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Cats are playful and loving, aloof and mysterious, frisky and mischievous. They're cats!
Cats have fascinated humans ever since the day, probably about four thousand years ago, the first domestic cat made him/herself at home on the hearth by the fire. From ancient times to our modern age, myths and superstitions have surrounded cats. The ancient Egyptians worshiped them as gods, but people in later centuries feared them as harbingers of witchcraft and evil.
In today's high-tech world, we may think we've outgrown such fables yet a surprising number of modern-day myths about cats persist. These are some of the fables that some people still believe as fact:
Because cats are litter-trained, some people think that simply giving their cat food and water is enough. Not true! Cats also need regular veterinary care and, just as important, lots of love and attention.
While cats can often land on their feet after a short fall, falling from heights is another story. Upper-level windows and porches, unless securely screened, should be off-limits to cats, particularly in high-rise buildings.
Cats will, of course, do things their way if left to their own devices. But most cats can be taught to obey simple rules like not scratching the couch, eating plants, or jumping up on the kitchen counter. Repeated, gentle, and consistent training gets results. Also, if a cat understands the rules and has an approved outlet for his/her scratching impulses such as a sturdy scratching post, he/she will be much less interested in scratching the furniture.
Cats like to play, prowl, pounce and they can do all those activities indoors with you and a few toys -- without being exposed to predators, disease, traps, poison and traffic. Indoor cats are healtheir, happier AND safer!
Cats, just like people, generally become fat because they eat too much and don't get enough exercise. The fact is, cats who are spayed or neutered live longer lives and make better companions. And they don't contribute to the pet-overpopulation problem in this country, where millions of unwanted cats and dogs are destroyed (killed) every year. There's no need to wait until a female cat has had a litter to have her spayed; it can be done before her first heat cycle. It can be done at 8 weeks old.
Cats cannot see in the darkness any better than a person can. They can see better than other animals in semidarkness, however, because of their eyes' anatomy.
An identification tag is a lost cat's ticket home. Every cat, even an indoor cat, should wear an ID tag to help him/her come home if kitty is lost. Many cat owners believe a collar can injure a cat. A breakaway collar lets a cat escape if the collar becomes snagged.
Curious by nature, a cat may want to climb into the crib to see what new manner of squalling creature it's family has brought home. Kitty won't suck the baby's breath. Kitty may feel a little jealous, however, so introductions should be gradual. Lots of lavish attention will also help reassure kitty that he/she's still an important member of the family. Cats can suffer from sibling rivalry, too!
Cats are domestic animals because they live in the home. They crave human companionship and establish loving bonds with their human families. They may not always show it, but that's just the feline way. If you spend little time with kitty, you'll never know the rewarding -- and very special relationship that comes from making a cat a true member of the family.
Information taken from a 'Humane Society of the United States' pamphlet