Cat-lovers get a bad rap, and most of us couldn't care less because we know the true magic of feline companionship. But for the edification of the rest of you, here are the top five myths that plague us, and the reasons they're wrong.
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1. The “Crazy Cat Lady”
Probably the most common stereotype, this "sad," "lonely," or even "creepy," archetype seems only to apply to single women. Newsflash, people: Crazy doesn't discriminate based on gender, age, or animal type preference.
Perhaps it's just that people who adopt cats have bigger hearts. According to the ASPCA, 71% of cats that enter shelters are euthanized, versus 56% of dogs. So before you get all judgey on ladies for having more than one cat, consider that they might just be trying to save a few lives.
2. Most cats are owned by women.
While yes, it is absolutely true that lots of women love cats, it's 100% wrong to think that men don't love them too. Maybe part of the reason why this myth has been perpetuated is due to the phrase, "dogs are a man's best friend." Although the phrase does use the word man, we like to think it's to reference mankind, and not just half of the population.
In fact, a survey conducted of 1,685 pet owners indicates that men actually prefer cats as pets and a small majority of men own a cat (34% of the pet owners surveyed) versus owning a dog (33% of pet owners surveyed.) Which isn't actually that alarming until you realize the inverse is true for women: more of the surveyed female pet owners owned dogs than cats. Consider this myth absolutely and completely busted.
3. Men who own cats are just a little "off."
Yet another by-product of the "crazy cat lady" myth, and a really annoying one, too. Women own cats and men own dogs, so if a man owns a cat, he's not quite right. Cat-loving men know this is total B.S.
There's actually a theory floating around that men who select a furry feline as their pet of choice are more inclined to understand women, which suggests that cats and ladies share common characteristics. We ladies won't complain about being compared to these smart, fierce, self-sufficient creatures.
4. Cat people are shut-ins.
Believe it or not, sometimes a cat the most practical pet. Consider those of us living in sprawling urban jungles, piled into apartment buildings. How, exactly, are you supposed to walk your dog three times a day when you walk up four flights of stairs to your apartment?
And although there are certainly other pets cut out for apartment living--like snakes, hermit crabs, hamsters, rats, and guinea pigs-- not all of them will give you the cuddly affection that a cat will. So maybe, just maybe, the reason your friend picked a cat over a dog has more to do with the practicality of caring for the pet, given your friend's specific lifestyle.
5. Cat lovers just aren't that friendly.
No one really knows where this myth comes from. Maybe it has something to do with the myth of cat lovers not wanting to leave their house. But really, there is absolutely no proof that cat-lovers aren't friendly-- in fact, we can be incredibly friendly and nice. Just ask the nearest cat.