Busting Common Myths About Cats

Cat facts

By Lucie Battaglia, Chief Content Creator for VGRRR

Today, we’ll talk about one of my favourite topics : cats. They’ve been part of human families for literally centuries and still capture our hearts today. After all, who doesn’t feel like melting when a cat looks up at them with those big adorable eyes? Since kitties are such a big part of human lives, several stereotypes have emerged about them over the years. Sadly, some of these stereotypes are plainly myths, and cat moms and dads should be well-informed about the facts. Now let’s bust some myths!

  • A purring cat is a happy cat. While this can be true in many circumstancesfor instance, when your kitten is resting on your lap and enjoying some cuddlespurring is not always a sign of contentment. According to an article reviewed by a veterinarian, cats also purr if they’re hungry and want to be fed. This purring often goes hand in hand with some meowing, so you’ll know easy enough if your cat is asking for a meal! Cats also purr to soothe themselves if they’re experiencing pain. (1)
  • Cats are too stubborn to be trained. I too believed this after many attemps to get my cat off the kitchen counter with a resounding « No! » Here’s the big shocker : unlike human children, domestic cats are not intimidated by scolding. In their minds, getting attention is better than nothing. It actually serves as positive reinforcement for annoying behaviours, says veterinary postdoctoral fellow Mikel Delgado. (2) A better option is to ignore the negative behaviour. Instead, you can encourage positive actions, like when your cat hops off the kitchen counter or scratches his cat tree instead of the couch.
  • Cats are cold and aloof. Some will say cats are less affectionate than dogs, but this is simply an unfair comparison. Yes, Kitty may give a first impression of being distant, but that’s because she’s focusing on her environment. As a hunter, she’s supposed to be aware of every sound, movement and potential prey wandering around. As for affection, cats express it in their own manner. (3) Your cat may hate being petted for a long time or picked up, but does he sit in the same room as you? Rub his head against you? Those, my friend, are signs of affection 😉
  • Cats can be left alone for a weekend with enough food and water. Cats seek attention and company. In fact, they may show signs of unhappiness if left alone for too long. (4) I learned this the hard way when I left home for five days and paid a cat-sitter to come around each day. Even if the sitter took care of the food, water and litter box, my cat felt neglected and left a stinky « present » on the bed. The best option is to get a friend or family member to stay at your place for cat-sitting.

Did these facts surprise you? They sure did surprise me. For one, I’ll leave my cat with a trusted stay-in sitter if I need to go on vacation. Also, I will definitely consider ignoring my cat if he climbs onto the kitchen counter, and instead shower him with attention (or offer catnip!) when he’d being a good boy.

 



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