- Veterinarians unmask the most typical myths about felines
- Myths include that felines always land on their feet which pregnant females can’t live with felines.
- They explain myths around whether felines can eat human food and if they can really see in the dark.
- Go to Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Following is a transcript of the video.
Carly Fox: “Pregnant females can’t deal with felines.” This is a substantial misconception. Please don’t get rid of your feline if you are pregnant. “When cats purr, it implies they more than happy.” This is absolutely a misconception.
Ann Hohenhaus: “Cats believe their owner is their mother.”
Fox: Clearly your feline does not think that you’re its mother. I’m Dr. Carly Fox. I’m an emergency and critical-care veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center in New York City City.
Hohenhaus: And I’m Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, also at the Animal Medical Center, but I’m an internal medication and oncology expert.
Fox: Today we’re going to debunk some cat misconceptions.
Myth # 1
Fox: “Cats love milk.” I suggest, I think this is sort of an image that has been put forth throughout our childhood, like, in storybooks and in movies and on TV, but sadly, cats, as they get older, really are lactose intolerant. So their bodies in fact can’t even absorb milk. As kitties, they have actually an enzyme called lactase, which helps them break down milk, because they are supposed to be drinking their mother’s milk.
But as they get older, that enzyme, which is usually very present, goes away. And after that they’re unable to digest milk. So if you feed milk to an older cat, or actually any cat after they’ve been weaned from their mother, they truly can’t absorb it. Although they appear like they’re truly enjoying themselves, it in fact can trigger gastrointestinal upset.
Hohenhaus: You can go to the pet shop, however, and purchase cat milk. [laughs] And the feline milk has two things that make it special for felines. One is it’s lactose-free, simply like the lactose-free milk you can purchase in the supermarket. However it also has extra taurine contributed to it. And cats need taurine in their diet plan. So it’s just an additional source of that amino acid unique for felines.
Fox: I indicate, who understood?
Misconception # 2
Hohenhaus: “Cats are nighttime.” How can you be nighttime when you sleep 23 hours a day? [laughs] The typical cat sleeps 23 hours a day. They wake up long enough to eliminate some victim, eat that prey, and then go back to sleep up until the next time they’re hungry.
Fox: They’re really crepuscular animals.
Hohenhaus: They’re what?
Fox: Crepuscular. That suggests that they’re active throughout dusk and dawn, which goes back to what you just stated about them hunting. So, that’s how lions hunt. They hunt in the dusk or the dawn, where they can, you understand, see prey better, hunt, and eliminate, and our domestic cats actually developed from that. So they’re really supposed to be most active in the early morning and at night, however not always in the middle of the night. Though some felines undoubtedly are.
Hohenhaus: Well, and they are most active in the morning. Ask any feline owner. At 4 o’clock in the morning, that cat’s strolling on your head and running over the bed, trying to get you up, due to the fact that they don’t need to hunt for breakfast. They just need to get you up.
Misconception # 3
Fox: “Felines dislike water.” Can’t state that every cat dislikes water, but, I imply, in my experience, most felines certainly do not like water, as in they don’t like being bathed in water. You’re certainly not gon na see most cats go for a swim. I ‘d say most felines do not love water, but when cats are feeling unkempt, maybe they do like water.
Myth # 4
Hohenhaus: “Cats think their owner is their mom.” [laughs] I believe that they just see you as a source of food and convenience and tidiness and a safe place to live.
Fox: Yeah, certainly your cat doesn’t think that you’re its mom, but they absolutely think that you’re its caretaker and they need you, but, you know, another person might probably complete that job simply as quickly for your cat, honestly, so I don’t think that cats believe that you’re their mother. However some people certainly believe that.
Myth # 5
Fox: “Pregnant ladies can’t cope with cats.” This is a big misconception. Please don’t eliminate your feline if you are pregnant. Cats can often be contaminated with a parasite called toxoplasmosis, which can be shed in your cat’s feces. If selected up by a pregnant woman, this parasite can in some cases trigger abnormality or miscarriage, which’s undoubtedly something we would want to avoid.
Cleaning the litter box daily will assist with this. You absolutely don’t desire to leave the litter box to go for more than one day because that can increase infection. If you do need to clean the litter box, you must just use gloves. So the very best thing that you can do is have someone tidy the litter box for you, which is likewise just excellent. Who wants to clean their litter box? It’s a break for nine months.
