By Kathy Antoniotti Akron Beacon Journal
Superstitions, myths, old tales and mistaken beliefs about animals have been passed down since humans began to question our relationships with them.
Some are urban legends and some are downright laughable to our sophisticated minds. But I’m willing to bet there are plenty of people still spreading “old wives’ tales.”
AnimalsGuru.com provided these explanations for superstitions and myths.
Cutting off a cat’s whiskers causes a loss of balance: A cat’s whiskers have absolutely nothing to do with its sense of balance.
Cats have nine lives: This myth probably dates back to ancient Egypt, where nine was considered a mystical number.
Cats can be served a diet of only tuna: Don’t do it. High levels of magnesium in tuna can increase urinary tract disease.
Cats always land safely on their feet: Although cats are amazingly flexible, a cat can be injured in a fall. They have been known to break their front legs and jaws if they land on their feet.
Cats can steal a baby’s breath: As comfort and heat seekers, cats have been known to curl up next to a baby’s warm body. This superstition probably started when a cat smelled milk on a baby and got close to its mouth.
Pregnant women should give up their cats: While toxoplasmosis is a risk for fetuses, a woman is more likely to get it from digging in a garden or handling raw meat.
Black cats are bad luck: This myth dates back to pagan times. Silly, silly, silly.
Cats are nocturnal: Just because your favorite feline wakes you at 4 a.m. doesn’t mean they are nocturnal. It’s in a cat’s nature to hunt in the early morning and at dusk when prey is abundant.
Cats hate water: Just like anything else, a cat (or dog or hamster or anything else that doesn’t live in the water) is skeptical of new things.