Cat Clichés: Top 10 cat facts this International Cat Day

Veterinary expert myth busts the top Googled searches for cats including how cats are lactose intolerant and hate having their whiskers touched!

Ahead of International Cat Day (8th August), Natures Menu, the UK’s leading expert in raw and natural pet food, has created a list of the Top 10 most common Google searches relating to cats – with some surprising findings.

Veterinary Education Manager Melanie Sainsbury answers them, whilst debunking some common mis’cat’ceptions in the process!

1. Do cats really dislike humans?

Most cats will form an emotional bond with their owners, however, remember that every cat is different and some prefer more physical fuss than others!

2. Should you give a cat milk?

The lactose contained in cow’s milk is actually very difficult to digest for cats, so if you wish to give milk as a treat, be sure to purchase ‘cat milk’. Cat milk should only be given as a treat or meal replacement and fresh water should always be available in several positions throughout the house and garden.

3. Should you touch a cat’s whiskers?

Cat’s whiskers are very sensitive. They’re used to understand the environment and sense vibrations in the air which is useful for hunting prey. They also use them to navigate their bodies around objects and can even sense texture and size using them. For these reasons, try to avoid touching them unnecessarily. For their food and drink it’s also best to serve these in wide dishes to allow the cat to drink without their whiskers touching the sides!

4. Are cats omnivores?

Cats are true carnivores meaning they thrive on a diet of high meat. They require several nutrients to be present in their food and should never be fed dog food for this reason.

5. Can my cat get coronavirus? 

It has recently been confirmed that a cat has tested positive for COVID-19 in the UK however, there is no evidence to suggest the virus can be passed from cats to humans.

6. Can cats eat raw meat?

Yes! Many cats will take this upon themselves through hunting small prey, such as birds and voles in the garden. Feeding your cat a raw or high meat diet is what nature intended.

7. Can cats swim?

 Some particular breeds of cat do actually enjoy swimming, however, the vast majority of our feline friends do not enjoy a dip in the water and will only be seen playing with water with their paws due to the light reflection!

8. Do cats have nine lives?

Sadly not. Our cats are like us and only have one life. They do tend to be more resilient to jumps or falls though due to their excellent sense of balance, which is likely where the ‘nine lives’ saying originated.

9. Do cats only purr when they’re happy?

Cats most often purr when they are happy and relaxed and you will see this often when cats are lying peacefully, with their eyes half closed or being fussed over. However, it’s important to remember it’s a form of communication. Sometimes it can mean other things such as hunger or if they are in pain, it can be a sign of soothing themselves.

10. Why does my cat not drink very much?

Cats are very specific drinkers and as they originated from the desert, they are designed to obtain up to 95% of their daily moisture requirement through their food. Many cats like to drink from moving water, such as dripping taps, birdbaths or cat water fountains, and if drinking from a dish, they prefer them to be away from any other items such as food bowls or litter trays. Having several water sources throughout the house can also encourage drinking.