Cat’s Favorite Meal Is Milk
This is one of those claims that are somewhat true but not completely. Comic books and cartoons love to depict cats as never turning away a bowl of milk which has led many people to believe that this is a favorite meal for cats.
The truth is that while cats do enjoy milk, once they wean from their mother they start losing the enzymes necessary to process it. In other words, cats become somewhat lactose intolerant, and milk can give them an upset stomach, diarrhea and other digestive issues.
In any case, even if your cat is fine with it, milk is not something that can make up a cat’s diet—felines have to eat whole meats.
You Can’t Train a Cat
Another myth reinforced by movies and comic books
The truth is that cats and dogs were kept for different purposes before they became pets. Dogs were domesticated to guard and pull sleds which means they had to be tamed and trained to behave in a certain way.
On the other hand, cats were domesticated either as mice hunters (they already know how to do that) or as home companions. Cat’s can be trained the way that other pets are trained—with positive reinforcement, i.e., rewarding good behavior, so it becomes a habit.
Declawing Cats Is Like Trimming Their Nails
Declawing cats is a cruel act right up there with removing their vocal cords, so owners don’t get bothered by meowing.
Only the very tip of cat’s claws is made up of dead cells, with the rest containing live matter (which is why trimming cat’s nails is best left to a vet or experienced cat groomer). Therefore, declawing cats is like amputating human’s first phalange.
If a cat is destructively scratching furniture and people, this is a sign of some behavioral or medical problem which needs appropriate treatment, not amputating the cat’s claws. One of the most common reasons for such behavior is an understimulated cat.
Cats Purr and Dogs Wiggle Tails When They Are Happy
Again, this one is mostly true but far from painting the whole picture.
Just like reading human body language, “reading” a cat or a dog takes more than just one expressive gesture.
Cats also purr when they are sick, hurt, or stressed. Scientists believe that the vibrations from purring have healing properties, though cats may purr even during their last moments among us. As of dogs, a wiggling tail is also a sign that the animal is agitated and a warning sign that it might attack.
To successfully read pet behavior you need to consider the whole picture—e.g., a cat that has taken a nasty fall will obviously not purr out of joy but because it got hurt.
Dogs and Cats Only See Black and White
Yet another myth reinforced by movies. Cats and dogs see color just not such a wide spectrum as we, humans.
Scientists say that dogs see fewer colors because they have fewer of the eye cones that let us distinguish between color. However, cats have as many as us—three, yet it’s still believed they see less color than us because their cones contain fewer rodes.
So what do cats and dogs see? It is believed that dogs see yellow, blue, and grey, while cats see blue and green, with other colors being less distinguishable.
There is still no conclusive research on the topic only experiments that have led to certain believes.
It’s OK to Flush Fish Down the Drain
Fish are popular as pets because many people believe that pet fish take little to no care. But then they realize the water needs replacement, the tank needs cleaning, and that they need to find somebody to feed the fish while going on vacation.
A common myth among people who no longer want their fish is that it’s OK to flush it down the toilet.
First, the pressure from flushing the toilet will most likely kill the fish.
Second, fish can carry disease which then spreads through the sewage system.
Third, if it survives the journey to the city sewage system, fish can find its way to natural water basins and wreak havoc on the ecosystem there.
The best way to give up on pet fish is to take it back to the pet store.
Snakes Are Deaf and Fish Can’t “Talk”
Snakes might be lacking eardrums and visible ears, but they can still hear sounds. Snakes do have inner ears which are connected to the jawbones, allowing snakes to feel vibrations coming from
Animal experts beleive that in a similar way fish can communicate with each other.
Fish talk to each other by making sounds with their body—for example, vibrating their swim bladder. Some fish species also chirp and grunt—sounds that their fellows detect through the vibrations spread in the water.
While not all “fish talk” is detectable by humans, some larger mammalian fish like whales make distinctive sounds that can be heard from miles.
Now you know. Milk is not the best treat for a cat, dogs wiggle their tails even when agitated, and snakes can feel you talking to them. What other things have you heard about pets that you wonder whether are true?