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Don't Believe These Myths About Cats

November 1, 2020

Our feline friends have a reputation for being a little aloof and mysterious. It’s one of the things we love about them! However, our cats’ quizzical nature can lend itself to a few myths and misconceptions. It’s important that you don’t believe everything you hear when it comes to your pet. Here, a Louisville, CO vet sets the record straight on a few common myths.

Cats Always Land on Their Feet

This is one of the more dangerous myths floating around when it comes to our feline companions. Cats do not always land upright! They’re very graceful creatures, yes, but they’re prone to slips and falls like anyone else. And when a cat falls, they don’t necessarily have time to right themselves before impact—this is especially likely when falling from a shorter height. A cat slipping out of a ground-floor window, for example, could result in serious bodily harm. Try to prevent your cat from hanging around areas that she could easily slip and fall from.

Cats Love Milk

You’re probably already picturing a cat happily lapping up milk from a saucer on the floor. It’s easy to assume that cats adore milk—and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. Your cat might gladly drink milk if it’s given to them, but it turns out that milk won’t return the love. That’s because most adult cats are lactose-intolerant, just like many humans. Adult cats tend to lack the necessary amount of lactase in the digestive system to properly digest lactose, the main enzyme of milk. While a small amount of milk probably won’t hurt, too much can cause upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea!

Cats Purr When They’re Happy

This is a half-truth. Cats do purr when they’re happy or content, yes. But experts believe that purring also indicates other emotions, even negative ones like anger or stress!

All Cats Love Catnip

This isn’t true. It turns out that many cats—nearly half, actually—don’t respond to catnip at all. The reason behind this is that a cat requires a specific gene, inherited from both of their parents, to experience the chemical reaction caused by nepetalactone, the substance in catnip that triggers a cat’s brain response. If your cat doesn’t possess that gene, catnip won’t have much of an effect.

Learn more about your cat’s quirks by calling Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO veterinary clinic, serving Louisville and surrounding areas.