats, chances are I probably won’t like you either. J
#4 They Don’t Care About Humans
This myth kind of goes along with the cats are mean myth so I wanted to elaborate.
A lot of people seem to think that cats don’t care if their humans are there or not. And chances are, that is simply not true.
Now cats do tend to favor one or two humans over others. Which means if you are not in their little pack, they probably don’t care as much about you.
This isn’t to say that they won’t let you pet them or eventually let you join their group, it just means that you’re not part of the group, yet.
The greatest example I love you to use is my husband and my first cat Phoebe. I had Phoebe before I met my husband and she was my little sidekick always.
My husband had never had indoor cats and was learning to love them, and Phoebe did not make that easy. I was her person. He was cool when he fed her, but she didn’t run to the door when he came home like she did for me along with other things.
Two things changed that surprised him. One, we got another cat. She was a total daddy’s girl and he was her person. (Which HE LOVED, still loves and still rubs it in my face that a cat blogger lost to him).
Also, as they grew to understand each other Phoebe began to include him into her little group. She now runs to the door to see him, will sleep with him while he works if I am in a meeting, and begs for food constantly.
What this goes to show is that all cats are different, and if you give them the unique attention they need, not only will they count you as their person(s), you will get to see how loving and sweet they can be to humans.
I am telling you, chances are if your cat is not kind to you there is probably a human reason. Whether it be attention, the wrong kind of attention, or some of these other myths I am about to mention.
#5 They Can Be Left Alone For Days On End
This one I know I will get comments for. I was partially debating even leaving this out but I felt strongly enough that I am okay if people disagree with me.
So yes, cats are self-sufficient animals. You can feed them, go to work, come home and they will still be fine. They don’t need you to let them outside to go to the bathroom and need to be fed multiple times throughout the day.
However, what a lot of people think is that cats can just be left alone for days on end. Just give them enough food and water and they will be set.
WRONG! AND WRONG!
Especially if they are the only cat, do not do this to your cat.
They are living beings and you are their only outside source. When you leave them for days on end, chances are they either think you are never coming back or get mad at you for not actually caring about them.
(Now everyone who is mad, hold on there is a caveat to this).
If you are going to be gone for multiple days, you need to either have someone go in and check on your cat daily, or take them to a sitter, or a friends house or something.
If you want this sweet, kind cat you need to give that much to them.
And now the caveat. If you have multiple cats, and if you are only going to be away for 24 hours…cats can be left alone.
This is because they have each other to play with, you aren’t going to be gone for THAT long, and like I said before, cats are self-sufficient.
In my opinion, with multiple cats, anything more than 36 hours you should at the very least have someone go check up on them so they know their humans haven’t left them forever.
#6 They Will Ruin Your Furniture
I am going to chuckle while I write. This is such a common, partially true myth that actually doesn’t have to be true at all.
Cats CAN totally ruin your furniture, and your carpet, and your home if you let them.
However, if you plan and train and do your research they really don’t have to.
First, cats WANT to use the litter box. The only time they will go onto your carpet is if they get sick or if the litter box is not clean.
(Small disclaimer, for the hairballs a Pet Carpet Cleaner will keep your carpets looking like you never had cats).
But if you keep your litter boxes clean, and your cats clawed, your carpets should be in prime condition.
But cat claws will scratch up the furniture! FALSE!
They don’t have to. If you give your cats plenty of scratching posts, and train them not to scratch then you can have beautiful furniture.
And, if you are like me and a sucker for your kitties, you can also get this clear cat scratch guard tape. All you have to do is tape it onto the furniture you don’t want to scratch, and no more cat scratches.
And chances are, your cat will not want to try and scratch it after a little while, so you can remove it after a month and enjoy your beautiful furniture.
And if your cat already scratched up your furniture, stay tuned for some hacks on how to update them and make them look like brand new!
#7 Cats and Dogs Hate Each Other
So let’s say you have a dog, and you are telling yourself you cannot get a cat because you already have a dog.
Great news, that myth is so far from the truth I cannot bear it. (Well that was probably exaggerated).
Cats and dogs really have no dislike for each other based on the fact that they are different species. I am sure you can find a ton of cute pet videos where dogs and cats are best friends.
And I do want to do a big disclaimer that this is a case by case basis.
Some cats don’t like certain cats or dogs.
Some cats LOVE ALL CATS AND DOGS. And some are very particular about who they let in.
Let’s go back to my crazy family. Four cats. My parents have a cat and a dog. Those two are completely inseparable. You will think they think they are the same species.
The dog is loud and energetic, and all but one of my cats do not like it. (Because it is loud and energetic and they are already in a semi-familiar place and don’t need that non-sense in their lives).
But one who had dogs in her foster home, has no problems with the dog. She runs around with her at night. She even calms down the others when they see the dog because her tail goes up and she walks over to the dog.
It is a case by case, personality by personality myth. And you know your pet best, so if you do decide to add to the family, just make sure you add one that has a similar personality to your current family member.
#8 Cats Hate Water
One myth that will lighten the mood a little bit is that all cats hate water.
The truth is some cats actually like water. Part of it has to do with different cat breeds, and some of it just a cat by cat basis.
So to keep it short and simple, cats don’t ALWAYS hate water.
#9 You Can’t Train A Cat
Back to the more serious myths, a very common one is that you cannot train a cat. Now a lot of those myths step back to the first one.
A lot of people seem to think that cats cannot be trained to do what you want because they only do what they want.
That is not completely true.
Now cats are not simply to train…a lot of times they are stubborn and do want to do what they want. However, with patience and persistency, you can train cats to do things you want.
If you don’t believe that, go check out America’s Got Talent where they train cats to perform in amazing acts!
Watch that and you will be motivated to train your cat, even if it in a small way.
#10 Declawing A Cat Is Harmless
I honestly just can’t with the myth.
It is just wrong. Not way around it.
If you want to learn more about why declawing cats is evil, read my post about The Ugly Truth Behind Declawing Cats.
I am probably going to leave it there because I don’t want to get steamed.
#11 Cats Can See Perfectly In The Dark
Whew! Okay back to some normal light and breezy myths.
A lot of people think that cats can see perfectly in the dark. And while cats can see decently well in the dark, they don’t see perfectly in the dark.
If you want to learn more about how cats really do see, check out What Colors Do Cats Actually See?
#12 All Cats Should Like The Same Toys
Last to tie up these common myths about cats. A lot of people think that if they get a toy for a cat and they like it, that all cats will like said toy.
What you should have learned by now is that every cat is different.
So just because one of your cats like a toy, doesn’t mean your other cat, or your friend’s cat will like that toy.
So be patience with your cats if they don’t like a toy that you think they should.
I hope that if you read this and have believed one of these cat myths in the past, take a second look.
Perhaps you counted out cats too early, or maybe you just learned a new fun fact about cats.
Either way…cats are way more than just meets the eye.