There are a lot of stereotypes around cats in the media, and I was shocked to learn that not all of them were true. Sure, stereotypes have some semblance of truth in them, but I thought animal stereotypes were based more in fact than fiction! Here are three stereotypes about cats that I’ve learned aren’t true.

Tabby cat that breaks stereotypes of being a jerk
If you’ve never owned cats, I can’t blame you for believing some of these stereotypes.
Photo by Lina Kivaka from Pexels

When you’re a self-proclaimed dog person and you have two kittens dropped into your life, you don’t suddenly turn into a cat expert. More than likely, you lean a little bit too heavily into the rumors and stereotypes you’ve heard about cats. After all, most stereotypes about dogs are that they’re goofy, loving, and sometimes a little dim. Every dog I’ve owned has had some examples of those traits. Why would cats be any different? Well, let’s debunk three of those cat stereotypes right now!

#1 Cats Only Love Eating Fish

I’ll admit, I was secretly praying that this was wrong. I get a little nauseous when opening any pet food, so the thought of feeding cats tuna made me wretch. I was pleased to learn that cats not only love other kinds of meat, but cat food makers have a variety of foods without fish products in them. Cats are obligatory carnivores, which means they absolutely must eat meat to survive. However, cats don’t only have to eat fish. Our kittens’ favorite food is a toss-up between chicken and turkey flavored foods, but they’ll eat anything you put in their bowls. (Except for blueberries- they hated those!)

For some reason, common media and cat food commercials had me believing cats needed tuna and other fish in their diet to survive. Maybe it was just me, but I was seriously concerned when our kitten food made no mention of fish-anything in the ingredients. I thought I was starving our cats! Nope, just another stereotype engineered to get cat owners to buy tuna flavored food (and hate smelling their cat’s breath!)

#2 Your Cat Hates Water

Cats watching tv
Cats all have their own personalities, just like dogs do!
Photo by Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

If you read my article on 3 ways to get your kitten to love water, you already know this one is a stereotype. Cats don’t like water, usually, because it’s either used as a form of punishment, or they just aren’t around it all that often. Cats don’t have to be bathed as often as dogs (who are typically messier than indoor cats), so they aren’t used to getting wet. That, combined with the fact they might’ve fallen into something wet while they were exploring (which, if you ask my kittens, falling is an insult in of itself), cats probably don’t love water if they haven’t been exposed to it.

It isn’t like cats have some sort of natural hatred for water. I mean, if their preferred protein is fish anyway, why would this make sense? I should’ve known these stereotypes were bogus, but, I was definitely fooled into thinking bath time had to be misery for both of us.

Cats hate attention, aren’t loving, are jerks, etc.

Small black baby cat
One of my kittens, Ash. It’s been amazing to watch their personalities develop!
Photo from author

When my boyfriend came to me and said he preferred cats, my heart was broken. Not only am I pretty allergic, but I thought that cats were mean creatures that lived to annoy you and knock things off of countertops. Absolutely none of these things are true! Of course, all cats are different, so you might get a cat that doesn’t want to be touched or likes to stay 30 feet away from you at all times. But dogs are just as variable as cats, in my opinion. Sure, a dog’s temperament might be warmer in general, but cats can love you all the same. I’ve actually had a lot of fun playing with our cats (something I thought wouldn’t be possible unless you owned a dog.) Cats are a product of how you raise them, so if you want a loving cat that loves sitting on your lap, you need to make that experience enjoyable for them.

Cats aren’t inherently jerks! That was one of the biggest stereotypes that I was happy to debunk. If you think that all cats are mean, you haven’t met enough cats! Trust me on this one, I used to avoid cats at all costs. Now, I love meeting new cats about as much as I love meeting dogs!


If you’re on the fence about getting a cat because of these stereotypes, I encourage you to go get a cat! Cats are amazing animals, and it’s a rewarding experience to learn about their personalities and watch them grow. As long as you give your cats love, attention, and plenty of food, you’re sure to have a good time!

Which of these stereotypes about cats did you think were fact? Did I miss any stereotypes? Let me know in the comments!