Worshipped by the ancient Egyptians and considered otherworldly for centuries, it’s well known that cats are pretty special! There have been many feline legends and tall tales throughout the years, and many cat myths still abound today! Here’s our selection of nine popular cat myths that have lingered in our imagination, but are they fact or fiction?
Cats have nine lives
Nobody knows how this myth started out; it could be related to their role as deities in ancient Egypt. Shakespeare refers to the nine lives of cats in Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps it simply comes from felines’ apparent ability to get themselves out of pretty much every sticky situation!
Black cats are unlucky
In the middle ages, black cats were associated with witchcraft. The myth that black cats are unlucky has unfortunately stuck, with black felines today being less likely to be adopted than their more colourful friends. However, this does depend upon where you are in the world, as in Japan they’re believed to bring luck!
You can’t train a cat
We think you’ll find that you can! Didga the cat holds the Guinness World Record for the most amount of tricks performed by a cat within one minute! While your cat might not reach such heady heights, training them to use their litter tray and not to scratch the sofa to shreds are quite achievable tricks for them to learn!
Pregnant women shouldn’t have cats
This is linked to toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that can be passed on through both cat faeces and raw meat. While it is a real disease and can affect a foetus, it’s usually harmless and rare. Pregnant women can have cats, but it might be best to get someone else to clean the litter tray!
Cats always land on their feet
This one has some basis in truth! Cats do have a natural righting reflex which they develop as a kitten, and is the result of having a really flexible spine combined with no collarbone. So cats are more likely to land on their feet than not, but the greater the height the greater the possibility that they won’t and might hurt themselves badly.
Cats steal the breath of babies
A bit of an odd one. This myth says that because a cat is jealous of the attention a new born baby receives, or they’re enticed by the smell of milk, they can kill babies by sucking the breath from their bodies! A cat in the UK was once even convicted in 1791 of such a crime! However it’s unlikely to be based on truth and probably emerged through superstition of witchcraft.
They use their whiskers to help balance
Cats’ whiskers are sensory organs, allowing them to judge size and distance. For example, they can use them to work out if they’ll fit in a tight space! They don’t actually have anything to do with balance. To maintain their equilibrium, cats have to rely upon their inner ear like any other mammal.
Cats hate water
The fur of our feline friends isn’t as waterproof as that of a dog. As a result, when they get wet, their fur feels heavier and they can feel really cold! On the other hand, many cats are attracted to running water, and sometimes even prefer drinking from a tap or fountain!
Cats are antisocial
Many cat owners whose pets could often be confused with attention-seeking lap dogs will tell you that this isn’t true! Felines are fond of their own space and often prefer interaction to be on their terms. They can equally be extremely affectionate, getting on with people and other animals. However, like everyone, the extent of their affection for others will vary between individuals.
Regardless of the truth of any feline myths, we know for sure that owning a cat can be an excellent adventure! If you have a feline friend of your own, you might want to help protect them with cat insurance. At The Insurance Emporium, our Cat Insurance comes with a selection of Standard Benefits such as cover for Vet’s Fees up to £8,000*, and can be tailored to suit your kitty with our range of Elective Benefits. You can also get up to 30% discount^ with your policy. Head to The Insurance Emporium to find out more today!
* Cover for Vet’s Fees up to £8,000 available on lunar monthly Lifetime Gold policies only.
^ The 30% discount is made up of 20% Introductory Discount plus 10% Multi-pet Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.
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