Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dispelling a Few Cat Myths

Thought I would pass on some myth-breakers today. I think we all probably know these, but on the chance it's new information, here goes:

(Oh, got the information from this site.)

If a cat urinates/defecates in the wrong spot (ie: on your favourite Persian rug), rub it's nose in it.

Not only is rubbing your cat's nose in it's urine/faeces cruel, it serves no constructive purpose. All this type of punishment will do is frighten your cat. A far more constructive method would be to try & find out why the cat has started eliminating outside it's litter tray. Sometimes, owners think they are teaching the cat a lesson by rubbing it's nose in it's urine/faeces & then placing the cat in it's litter tray. The cat will start to associate punishment with it's litter tray & avoid using it all the more. The first stop should be to your cat's vet to rule out a medical problem. If your cat gets a clean bill of health then you will have to try & work out what is preventing your cat from using it's tray. Some possible causes are...

The tray is too dirty, easily solved by cleaning the tray out more often.

Your cat was ambushed by another cat while in the tray.

Your cat doesn't like hooded trays, or alternatively, your cat doesn't like open boxes.

Your cat doesn't like the location of the litter tray. Common location problems are...the tray has been placed in a busy area. Cats like privacy when they're on the loo. Because cats are vulnerable when they are going to the toilet, they like to ensure they have an escape route, therefore some (but not all) cats will refuse to use a tray for this reason.

For further information on inappropriate elimination, please visit our Health Links page.

Cats can have cow's milk

While a lot of cats love to drink cow's milk, it's not recommended. Many cats are lactose intolerant & giving them milk will result in them getting an upset tummy. This is especially dangerous in kittens who can dehydrate quickly.

An adult cat doesn't need to drink milk at all. If you must give your cat milk, it is recommended you purchase special "cat's milk" which has been specifically formulated for cats to drink.

For further information on cats & milk read here...

My female cat should have one litter before she is spayed

Not at all, in fact it is better to have her spayed before 6 months of age to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Here is a very good article on why it is important to spay/neuter your cat. Spay & Neuter Q & A.

Cats always land on their feet

Do cats always land on their feet? depends, if the catfalls a very short distance from the ground it doesn't have enough time to right itself. A cat will be seriously injured & quite possibly killed if it falls from a great height. There is a new term coined by American veterinarians called "high rise syndrome". Due to the ever increasing human population, high rise apartments are becoming more the norm & vets are seeing many cats who have been injured falling out of high rise apartments.

Putting bells on a cat's collar will stop it catching mice & birds

This theory has been around for hundreds of years. I used to put bells on my cat's collars, in fact Eliot, who was my best hunter had three bells on her collar at one point & it did absolutely nothing to stop her catching the wildlife. In fact, there is new research to indicate that cats who have had bells put on their collars are better at catching prey. This is because they learn to move without the bell making a sound & therefore they are stealthier.

For further information on putting bells on cat's collars, read this article. Cats Indoors.

There were others. Some, I'm ashamed to say, I have been guilty of.


fairyhedgehog said...

Bonnie and Rufus have reflective collars because they go out at night and I've had to take the bells off them because otherwise they won't wear them. I had no idea that bells make cats more stealthy!

Bevie said...

Reflective collars are a great idea.

I saw the effect of bells on a cat when I was young. We had several cats around the place, but one female in particular (Tasha) ruled. She was also a hunter.

My mother wasn't keen on cats and didn't like it that Tasha hunted. So she put bells on her to warn the birds and such that Tasha was around.

My sisters and I once watched as Tasha crept up on a whole flock of birds while wearing those bells. It was an agonizingly long wait. Tasha knew how to be patient. We took the bells off and told Mother she had only managed to ruin the lives of all the local birds.

Lisa said...

I didn't know that about the bells.

Hey, fairyhedgehog, you have a cat named Bonnie also - seems Rufus has gotten all the attention. Gosh, Bonnie doesn't even have a mention on Bevie's side bar - Poor Bonnie.

There is also the myth, or misphrasing about training cats - Cats, in fact, train us, and probably think that we're pretty stupid and slow at times!

Spy Scribbler said...

I once hired a catsitter, and when she came to find out where everything was, she expressed with considerable surprise, "Water? I thought cats only drank milk!"


3 of my cats love milk, 2 are intolerant. (I have 4. 1 is intolerant AND loves milk, LOL.)

