Cat Facts and Myths

Cats can't swim and hate getting wet
There are many cats that love water.  Two breeds of cats that are eager to join their owners in showers or bathtubs are Bengals and the Turkish Van.  Bengals are notorious for loving water, and Turkish Vans sport the nickname ‘swimming cats'.

Milk is good for cats
Generally speaking, cats should not drink milk.  Most cats are lactose intolerant, so drinking milk can cause gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting.  It is best to avoid giving your cat any people food.

Cats only purr when they are content
Cats purr for reasons beyond contentment.  Newborn kittens are born blind, so a mother cat will purr to orient her kittens toward her at feeding time.  Cats also purr when they are sick or even in the process of dying as a self-calming technique.  Cats purr at the same frequency as an idling diesel engine, about 26 cycles per second.

Cat hair cause allergies
Sneezing and reddened eyes are due to allergic reactions to a protein that is found mostly in a cat's skin and saliva - not hair.

Calico cats are always female
Actually one in 3,000 calicos can be male.

Cats can't get heartworms
This is a long standing misconception.  The American Heartworm Society and the American Association of Feline Practitioners have launched a major campaign to educate people on the dangers of feline heartworm disease.  Heartworm affects cats differently than dogs, and there is no treatment - unlike for dogs.  Cats kept indoors are not safe from heartworms either.  A recent study revealed that 28% of cats diagnosed with heartworms never ventured outdoors.


  • Cats are believed to have first been domesticated somewhere between 4,000 and 5000 B.C. by the Egyptians.
  • Almost 10% of a cat's bones are in its tail, and the tail is used to maintain balance.
  • A domestic cat can sprint at about 31 miles per hour
  • Blue-eyed, pure white cats are frequently deaf
  • The cat has 500 skeletal muscles (humans have 650)
  • A cat is pregnant for about 58-65 days. This is roughly two months
  • More than 30 percent of homes in the United States have cats
  • 37% of cat owners buy their animals holiday gifts