Black Cats and other feline myths

Blue is black kitty available for adoption through Branford Compassion Club, 2037 Foxon Road, North Branford, open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Blue, who’s about 4 years old, is a laid-back sweetheart and would do best as an only cat or with other chill cats.

It seems that no creature on earth is surrounded by myths more than cats.

Western culture in particular has associated them with evil omens and as familiars of witches, but Japan, Great Britain, Ireland, and Scotland consider them symbols of good luck. Shelter workers, however, are quick to say that they’re the last to be adopted from litters of kittens.

Cats respond in kind to the amount of attention they’re given. Ignore your cat and she’ll probably be aloof. Talk to her, play with her and she reward you with head butts and chirps, and seek you out for love and affection.

In the wild, cats have complex social structures. Mothers often share kitten duty. Visit any well-managed feral colony and you’ll see the intermingling and social order.

Admittedly, it’s fun to watch an outside cat basking in the sunshine, sniffing flowers, or chasing bugs. Today, however, the dangers outweigh the pleasures, but it’s up to you to provide a stimulating environment, whether it’s sun-filled window perches or a safe outdoor enclosure.

That’s more than a bit extreme and simply untrue. But if you are having a baby, take steps to prepare your cats: familiarize her with baby sounds and odors before the child arrives. Do spend time with her afterwards. There’s nothing more heartbreaking to hear of people getting rid of their cats due to a baby’s arrival. Keep in mind that kids raised with pets have stronger immune systems.

What will you do with that litter of kittens? Shelters are full and they don’t need the products of showing your kids the miracle of birth. In fact, many shelters adopt out cats and kittens only after they’re spayed (or neutered). If you’re determined to have that experience, become a foster parent for your local shelter. That way you won't be responsible for adding to the overpopulation. And the longer you wait to spay your female, the great the chance she’ll develop mammary cancer.

The internet is full of stories about cats that survived falls from high rises and trees. But why take the chance? Make sure your window screens are secure and provide comfortable beds and scratchers near the windows.

Simply stated – No. Declawing a cat is like cutting off your fingers at the knuckle. Scratching is natural cat behavior and there are plenty of ways to effectively channel the impulse. While many European countries ban declawing, New York in late 2019 became the first state the ban the practice.

For the most part, yes. But cats purr as they give birth and when they’re sick or dying. It’s been said that purring is a mechanism for self-comfort. And for our comfort, as well. Who isn’t comforted by a purring cat?

I doubt that any cat would like being plunged into a tub of water, but given their innate curiosity, many can be found playing it, whether it’s drinking from a dripping tap, watching a toilet flush, or jumping in the tub. They just have to experience water on their own terms.

Cats are intelligent. They need a job, especially those who are in the house all day. Clicker training is one way to teach your cat various fun and useful commands. It’s also a good way to build your bond. Of course, there are those who believe that cats are the ones that train us…

Any other myths about cats that you’d like to bust?

Connecticut Media Group