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Busting Five Common Cat Myths

February 15, 2014

For various reasons—perhaps largely because of their mysterious and aloof personalities—there are several myths that tend to crop up around cats. Not only are they incorrect, believing them could lead to health concerns for your pet! Here, a San Jose veterinarian sets the record straight.

Myth: Cats Will Be Fine By Themselves for a Few Days

While cats may not need the 24-hour attention that a puppy requires, they won’t necessarily be fine alone for extended periods of time. If you’re going to be gone from your cat for more than 24 hours, have a friend or relative look in your cat. Food and water dishes may need to be refilled, the litter box emptied, or medicine administered. What’s more, a cat can easily get into trouble in no time, getting trapped or injuring herself.

Myth: Cats Always Land on Their Feet

Cats are graceful and poised, yes, but that doesn’t mean they always land upright. In fact, cats often fall out of open or improperly-screen windows and other high perches, a condition that veterinarians refer to as “high-rise syndrome.” Falls can result in serious injury, so take care to keep your cat away from any hazardous spots.

Myth: Cats Love Milk

Well, that much might be true—a cat will probably happily lap up milk from a saucer. However, the milk won’t love them back! Since most cats are lactose intolerant, ingesting milk will result in vomiting and diarrhea.

Myth: Cats Need to Satisfy Their Natural Hunting Instincts Outdoors

Cats are natural carnivorous hunters, but that doesn’t mean they need to go outside to hunt field mice or other rodents in order to be happy. Keeping your cat inside, safe from the hazards of the wild outdoors, will undoubtedly prolong her lifespan. Keep your cat satisfied with toys, climbing structures, and plenty of playtime.

Myth: Cats Purr Only When Happy

The truth is that many cats purr to signify a variety of emotions—stress, agitation, and anger among them! Don’t assume that your cat’s gentle purring means she’s happy. Ask your San Jose veterinarian more about cat’s vocalizations and what yours might be saying.