There are many myths that involve cats. Quite a few are untrue. Photo courtesy of Moyan Brenn
Many myths surround cats and their behaviors. From the superstitions surrounding black cats to the belief that all cat owners are likely to get toxoplasmosis and everything in between, these myths have found their way into people’s minds and seem to be difficult to dismiss. Let’s talk about a few of the most common and troubling myths.
Myth #1: Black Cats Are Bad Luck
This is a myth that seems to persist, though not all societies believe this to be the case. Some societies even consider black cats to be lucky. Obviously, there is no scientific evidence to support the theory that black cats are either lucky or unlucky. They are simply cats that happen to have black fur.
Unfortunately, this myth likely plays a part in the unpleasant fact that black cats have a more difficult time finding forever homes than other cats. The truth is that black cats make wonderful and loving pets.
Myth #2: Cats Do Not Need Veterinary Care
This is another unfortunate myth. The truth is that cats do require regular veterinary care. Regular veterinary examinations can actually prolong your cat’s life and can eliminate unnecessary suffering and pain for your cat.
Cats are extremely good at hiding their illnesses. Even the most attentive of cat owners often does not realize that their cat is ill or in pain until the disease is advanced. However, a check-up with your veterinarian can easily uncover many problems before they do become severe and start to impact your cat’s quality of life.
For instance, did you know that 90% of cats over ten years of age show evidence of arthritis on an x-ray? Your veterinarian can help you determine whether your cat is suffering from arthritis. For many cats, the symptoms are subtle and difficult to detect.
Myth #3: Indoor Cats Cannot Get Fleas
Many cat owners have discovered, to their dismay, that this myth is false. Cats do not need to go outdoors to get fleas. Fleas can find their way indoors very easily. They can hitch-hike on your clothing, come in through small holes in screens and doors or come in on the family dog. Unfortunately, once a flea infestation is established, it is difficult to get rid of them.
Myth #4: Cats Are Aloof and Distant
Many people who have not spent time around cats believe this to be true. However, those of us that do have cats or spend time with them realize that nothing could be further from the truth in most cases. Cats are actually social creatures. They can and quite often do form a tight bond with their owners. Many cats enjoy human interaction and will go out of their way to seek attention.
Myth #5: Cat Owners Are Likely To Be Infected with Toxoplasmosis
This is another unfortunate myth that has been perpetuated through mainstream media. While toxoplasmosis as a disease does have serious consequences, the chances of getting toxoplasmosis from your family cat, especially if your cat lives indoors, are actually very low. You are more likely to get toxoplasmosis through eating uncooked meat or ingesting unwashed vegetables.
About Lorie Huston, DVM
Lorie Huston, DVM has written 73 posts in this blog.
Lorie Huston is a veterinarian with 20+ years of experience with dogs and cats. She is also a talented free-lance author and blogger and has contributed to numerous publications, including Pet Sitter’s WORLD, FIDOFriendly, Dancing Dog Blog, Dawg Business and many others. Lorie is the featured pet care writer at Suite101.com, a contributing writer in Dog and Cat Diseases and Conditions at About.com and the National Pet Health Examiner at Examiner.com. In addition, she is a host of the popular podcast/review site, Animal Cafe.