The Furry Critter Network

Common Myths

Myth: Cats have nine lives

The myth most likely originated from Egyptian gods and religions, where sun god Atum-Ra, one of the Ennead, or the Nine would assume the form of the cat when visiting the underworld. Throughout the ages, cats continued to be considered magical and otherworldly, and their resiliance in surviving falls from high places and long confinements without sustenance continue to amaze us.

Myth: Cats steal the breath of babies

Cats are heat and comfort seekers. Curling up next to a newborn in a crib meets both of these needs. However, if the cat chooses to press up against the face of a bundled infant whom is too young to turn away on their own, the breathing can be affected. Keep cats out of the nursery at naptime/bedtime.

Myth: Cats purr only when happy

Purring is one of the first sounds kittens can make. They can purr by the time they are 48 hours old. While nursing, both mom and kittens can be inclined to purr. But while purring is often heard at times of contentment, cats also purr when in pain and in the throes of death.

Myth: Cats hate water

While most cats hate baths, many find running water fascinating, and spend time pawing at dripping faucets or demanding their owners turn on the water for a cool drink. Kittens in particular, find sinks and showers a source of amusement, although for most the thrill lessens with age. The Turkish Van is nicknamed "the swimming cat" for it's swimming prowess and love of all things wet.

Myth: Cats are nocturnal

Cats are crepuscular. They are most active at dusk and dawn when prey is available and the hunting is best. The construction of their eyes allows them to see well in low lights. Cats only need 1/6 of the light humans do in order to decipher shapes. However, they cannot see in absolute darkness.

Myth: Black cats are bad luck

There are nearly as many superstitions about black cats bringing luck as there are about them being harbingers of bad luck. In different cultures around the world, other colors and coat patterns are seen as lucky or not so much. However, in one 2000 study of 321 patients reported in the "Annals of Allergy", asthma and immunology patients with dark colored cats were up to four times more likely to suffer a moderate to severe allergy attack than those with light colored cats. So, if adopters are mildly allergic to cats, it may be more prudent to steer towards lighter colored cats.

Myth: Cats always land on there feet

As a tree-climbing species, the cats survival depends on its ability to survive falls when possible. the feline vestibular system and vision work together with the cat's flexible spine to allow the cat to right itself and, when there is enogh time, to "parachute out" in a manner similar to the flying squirrel. While they can usually right themselves, they can still sustain serious injury to limbs, jaws and the thoracic region which may result in death.

Myth: Cats are loners

Outdoor cats are solitary hunters, but most will choose to live in a colony near a food source. Unneutered males will roam the farthest, in search of food and females in heat. Studies of barn cats showed matrilineal groups were created by a founding female, her daughters and their kittens. When males reach approximately eighteen months of age, they leave the area and strike out on their own. The kittens of domesticated house cats are best prepared to fit into a multi-cat houseold when they are kept with their littermates until at least eight to ten weeks of age.

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The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.

Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.

The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

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If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)

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Rescue Me

Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network

Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.