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International Cat Day: Myths About Cats You Need To Stop Believing

Cats are underrated, highly. They are often labelled 'mean' and 'lack affection' - but being someone who has been working around cats and having a few feline friends, take it from me - all that is nothing but a load of baloney.

Despite the thousands of years that domesticated cats have kept us company, they still suffer something of a bad rep. While some see their independence as a bonus, others see it as selfishness or aloofness. Haters say they only show affection when their food bowl is empty.

Of course, cat owners will tell you this is all nonsense and that their bond with their cats is just as strong as any dog. So is there a reason we keep picturing cats as aloof and unfriendly? Does it have any truth to it?

In the event of International Cat Day, let's check out some common myths about cats you need to stop believing - right now!

International Cat Day: Date And Theme

On August 8, the world celebrates World Cat Day. The International Fund for Animal Welfare established International Cat Day in 2002 to honour and appreciate cats. The purpose of this celebration is to highlight methods for protecting cats from abuse.

International Cat Care became the custodian of International Cat Day in 2020. Founded in 1958, this British non-profit organization promotes the health and welfare of domestic cats throughout the world. On International Cat Day, it is time to stop believing common myths about cats.

Every cat is not fortunate enough to live in a loving and safe home, sleep on soft couches, and eat food. It is common for stray cats not to be treated with kindness and are even abused. According to the report compiled by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) and All Creatures Great and Small (ACGS), 4,93,910 animals were abused by humans from 2010 to 2020.

The significance of this day extends not only to cat lovers but to all animal lovers. The celebration of International Cat Day is a significant event for those who wish to protect and comfort these creatures.

Cat-friendly resources is the theme for International Cat Day 2022.

Common Cat Myths

Myth: Cats always land on their feet.

Fact: Although cats instinctively fall feet first, they can also get broken bones if they fall from high places. Protect pets from disastrous falls by cat-proofing your balconies and windows.

Myth: Cats should drink milk every day.

Fact: That's a big fat no! Cats like milk but don't need it if they're fed well. Drinking too much milk can also cause diarrhoea in cats (lactose intolerance). So give it rarely and in small amounts if you can.

Myth: Spayed or neutered cats gain weight automatically.

Fact: The same way people do, cats gain weight from eating too much or not exercising enough. When an animal is spayed or neutered, its metabolism slows, and its need for food decreases. The cat might gain weight if it keeps eating the same amount. Exercise and not overfeeding can help cats stay fit.

Myth: Cats cannot get rabies.

Fact: Almost any warm-blooded mammal, including cats, bats, skunks, and ferrets, can carry rabies. Cats should be vaccinated regularly, too.

Myth: Indoor cats cannot get diseases.

Fact: Cats still get sick from organisms carried through the air or brought in on shoes or clothing. Most cats venture outdoors at least once a day and can get diseases and worms from contact with other animals' faeces - so make sure to vaccinate your cats yearly.

Myth: Putting garlic on a pet's food will get rid of worms.

Fact: Garlic won't kill worms. Garlic is considered to be about five times as toxic as onions for cats and dogs. So it's best to get medication prescribed by a vet to treat worms.

Myth: Pregnant women should not own cats.

Fact: A toxoplasmosis disease can be transmitted to humans through cat litter boxes and cause serious problems for unborn babies. These problems can be controlled if the expectant mother avoids the litter box and has someone else clean it for her.

Myth: Animals heal themselves by licking their wounds.

Fact: Not always and not when it comes to large wounds. It can slow down the healing process and damage the wound more.

On A Final Note...

Humans' expectations of animals affect their behaviour. We're pushing cats away from their natural behaviour by forcing them to behave more like dogs - showering us with attention.

So next time you come home to a cat quietly watching you from the couch, or lazily yawning as they pad into the hallway, don't be disappointed. Despite their quiet way of saying hi, they're glad to see you. Also - adopt don't shop!

Story first published: Monday, August 8, 2022, 13:18 [IST]
Read more about: cat myths international cat day
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