From being connected to witchcraft to being branded as uncaring, cats are mysterious creatures who, for a long time, have been misunderstood by humans. As well as being unfair, this misunderstanding can be hugely detrimental and encourage cruel treatment towards cats. To provide a greater understanding of these elusive animals, here are four myths about cats that can be easily busted.
1. Cats Are Not Affectionate
One of the most persistent myths about cats is that they are not affectionate – or rather, they are only affectionate when their needs are being met, such as at dinner time. This, however, is not the case. Whereas other pets like dogs are pack animals who seek loyalty and affectionate leadership to survive, cats are on the whole more independent and cautious in their relationships. Their finely tuned senses can tell if a person is less than welcoming towards cats and as such the cat is less inclined to risk getting close to that person. However, if you respect your cat’s need for space and provide consistent, positive interactions, you can earn your cat’s trust and affection. Nothing is more rewarding than a purring cat choosing to sit with you and wanting a stroke.
2. Cats Do Not Get Along With Other Cats
Cats are territorial animals and, generally speaking, do not like another cat encroaching on their territory. However, this does not necessarily mean that you can only be a one cat household. This link explains if cats are social or loners and you might be surprised to learn that cats can adapt to living in social groups when necessary, similar to lions’ prides. It is easier for cats to be socialised together, if they are from the same litter or are at a young age, and certain breeds, such as Maine Coons, are more social in general. The key is to understand your cat’s individual temperament and know if they are social or prefer being the alpha cat of your home.
3. Black Cats Are Unlucky
A popular superstition in the United States is that black cats are unlucky. This may be due to their long-term association with witchcraft, with black cats being seen as a witch’s communicant with the devil. This stigma can still be felt today, with black cats being particularly susceptible to cruelty – especially around Halloween – and often taking twice as long to rehome as those with different coats. This stigma is completely unwarranted: black cats are neither no more nor less unlucky than other cats. Your black cat will bring you just as much joy as your tabby or calico.
4. Cats Have Nine Lives
Cats have amazing reflexes and can seem to wriggle out of dangerous situations seemingly unscathed; however, the belief that they have nine lives is a complete myth. Cats should be cared for and kept out of harm’s way just as you would other pets, ensuring that they lead a long, happy and contented life in a safe and loving environment.