Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: April 21, 2023 by Crystal Uys


Cats don’t have nine lives, and they don’t suck the breath out of babies. While it’s pretty obvious to most rational human being that these two myths are not true, there are many other tall tales about cats that are completely false. Perhaps this is because cats, despite having lived with humans for thousands of years, still remain a mystery even to those of us who know and love them.

Some myths and misconceptions are simply silly, but many myths can be dangerous and may actually harm cats. The following six are some of the most common myths about cats that are not true.

Cats always land on their feet

While cats have a remarkable ability to right themselves when falling from great heights, this is only true if they have enough time during the fall to do so. But even if they do land on their feet, this doesn’t mean that they won’t sustain often severe injuries. “High rise syndrome,” in which cats fall from windows or balconies of apartment buildings, can cause severe trauma, broken bones, and even death.

Cats are aloof

This seems to be a myth that just won’t die. Cats are independent by nature, but they are also social animals who thrive on human attention and interaction. Frequently, aloof cats are nervous cats who will come out of their shell once they experience human kindness and love.

Cats don’t need as much veterinary care as dogs do

According to a study by Bayer Health Care and the American Association of Feline Practitioners, 52% of America’s cats have not had a wellness check up in the last year. Dogs are taken to the veterinarian twice as often as cats. There is a misconception that cats are independent and don’t need the level of care that dogs do. Additionally, cats are masters at hiding illness, and won’t show symptoms until a disease may already be in the advanced stages.

Declawing a cat is the same as trimming a cat’s nails

Declawing is a painful surgical procedure that involves amputating the last bone of the cats’ toes. If performed on a human, this would be the equivalent of having the last knuckle of each finger removed. Recovery from this surgery is extremely rough on cats, even with the use of powerful pain medications. Phantom pain may last for months following the surgery, if not for the rest of the cat’s life.

Cats can live on a vegan diet

Cats are obligate carnivores who need meat to thrive and survive. Protein derived from meat and poultry contains ample amounts of essential amino acids. While vegetable and grain based proteins also provide amino acids, cats, unlike dogs, lack the enzyme required to process them metabolically. Cats also need taurine, an amino acid found in meat that is essential for heart and eye health. A lack of taurine in the diet can lead to heart disease and blindness.
By educating others about these myths, you will help cats live healthier and safer lives.

Black cats bring bad luck

One of the most common myths about cats is the superstition that black cats bring bad luck. However, depending on what part of the world you live in, black cats may actually be considered harbingers of good luck.

This article was previously published on and is republished with permission.

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14 Comments on Don’t Believe These 6 Common Myths About Cats

  1. Several years ago, I saw an “Animal Cops” episode with a vegan woman who had her cats on a vegan rice-concoction diet. Most of her many cats were blind, or visually impaired, because of the diet. It was obvious by looking at their eyes, and she didn’t even notice. It was very sad.
    As for declawing, when I was much younger I had a cat declawed. Had I known what it really is, I would never had done it. I wish vets would explain it before they do it – maybe they do that now.

  2. Great post. As a vegan, I would never feed my cat a vegan diet. It upsets me that there is vegan food for cats.

  3. All of these myths drive me nuts, and I cannot tell you how many times I still hear them from my friends! I have friends who never take their cats to the vet until they are sick/injured, and it makes me quite sad. The one about cats being aloof is something I hear far too often. I’ve often had friends say that they want to get a cat because they are “independent” and don’t need the attention that a dog does.

    • The “cats are independent ” comment bothers me to no end.My cats are always overjoyed to see us when we come home. They want love, play and attention and do require care.I also have friends who make sure to have someone care for their dog when they vacation but, not their cat.I feel sad about that.

  4. Seriously, the real word should be amputate, not declaw.
    “Declaw” makes it sound like it’s a simple alternative to learning how to deal with a behavior problem. It nauseates me. I would no sooner harm my Casey, Maggie, Charlie & Sammy than I would the kid I gave birth to, and that’s all there is to it. The procedure should not just be frowned upon, it should be illegal to commit such a heinous act of torture ….

  5. The term ‘declaw’ is a horrible misrepresentation, and more people need to be made aware just how devastating this surgery is. One of my greatest personal lows happened recently at the office, assisting a co-worker in adopting a kitten. How happy, you say! A month later, she tells me she’s getting the baby ‘declawed’. I gave her paperwork detailing exactly what occurs, and she cried…then went ahead with it! I’ll never forgive myself for not offering to buy the kitten from her, or something more to have changed her mind. I won’t talk to this person, and I’ve been very clear that I feel ‘declawing’ should be outlawed, as it is in many other countries and parts of California. Even my own friends don’t know the facts. So, education begins at home, and I talk to every person who expresses an interest. Even in the cat-lovers community online, there is a lot of ‘old wives tales’ like this, Ingrid. Please keep up the good work!

  6. Not only are these myths but important knowledge, I was unaware of the difference in medical care statistics and declaring makes me sick. I shared everywhere, I hope people read and learn.

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