Bevie said...

Bonnie's on the sidebar! She's right between Fred and Bessie.

Bevie said...

We used to always give our cats milk until I found out that was a bad idea.

fairyhedgehog said...

Bonnie is in the Alley Cat Walk but she hasn't been kitten of the month yet.

She's much calmer than Rufus and much more of a traditional cat (think Simon's Cat, the cartoon.

Lisa said...

You know, I DID quickly look and I swear I didn't see bonnie there -sigh, well, I do need reading glasses.
In any case, Bonnie IS under mentioned compared to Rufus - tsk tsk

Bevie said...

Maybe we should have a Bonnie Day? After all, it's going to be several months before her turns comes around for Kitten of the Month.

writtenwyrdd said...

As Mikey is a very clumsy cat-- always missing his jumps, falling off chair arms and whatnot--I know they don't always land on their feet. But I hadn't heard about the bells making them more stealthy. I seem to recall noticing that a neighbor's cat with a belled collar didn't jingle, but it didn't sink in.

Bevie said...

Kind of like a lot of predators. When you hear them, it's too late.

Music to Make the Cats go Wild

Just a love song.

Musical Cats

Our Theme Song

Kitten of the Month - August

Kitten of the Month - August
Tara - Nick name 'ity-bit' because she's so tiny - just over 6 pounds. She's the most skittish of all my babies and even when being petted has the 'pet me, no don't pet me' look

Kitten of the Month - July

Kitten of the Month - July
Amelia - Nickname 'Bratelia' since she gets into every draw, cabinet that she can put her paws in.

Kitten of the Month - June

Kitten of the Month - June

“She’s got tuna. I know she’s got tuna.”

“Shut up, Sethra. Stay on mission.”

“What’s the mission? I thought the mission was to get tuna.”

“No, you stupid fluffbrain—it’s to escape and become outdoor cats, walking by ourselves, on our wild lone, waving our tails.”

“Oh, yeah? And isn’t it you, my dear stripy sister Aliera, who keeps pushing the FEED button on the printer and waiting for tuna to come out?”

“That was when I was much younger. Anyway, she’s at the computer—yes, eating tuna casserole—so we can go into the bedroom and see if we can knock the window screen out.”
“You do it, Aliera. I’d rather mess with her stuff.”

“Will you GET OVER that fixation on her wristwatch?”

“I like the feel of the Velcro on my paws. Hey! That reminds me. We’ve been declawed. How are we going to survive as outdoor cats?”

“New plan coming up….”

“What’s the big deal about being outside cats? Even StalkerCat, who used to hang around and chat us up, is a house cat now and loving it. We’ve got it made—food, petting, toys, valet service for the litter box, and we get to sleep on her bed twenty hours a day. And we can stick our noses up to the window and smell anything interesting going on outside. Why ruin a perfect situation?”

“Sethra, have you no sense of adventure? No curiosity? No cattitude? We were meant to live wild and free, to stalk and slay our prey, to be mistresses of the night!”

“Look, we’re cats. We were meant to rule the world, but that doesn’t mean we have to WORK at it. You can if you want, but I don’t need to. After all, I’M beautiful!

“Did I mention she’s got tuna?”

Kitten of the Month: May

Kitten of the Month: May
Kitten Close-Up.

Kitten of the Month: April

Kitten of the Month: April
At 8, you'd think Mikey would understand that he's a carnivore. But, no, he's rather fond of the shrubbery! At 20+ pounds, the veggie-enhanced diet is likely mitigated by a love for long naps on a warm comforter, wet cat food, begging at the table, and a nice lap to drape himself upon in the evening. And he drools when he's happy, which may or may not mean there's a Siamese ancestor lurking in the old dna.

What? Green teeth attract mice!

Kitten of the Month: March

Kitten of the Month: March
Who needs a wickerwork basket when you can hop on a cushion and bask?

Kitten of the Month: February

Kitten of the Month: February
Rufus is clearly a cat to be reckoned with.

Kitten of the Month: January

Kitten of the Month: January
Firestar is a tough cat. He has to be, living in Minnesota. He takes care of his family: wife, husband and their son. This was recently proven by his daring capture of yet another mouse in the house. Foolish rodents. They never learn. When not engaged in derring do, Firestar naps, looks out the window and sleeps. Firestar was born in April of 2006.