5 common cat myths demystified
Dr Kylie Mitchell, Vet Advisor and Relationship Manager
As a doting cat parent, you’re probably familiar with some common cat myths. As a vet and a cat mum myself with a keen interest in cat health and behaviour, I’ll unpack some of the misconceptions about our feline fur babies.
Myth 1: Cats despise the water
While it’s true that many cats don’t love getting wet, not all cats hate the water. In fact, some cats are intrigued by water and will interact with it – whether that’s popping into the shower with mum or dad, dipping a paw in the water or even playing or fully submerging themselves in water.
However, there are a few reasons why cats may not enjoy the water including the disruption to their grooming habits, the shock of being submerged, or the weight of wet fur. Nonetheless, it’s important to empower your cat to explore water in non-threatening ways – whether that’s running water or leaving glasses of water around the house.
When it comes to bath time, some cats can learn to tolerate a bath with patience and training from a young age. But if your fur baby won’t have a bar of it, you can wipe down their coat with a warm, wet face wash to remove any dirt.
Myth 2: Cats are loners
While some cats are independent and comfortable in their own company, many cats are social creatures that thrive from companionship and interaction. Cats often form strong bonds with other cats, dogs and their human families and they can become bored and lonely when left alone for long periods of time.
So if you’re thinking about adopting a kitten or a cat, but you’re often out of the house, you might want to think about adopting two feline pets so they have each other for company and enrichment.
Myth 3: Cats always land on their feet
Cats have a unique reflex called the “righting reflex,” which helps them reorient their bodies during a fall. Despite this, it’s still possible for cats to become injured from a fall, and it happens more often than you’d think! According to PetSure, the power behind petinsurance.com.au, data shows the combined claim amount in 2022 for cats falling from a height was a whopping $322,000*.
To protect your cat from falls, try to prevent them from accessing high places around the home where they could be at risk of falling.
Myth 4: Cats can’t see in colour
Many people believe that cats see the world only in shades of grey. While it’s true that cats don’t see the full spectrum of colours as humans, they are not colour blind. Cats can see shades of blue and green with limited ability to see shades of red and orange. Funnily enough, this means that the red laser pointer that your cat chases after, does probably not appear red to your fur baby.
Myth 5: Cats are un-trainable
Some people believe that cats can’t be trained, but this is simply not true.
Cats are highly intelligent and capable of learning, so it is possible to train them. But to do so, you’ll need to discover what motivates your feline and accept that cats are not bred to be as eager to please as dogs.
Positive reinforcement such as treats and praise are often good motivators for cats, but you’ll need to find out what works for your cat based on their individual personality and traits. If you want to train your cat, start with simple tasks like training to remain calm while bathing or training them to enter the travel crate so they are prepared for your next vet visit.
So there you have it, five common cat myths debunked. Cats are amazing and intelligent creatures so understanding their unique behaviours will allow you to fully enjoy the journey of being a responsible cat parent.
*PetSure claims data, 2022