(Good Housekeeping) Think of cats as fussy, lap-sitting nap addicts? Turns out, some are thrill-seekers who love to hike, sail, camp and surf. Here are a few misconceptions put to rest:

Cats hate water

Some like it. Certain breeds, like Turkish Vans, are inclined to swim, while Maine Coons have a history of being great sailing companions. "Still, it's a bad idea to throw your can in a bathtub or river," says Laura J. Moss, author of Adventure Cats. When testing your cat's receptiveness to water, let him approach it on his own terms.

Cats can't be trained

Many will walk on a leash and come when called. "It is a little different than training a dog, but it's doable," says Moss. "we have this idea that cats can't do certain things, but often they just don't want to." Use an edible reward, like the smelly cat food they will come running for, to make it worth his while.

Cats always land on their feet

While cats have a "righting reflex" that allows them to reorient their bodies in midair to avoid injury, things sometimes happen too quickly. "Cats are more likely to survive a fall from a great height, because it gives them more time to right themselves," says Moss.

Cats are stubborn and lazy

"There are some lazy, stubborn humans, and there are some lazy, stubborn cats," says Moss, but most are not. Providing vertical space for climbing is a good way to bring out a cat's sparkling personality, as is placing a bird feeder outside your window for him to observe. "It's a matter of getting to know your pet, giving him what he enjoys and engaging with him," Moss says.


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