Cats 101: Separating Myths from Truths in Feline Care and Ownership
Cats are fascinating creatures that have been surrounded by many myths and misconceptions. For centuries, they have been considered the favorite pets of witches, and the belief that black cats bring bad luck still persists today. The idea that cats have nine lives is also a popular myth. However, it's important to note that cats only have one life, and it's our responsibility as owners to make it the best it can be.
When we decide to adopt a cat, it's crucial to understand that the belief that cats always land on their feet is not necessarily accurate. Cats do have a natural instinct to land on their feet, and they'll try to position themselves to do so whenever they jump from a height. However, the laws of physics dictate that if a cat falls from a great height, the momentum of the fall can cause them to break its bones. If the cat survives the fall, it will usually end its life in the nearest shelter. To protect your cat from life-threatening falls, it's important to secure balconies and windows on higher floors with netting.
It's also essential to provide proper nutrition for your cat. Many people believe that cats love drinking milk, but this is a common mistake, as cats are lactose intolerant, and consuming milk can lead to diarrhea. You can give your cat small amounts of milk if they enjoy it, but it shouldn't be a regular part of their diet. Instead, your cat's bowl should always have clean water and a balanced diet. Another myth is that neutered cats get fatter, which is partially true. Neutering can cause a cat to be slightly less active, which can lead to weight gain, so a balanced diet and adequate exercise are essential to maintain their weight. Additionally, some people believe that adding garlic to a cat's food can protect its digestive tract from parasites, but this is not the case. Garlic has no effect on parasites and can even cause damage to the stomach and anemia. To protect your cat from parasites, it's necessary to consult with a veterinarian and follow their recommended treatment.
Cats are known to purr when they're happy, but this is not the only reason they make this sound. They also purr to express their desire for something, to convince their owners to play with them, and even when they're in pain. Therefore, it's important to pay attention to your cat's behavior and not assume that they're fine just because they're purring. Another myth is that cats licking their wounds will help them recover. While this may initially clean the wound of bacteria and prevent inflammation, it's important to prevent your cat from licking their wounds, as their rough tongue can irritate the damaged skin.
A significant problem facing cats today is the number of homeless cats and those living in cat shelters. One of the reasons for this is the myth that female cats should have kittens at least once in their lives, as it's good for their health. This is not true and has contributed to the suffering of many animals. There is no medical evidence that pregnancy benefits the health of a female cat. To prevent this, it's essential to sterilize your cat, which will save many problems in the future. It's also important to vaccinate cats, as they can contract rabies just like any other animal.
There are numerous myths about cats that can harm them and foster negative attitudes toward them. As a cat owner, it's important to have a clear understanding of their true nature and dispel any false beliefs. Cats are not as frightening as portrayed in myths, and can be a source of happiness and a faithful companion, just like a dog.