Myth 1: Cats hate the water
While it’s true that many cats may not enjoy getting wet, not all cats hate the water. In fact, some cats are intrigued by water and will expose themselves to it – whether that’s popping into the shower with their pet parent, 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 subsequent weight of wet fur. Nonetheless, it’s important to provide your cat with plenty of clean fresh water, and allow them to explore and enjoy water in non-threatening ways.
Running water, ponds, fountains, or even leaving glasses of water around the house, can help enrich your cat’s environment and provide stimulating ways for them to engage with water or enjoy a fresh drink.
As far as baths go, with patience and gentle training from a young age, many cats can learn to tolerate a bath. For those who don’t, wiping their coat with a warm, wet face washer helps remove dirt from the fur that would otherwise be consumed by the cat during grooming. This is usually well tolerated by cats that are used to being handled.
Myth 2: Cats are solitary creatures
Many people think cats are solitary creatures who revel in life alone. While some cats are independent and comfortable on their own, many cats are very social and thrive from companionship. Cats often form strong bonds with other cats, dogs and their human families and can become distressed, bored, and lonely when left alone.
So, if you’re considering adopting a kitten or cat, but are away from the home for long periods of time, it may be wise to adopt two feline pets, so they can keep each other company. Alternatively, seek out a cat from a shelter that is known to have more of a “loner” personality and will be content with their own company when you are out of the house.
Myth 3: Cats always land on their feet
While cats are nimble and have a remarkable ability to right themselves during a fall, they are not immune to injury. According to PetSure, the power behind GapOnly®, data shows there was a total combined claims for cats falling from a height amounting to $322,000*. And this is only scratching the surface, as in many cases of injuries in cats, the causes are unknown or not recorded, so it’s possible our feline friends are landing awkwardly more often than we realise!
Cats possess a unique reflex called the “righting reflex,” which helps them reorient their bodies during a fall. Despite this, it is still possible for cats to become injured from a fall. Try to take precautions to prevent your cat from accessing high places where they could be at risk of falling, and have measures in place to help prepare for unexpected pet healthcare costs that could arise from accidents.
Myth 4: Cats are colour blind
A common misconception is that cats see the world in shades of grey. While it’s true that cats don’t see the same range of colours as humans, they are not colour blind. Cats can see shades of blue and green with limited ability to see to red and orange. Funnily enough, this means that the red laser pointer your cat goes bonkers for is probably not very red to your cat.
While cats can’t see colours the way we do, when it comes to night vision they have far superior vision to us, which is exactly what they need to be successful predators in low light conditions.
Myth 5: Cats can’t be trained
People often compare cats with dogs, forgetting that dogs were bred to be amenable, trainable, and eager to please. So, when we talk about the trainability of cats, we must not forget that cats are not dogs, and cats have a wide range of personalities, aptitudes and motivations.
Cats are highly intelligent and capable of learning, so it is possible to train them. But to do so, you will need to find out what motivates your individual cat and accept that cats may never be as eager to please as a dog (after all, isn’t that what we love about them?).
That said, positive reinforcement such as treats and praise, can also be powerful motivators for cats. If you want to train your cat, start with simple tasks and be patient with your feline friend. You might be surprised at how well your cat can be trained to respond to various prompts. Indeed, some level of training such as training to remain calm while having a bath and training to enter the travel crate are great places to start.
So there you have it, five common cat myths demystified. Cats are remarkable creatures with unique abilities and personalities. By better understanding cat behaviour, we can embrace their quirks and enjoy the delightful journey of being a cat parent!
*PetSure claims data, 2022
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