Myth # 1
Cats have nine lives.
Most cats live for about 14 years, although some have been known to live to their twenty’s and even beyond. The myth that a cat has 9 lives probably came about because of its ability to escape from many dangerous situations without harm. Cats have good memories, keen eyesight, and exceptional senses of smell and hearing. These combined with their swiftness and agility help them escape danger. The number nine was a lucky, mystical, or magic number because it is the Trinity of Trinities (3 x 3). As cats seem able to escape injury time and time again, this lucky number seemed suited to the cat. So even though a cat may escape with its life many times, it still lives only once, just as any other animal.
Myth # 2
Cats Will Suck the Breath Out of Babies
An old wives’ tale has promoted the misconception that cats will smother a baby if allowed to sleep in the crib. This was probably created in response to the fact that cats seek out warm, comfortable places and like to curl up with you—or children—at night. In addition, cats were often blamed as culprits before people knew about the condition of sleep apnea or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Myth # 3
Black cats are bad luck
Throughout history, black cats have been perceived as being “bad luck” or “evil.” This is completely false! Unfortunately, black cats do suffer from the stigma of their color. Across the U.S., black cats are typically the ones who remain at the shelter the longest. They are also the ones who most often are abused by cruel people during the month of October, around Halloween.
Myth # 4
It’s ok to Give Cats Milk
Contrary to the popular thought that cats love milk—and most do like the taste—it typically is not good for them. For many cats, it causes digestive upset and sometimes diarrhea. This is because most cats can’t digest milk properly because it contains lactose (milk sugar), which may cause loose bowels.
Myth # 5
Cats Always Land On Their Feet
The myth that cats will always land on their feet may have been originally created in response to the fact that cats have an amazing ability to judge distances accurately and land on their feet when jumping from surface to surface. The highly developed inner ears of cats equip them with an unusually keen sense of balance, which is critical to their landing on their feet. This sense of balance allows a cat falling upside down to right himself by rapidly determining his position, repositioning himself, and making any adjustments necessary to ensure that he lands on all fours.