Can cats see in the dark?

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Busting cat myths

Now that you have a kitten all the things you've heard about cats over the years suddenly seem more relevant. But the myths and old wives tales that you've grown up with can be hard to fathom. This list will help you separate fact from fiction.

Do cats always land on their feet?

Unfortunately the answer to this one is a resounding 'no'. Cats are pretty agile and do tend to instinctively fall feet first but a significant number of cats injure or even kill themselves in falls every year. Keep your kitten safe by fitting screens on windows and balconies. And don't be tempted into testing the theory!

There's nothing better for cats than a saucer of milk

This one's another myth. If your kitten is well nourished and you're feeding her a complete food, all she needs to drink is water. In fact, although she may like milk, too much milk is not good for her. Many cats find the lactose in cow's milk hard to digest and it can give them diarrhoea.

Rubbing butter on a cats paw helps them find their way home if they're lost

If you're after greasy paw marks all over your furniture, go ahead and rub butter on your kitten's paws. If, however, you just want to make sure she finds her way home, fit her with a microchip. That way, if she ever does get lost, and she's handed to the local veterinary clinic or charity, they can check her details. Then you can bring her home again, safe and sound.

Cats can see in the dark

Your kitten won't be able to see in complete darkness. This myth probably came about because cats can see in very low light levels. This is because their pupils dilate to make the most of all available light.

Pregnant women should avoid all contact with cats

Some cats can be infected with a disease called toxoplasmosis which can occasionally be spread to humans through cat faeces in litter trays or gardens, causing serious problems in unborn babies. However, pregnant women do not have to avoid contact with cats, they just have to take a few sensible precautions. If you are expecting a baby, you should avoid cleaning out your kitten's litter tray and ask someone else in the family to do it for you. If you do have to do it yourself, make sure you wear rubber gloves and wash your hands thoroughly