Do you have a favorite cat superstition?
Cats are enigmatic, puzzling creatures always surrounded with mystery.
It is no wonder that they have always been the subject and inspiration of superstitions, myths and legends since ancient times.
Some of these beliefs and superstitions have survived to this day. Maybe you are familiar with some of them.
Here are some well-known and not-so-well-known cat superstitions:
Black cats mean different things to different people. Some cultures have associated black cats with good luck while others see them as emissaries of back luck. For instance, in Great Britain, if a black cat crosses your path, it means that good things are coming your way. In Japan, people also believe that black cats are lucky.
In the United States, by contrast, black cats are believed to attract misfortune. This American cat superstition originated during the Salem witch trials, when the black cats owned by women accused of witchcraft were killed along with them.
Cat superstitions around the world
Different cultures, modern and ancient, have held different beliefs about cats. To some, cats are bearers of good fortune. For others, cats attract bad luck. Here are some cat superstitions from around the world.
The United States:
--Black cats are considered unlucky.
--Early American colonists believed that killing a cat would bring them bad luck
--In colonial times, people believed that tuberculosis could be cured by drinking a broth made from boiling a black cat. However, this feat was rarely attempted. As I previously mentioned, colonists thought that killing a cat would bring them bad fortune.
--People believed that orange cats brought bad luck. By contrast, black cats were thought to be lucky.
--Maneki Neko (also known as the Beckoning Cat) has been considered a lucky charm for centuries, and you will still see them at many Japanese business establishments and homes.
--Religious observances were performed in honor of the souls of departed cats.
--According to a Chinese myth, cats can see ghosts.
--Chinese people believed that cats can protect you from evil.
--Ancient Finnish people believed that cats accompanied the souls of the dead to the next world.
--In ancient Ireland, people believed that cats were evil.
--Early Europeans thought that tortoiseshell cats could give you the power of seeing into the future.
More cat superstitions
Undoubtedly, cats have become part of the folklore of many cultures. Here are more superstitions about cats.
Cats and witches
For centuries, cats, especially black ones, have been associated with witchcraft and witches. Some attribute such beliefs to the intrinsic mysterious nature of felines. Their ability to see in the dark, their glowing eyes, their ability to move stealthily, their nocturnal activities, their quiet countenance, have all contributed to the superstitions about cats and witches.
During the middle ages, cats were believed to be evil creatures, in league with the devil. People also believed that a witch would take on the shape of a black cat in order to hide herself and walk among humans relatively unnoticed (an activity also known as shapeshifting).
Another belief of ancient times was that cats were familiars of witches. A familiar is a nature spirit who does the bidding of the person associated with it, in this case a witch.
Bad luck/Good luck
--In China, the appearance of a black cat predicts misery, hunger and drought.
--In the United States, dreaming of a white cat presages good fortune.
--In Great Britain, if a white cat crosses your path, bad luck will befall you.
--In Germany, a cat crossing your path from left to right is a sign of good luck.
--In Italy, if a cat sits by a sick person, the person will soon die.
Interpreting dreams is not an exact science. There are different beliefs surrounding the meaning and symbolism of dreams. Not surprisingly, dreaming of cats will also mean different things to different people.
Here’s a very small guide to dreaming of cats:
--Dreaming of orange cats means good luck in business and that money is coming your way.
--If you dream of a white cat, you will have good fortune in a future endeavor.
--Dreaming of tortoiseshell cats foretells good luck in love.
--If you dream of a tabby cat, your entire household will be blessed with good fortune.
More cat superstitions
--Cats are psychic.
--Cats can predict the weather and natural disasters.
-- Coming across a cat at midnight is to encounter the devil himself.
--Tortoiseshell cats are lucky.
--Cats can predict death.
Cat myths - true or false?
Facts about cats
Leave the Cat Superstition page and return to Cat Articles
Return to the Home Page of Cat Lovers Gifts Guide