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Feline facts – debunking 5 common myth

By Rachel Mulheron, Director, helpucover

Despite being the second most popular pet in UK households, our feline friends are often one of the most misunderstood. There’s a comprehensive list of things we need to know to care for them, but cats are also shrouded in myth and superstition. We’ve looked into the most common tall tales to see if they really are what they seem…

Cats are low maintenance

It is widely believed cats are low-maintenance as pets, possibly because they don’t need to be walked like their canine counterparts. However, it is important to understand that cats are more complex than they seem and thrive off human attention. Although they don’t need to be walked, they still need to be mentally and physically stimulated through play, problem solving and human or animal socialisation.

Cats need to be regularly groomed and bathed – ideally once a month for long-haired cats. Bedding needs to be washed frequently and litter trays need emptying every day – overall, they need just as much time and attention as dogs.

They can’t get enough of catnip

Catnip – a herb from the mint family – contains the chemical nepetalactone which can make cats very excitable. But not all of them will have the same reaction. Sensitivity to catnip is genetic and only about 50 per cent of the cat population will feel the buzz. Male cats are more likely to respond as it contains the same chemical found in a female cat’s urine. Give it a go, but don’t be disappointed if your cat looks unamused!

If they’re black, stay away!

The black cat can be a symbol for either good or bad luck, depending on where you are in the world. In England, as in most of Europe, a black cat was associated with witchcraft and evil spirits.

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