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I thought it was time to dispel some myths that I hear all too often about cats.
Cats that nurse on their tail, toes, blankets, or other things, have been taken prematurely from their mother!
This is completely wrong, a cat that are nursing is doing this because it is simply out of habit, sometimes caused by stress sometimes just out of habit. Much like nail biting in us humans.
Male cats must be neutered early or they will start marking and then you will have trouble getting them to stop doing that!
Again a totally crazy incorrect statement, firstly all male cats don't even urine mark, I myself had 2-4 fertile males that running free in one part of the home of which my bedroom is one of the rooms. And none of them have ever urine marked. And should a male start to mark, they will stop when castrated, unless you then let them continue to urine mark for a very long time, years and years, then it might become a bit of a habit. The territorial urine marking will stop when they get neutered, in case they would not stop. It's stress urination and we are talking about something completely different that has nothing to do with possible fertility, but simply that something is wrong and the cat is stressed/frustrated. A relocation almost always helps in these cases. The cause may in these cases be about stress due to rank above all.
But regardless, if the cat is not going to breed, best is to neuter the cat sometime around 4-6 months.
All females must have a litter before spaying!
This is probably one of the worst myths of them all, no, no, no, a female absolutely does not need to have a litter before being neutered. They, like the males, are absolutely best off being neutered at 4-6 months of age.
Roam freely outside is part of the cat's nature and they feel bad about being forced to be indoor cats!
Yes and No, it belongs to the nature of just about every animal to roam freely outside, but us humans have remade society and changed the rules of the game over the years.
Our cats is just incredibly adaptable and has managed to adapt and if you consider that our domestic cat was originally adapted for a life in the desert you can understand how incredibly adaptable they are.
I'm not going to go into the whole indoor/outdoor cat discussion here, that's in other articles. But NO it's incredibly wrong to say that the cat feels bad being an indoor cat!
However as with all animals, you must ensure that the home is adapted and, like all animals, your cat also needs fresh air. If that's on a leash, in a fenced-in balcony, patio or garden does not matter as long as they do get fresh air.
They must have their needs to hunt satisfied through toys such as mice and other things, today there are also incredibly clever interactive toys to get in order to satisfy their need to hunt (avoid laser pointer since some cats will be stressed out of their minds by those, even though it seems like they are having a blast). They also need to be able to climb, rest in high places and scratch. And of course get good food, water and have a litterbox that must be kept very clean (our cat is a very cleanly animal).
Cats are fine on their own, wild cats are fine on their own!
No, no and again no absolutely not, our cat has adapted to a life with us humans, they often don't survive outside on their own. Especially not if they previously lived a more sheltered existence.
A cat born on the street may have a slightly better chance of survival, but they live a terrible life, they starve and are tormented.
Cats are not herd animals and do not do well in groups!
It is true that cats are not counted among the "herd animals" such as e.g. horses do. But that doesn't mean they don't enjoy being in groups or even seek out groups. Lets reflect, how often do you hear about cat colonies? Quite often right? Why do you think the cause of that is, apart from good access to food? Well, that's because cats do like to live in groups. The mothers will help each other with kittens, they both nurse and wash each other's kittens. Fertile males can rest close, close to each other and benefit from each other's proximity and warmth. In short, cats have a social life, they do like to live in groups but they do have a very clear hierarchy and they mainly hunt alone, each one by itself. Of course, there are individualities here just like in all living things, there are those who have to live alone without other feline company, and there are those who absolutely cannot live alone without the company of other cats. With this said I do not talk about having large amount of cats in a small area, thats very stressful for the cats and we must be aware of that fact.
Cats in colonies do have more or less unlimited space and can walk away from situations, they will live together in harmony more or less with the individuals that they like and those who will not fit in will be brutally chased away.