Hohenhaus: So, if you’re worried about your health or your feline’s health throughout your pregnancy, make sure to raise the subject with both your vet and your obstetrician.
Myth # 6
Hohenhaus: “Cats can see in complete darkness.” Cats have terrific night vision. They have, like, a mirror in the back of their eye. And you understand that from taking pictures of your feline because you see that yellow-green reflection in the video camera, and that’s this mirror that’s in the back of the feline’s eye that helps to reflect light around to improve their night vision. And that reflector location is called the tapetum.
Fox: Cats really can’t see in complete darkness. They still need a little bit of light in their eye for it to recover and forth within the eye off the tapetum, so complete darkness they can not see in, but a lot of darkness with a little bit of light, they really can see.
Myth # 7
Hohenhaus: “Human food is bad for felines.” We don’t recommend feeding a human diet plan to cats, since it doesn’t meet their dietary requirements. Felines are obligate predators, and it suggests they require to consume meat. So your diet is not appropriate for cats.
Misconception # 8
Fox: “Black felines are bad luck.” I indicate, this is clearly a big myth.
Hohenhaus: I think that black cats are bad luck on their own, since they don’t get embraced from a shelter as easily as a pretty gray cat or a flashy tricolor cat. So the bad luck is really for the cat, not for you.
Myth # 9
Hohenhaus: “Felines don’t enjoy people or infants.” My mom was so worried about this when I was having an infant, since I had these felines. And she said, “Those felines are gon na climb up in the crib and suffocate my grandson.” Absolutely nothing like that took place. Infants are unpredictable, and they smell different than people, and they make different movements than people, and they have smelly diapers. So I believe this really may partly be true. It’s not that they don’t like infants. It’s that they’re different than the people they’re utilized to.
Fox: “Cats constantly land on their feet.” Well, felines do have an excellent righting reflex, suggesting that a great deal of the times they in fact do land on their feet, and that relates to their anatomy and their vestibular system. Nevertheless, unfortunately, I’m an emergency situation physician, I live in New York City. I see many, many, lots of felines not arrive on their feet. Certainly don’t think that your cat will simply be fine if it regrettably falls out of your third-story window or perhaps from your top of your fridge.
Hohenhaus: And when they fall, they’ll arrive on their chin, and they frequently fracture their wrists, and then if they tummy flop, instead of arrive at their feet, they’ll also get air in their lungs or around their lungs because their lungs get a little tear in it and start dripping. So these injuries are severe and lethal for felines. So the answer is get screens or do not open your windows.
Hohenhaus: “Cats and pet dogs do not get along.” I do not have any concept where this would have come from. There are plenty of houses and households in the United States where there are both dogs and cats and they’re completely fine. Much like some people don’t get along, sometimes a canine and feline do not get along, but often you have two pets and they do not get along or more cats and they do not get along. So I think this is more about the character of your dog and your cat than it is that they can’t get along.
Fox: They’re not gon na be the next YouTube sensation, however I think they preserve a working relationship.
Hohenhaus: Yeah, yeah, that’s great. A working relationship. We have to interact to be great pets.
Fox: Yeah. Let’s do that.
Fox: “When felines purr, it indicates they enjoy.” This is absolutely a misconception, and I can inform you I have actually been scratched by numerous a purring cat. You understand, I think purring is usually associated with enjoyment in cats; however, in some cases cats can purr for other reasons, like they’re very nervous, or it’s a warning really, or they’re starving, not always that they more than happy.
Fox: “One human year equals seven feline years.” This is certainly, certainly a myth. I believe this is something we more associate with dogs, but if you apply it to cats, I believe it’s much more of a myth.
Hohenhaus: Well, and if you take a look at it on the reverse end of the life expectancy, a cat can have kitties when it’s 6 months old. 6-month-old feline would be 3.5 years in human age, and clearly no 3.5-year-old kids are having children of their own.
Fox: I hope not.
Hohenhaus: So, it does not work in felines, no.
Fox: Today we unmasked some cat misconceptions. There is a bit of truth to a few of these misconceptions that we discussed today, and I believe that’s really fitting, because cats are these really particular, unique animals that are a bit of, like, a variety, much like these misconceptions.
Hohenhaus: My boy’s first words were “meow.” [laughing]
Manufacturer: That’s insane.
Hohenhaus: He would look at the cat and go “meow.”
Fox: That’s charming, actually? [laughing]