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Three Myths Cat Owners Shouldn’t Believe

August 1, 2014
Cats can be rather mysterious at times—perhaps that’s the reason that many misconceptions and myths have sprung up around felines! Here, a Des Moines veterinarian tells you about three common cat myths that you shouldn’t put any stock in.

Cats Always Land Upright

While cats are usually poised, graceful, and athletic creatures, they’re not perfect. They don’t always land upright on all fours when they take a fall, either! In fact, veterinary professionals have a slang term for injuries sustained when cats fall from windowsills or high perches: High-Rise Syndrome. Short, sudden falls are often even more dangerous because a cat doesn’t have time to right herself, sustaining injury when she lands on her back or side. If you see or suspect your cat has fallen from any height, call your veterinarian’s office. You’ll want to have your cat examined even if the fall didn’t seem serious.

Cats Love Milk

Well, that might be partially true—most cats do love lapping up milk from a dish or saucer. The problem is, the vast majority of cats are lactose intolerant, meaning they can’t properly digest the enzymes in milk. This means that a cat that has too much milk will experience an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. Don’t think you’re giving your cat a treat by letting her have milk. It’s safest to have your cat avoid it entirely.

Cats Purr When Happy

This too is only partially true. Cats do purr when contented or happy, but a purr can also indicate other emotions. Some cats purr when they’re feeling threatened, some do it when they’re angry, and still others purr to indicate stress and agitation—quite the opposite of what most people think purring means! Consult your Des Moines veterinarian for more information about your cat’s vocalizations and body language, and ask about other cat facts you may have heard and the truth behind them.

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