Uncover the truth behind these three pet myths.
1: Cats love milk
You may have noticed cats drinking milk in kids’ movies and books. But how often have you seen a cat drink milk in real life? Most felines are actually lactose intolerant. Cats will only drink milk from their mothers when they are young. Kittens produce more of the enzyme, lactase, which allows them to digest lactose, a sugar found in dairy products.
As cats grow older, they produce less lactase and aren’t able to digest cow’s milk. Your cat may seem to like the taste of milk, but it can add too much fat to your cat’s diet and lead to digestive problems. Stick with water or provide wet canned food if you want to give your cat more hydration.
2: Dogs see in black and white
We’ve all heard this myth — dogs can’t see color. While this is somewhat true, dogs can see more than just black and white. Our furry friends can’t see the same vibrant colors we see, but they can see shades of blue, yellow, and green.
Dogs and humans alike have two main types of cells in our eyes: rods, which detect light levels and motion, and cones, which differentiate between colors. Humans have 3 cones that allow us to see color combinations of red, blue, and green. Dogs only have 2 cones. They can only see combinations of blue and yellow. Although humans have more cones, dogs have more rods. Because of this, dogs can see moving objects better than humans can and they have superior vision in darker environments.
3: Cats always land on their feet
This myth is a mix of fact and fiction. It’s true that cats have a “righting reflex,” causing them to change the position of their bodies as they fall so they land on their feet. Cats can accomplish this because they are extremely flexible and have muscular legs that absorb shocks.
Despite this reflex, cats can still land on their sides if they fall from low heights or injure themselves if they fall from too high. Keep an eye on your cat if you have a balcony or live in a tall building. Be sure to secure any windows that are not on the ground floor. If your cat injures herself from falling, contact your veterinarian immediately.