Tips & tricks

In collaboration with Cat Educator, Intersand®’s cat experts would like to offer a few tips and tricks for new “parents” of cats, cat lovers and anyone who’s considering a feline addition to the family.

3 Uncommon myths about cats

As a cat lover, you probably know that the myth about cats being scared of the water isn’t true. In fact, a lot of cats actually enjoy taking a bath. You’re probably also aware that cats don’t always land on their feet. But do you know everything there is to know about cats? We thought we’d demystify a few of the less common myths about our feline friends.

 

1. CATS PREFER WOMEN: TRUE

Sorry guys, but this one hits the mark. Cats do prefer the company of women. The first thing to understand is that cats will always behave in ways that will benefit them. That is their modus operandi. And in a domestic environment, which of the two does it pay off to love more: a man or a woman? If the cat is curled up in the best seat of the house, who will opt to sit somewhere else rather than make the cat move? The ladies. Who generally feeds the cat? The ladies. And who tends to pet cats more? Take a guess!

Men often have the task of emptying the litter (which doesn’t really “give” cats anything) or of being the disciplinarian. So, it’s easy to understand why most cats will go to the mistress of the house when they want something.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. A case in point: you pet and feed your cat, but when your boyfriend stretches out on the sofa to watch hockey, he’s the one that the cat curls up with instead of you. Why? Because all cats are different. If your cat doesn’t care that much about affection, and if the food is always there no matter who happens to be in the house, but your cat loves the heat of your boyfriend’s body, well, there’s your answer. In short, cats will gravitate to the one who gives them the greatest personal gain. If that’s the case, take note of what your boyfriend is doing that your cat seems so drawn to and try to follow suit.

 

2. MOST CATS ARE LEFT-HANDED: TRUE

How do you know if you cat is genetically programmed to be left-handed? Place a treat directly between its front paws and see which one it will use to handle it. Repeat the experience at least ten times and calculate the average before drawing any conclusions. If your cat has an interactive food dish or if it plays with a toy, see which paw it uses the most. And if you clip its nails, take note of which paw has the sharpest claws and which one has claws that are more rounded. The latter is no doubt the paw that your cat uses more often.

 

3. CATS GET STUCK IN TREES: TRUE… AND FALSE

Have you ever noticed that your cat’s claws are shaped like climbing hooks? Take a look, and you’ll understand why it’s so easy for a cat to climb a tree, and so hard for it to come back down.

That’s why a lot of highly intelligent cats have developed a faster and more effective technique for getting down from places without tiring themselves out. By lowering their ears, adopting a pleading look and meowing plaintively, these little geniuses often succeed in manipulating well-intentioned people to help them down without having to lift so much as a paw.

But beware: by adopting this behaviour, you’re teaching your cat that if it waits long enough, it will never have to put an effort into coming down on his own, which could lead to it stubbornly waiting up in its perch until help arrives. In the process, it could become dehydrated and not have the strength to make its way back down on its own.

The key is not to try to save a cat stuck in a tree on your own. It could end up climbing higher up the tree or, conversely, attempting a dangerous leap down to the ground. The trick: motivate the cat to come down by putting a can of tuna or cat food at the base of the tree. Then give it some room (it may be afraid of you.) Ideally, the food will lure the cat down when it gets hungry enough. If not, the neighbourhood cats will appreciate the unexpected treat.

However, if a cat is stuck in a tree for more than 24 hours, it’s time to call in some reinforcements. Contact an animal emergency service and they’ll be sure to provide the appropriate assistance.