Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your cat.

Feline Myths and Misconceptions Part One

cat_siameseWe'd like to explore some of the myths and misconceptions about cats and their behavior, setting the record straight.

Myth 1: Cats Purr When They're Happy

Cats most definitely do purr when they are content, but they also purr when they are in pain, afraid, giving birth, ill, and dying. Think of purring more as an expression of an intense emotion than a particular emotion. Learn more here: "Why Do Cats Purr? The How & Why of Cat Purring."

Myth 2: Siamese Cats Are Unfriendly and Mean

Most Siamese cats are known by their owners as being intelligent, demanding of time, and very active . . . but meanness is not a trait of this breed. Siamese cats routinely rate as one of the 10 Most Popular Cat Breeds in America. It is doubtful that they would rank so high and also be unkind in their behavior. You can learn more here: "Siamese Cats: An Interview with Fancy Cat."

Myth 3: Buttering Your Cat's Paws When You Move to a New Home Prevents Her From Becoming Lost

Buttering your cat’s paws will delight the cat with a delicious treat, ruin your furniture, and do nothing to prevent her from getting lost in a new environment. Keeping a cat indoors and only allowing her to go outdoors into a cat enclosure is the ideal way to ensure that your cat is home and safe.

Myth 4: Without Whiskers, Cats Have No Sense of Balance

Cats are nocturnal predators, and their whiskers are used primarily for tactile reasons. They enable a feline to determine the location of and avoid obstacles in the dark. Whiskers are also used as a means to express emotion and moods to other cats.

While it would certainly be cruel to remove a cat’s whiskers because they do utilize them, and it would be painful, they will not lose their balance. Here is more information: "Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?"

Myth 5: Cats Get Tapeworms From Bad Food

Cats acquire tapeworms from ingesting fleas which carry the parasite. Cats can also get tapeworms from eating rodents and other small prey that are infected. Tapeworms do not come from pet food or human food, good or bad.

To explore more cat myths, check out the next article in this series: "Feline Myths and Misconceptions Part Two."

You May Also Like These Articles:

Feline Myths and Misconceptions Part Two

Feline Myths and Misconceptions Part Three

Feline Myths and Misconceptions Part Four

Cat Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction

Why Do Cats Purr? The How & Why of Cat Purring

Siamese Cats: An Interview with Fancy Cat

Top 10 Most Popular Cat Breeds - Slideshow

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site. Just Answer is an external service not affiliated with

Notice: Ask-a-Vet is an affiliated service for those who wish to speak with a veterinary professional about their pet's specific condition. Initially, a bot will ask questions to determine the general nature of your concern. Then, you will be transferred to a human. There is a charge for the service if you choose to connect to a veterinarian. Ask-a-Vet is not manned by the staff or owners of, and the advice given should not delay or replace a visit to your veterinarian.