Myths and Superstitions About Black Cats

Myths and Superstitions About Black Cats

Author WCF Staff


Unfortunately, black cats are generally associated with superstition, making them less likely to find homes at shelters. In reality, different civilizations hold varied perspectives on black cats. For thousands of years, encountering a black cat was associated with both good and bad luck. Did you know there's a day where all cat lovers celebrate black cats? Because Black Cat Appreciation Day is on August 17th, we will debunk some common superstitions and myths about these gorgeous felines.

Where do These Myths About Black Cats Come From?

In Western civilization, black cat superstition extends to the times of Ancient Greece and their many legends. Based on some stories from Greek mythology, Hera, Zeus's wife, turned her attendant Galinthias into one as a punishment for interfering with Hercules' birth. Galinthias, in the form of a black cat, searched out Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft. He became her assistant. Since then, black cats have held different meanings in different civilizations.

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Here are the most common myths and superstitions surrounding the gorgeous black cats

Witches in Disguise

If you're superstitious and quickly get scared when you see one of these elegant black cats, your fear is perhaps based on medieval folklore that continues to cloak these dignified felines' reputation. Black cats have a long-standing association with witches and their evil practice of black magic. Some say this myth started when onlookers noticed a black cat racing to a particular house villagers believed was possessed by a witch. Since then, it has been believed black cats were intertwined with black magic. Those beliefs dragged on throughout the dark Middle Ages.

black fluffy cat

These myths say black cats are disguised witches, witches' pets, or demons transformed into animals dispatched by witches to observe, spy, and meddle with mankind. Those are some of the myths connected to these elegantly-colored felines. That means black cats had a bad reputation and were associated with witches from 13th century Europe to the infamous Salem Witch Trials that took place in the 1600s.

Because of that bad rep, black cats were executed and became secondary victims alongside alleged human witches. Since those dark ages, black cat myths have placed their roots in modern-day society. Even today, black cats are associated with the occult, especially when the Halloween season comes.

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Black Cats Mean Bad Luck

If you ever experienced a black cat that innocently crossed your path, you might have worried because you likely heard it is an omen of bad luck. The exact origin story of what's, probably, the most famous black cat superstition is unknown. If we had to guess, we'd say it is probably connected to the cat's smooth movements. A black cat's sneaky motions may give the impression that it's up to something. Of course, you have to be a superstitious observer.

Black cats should not be stigmatized simply because they appear to be sly. In fact, they're considered omens of good fortune in many civilizations. There are many ridiculous superstitions out there, but luckily, most parts of the world consider black cats attractive rather than terrifying.

black kitten blue eyes

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Black Cats Mean Good Luck

By now, you have already undoubtedly noticed there are a lot of myths about black cats. The good news is that not all myths are bad. Some myths say black cats bring good fortune in various ways. They were adorned in ancient Egypt. Black cats have a striking resemblance to Bastet, an Egyptian goddess of the home, fertility, and disease protection, who had a black cat's head on her body. Ancient Egypt is not the only place where people believe black cats bring good fortune. Here are some of the black cat superstitions from around the globe;

  • In parts of Asia or the UK, if you own a black cat, good fortune will follow you throughout your life.
  • Seeing a black cat means you'll have luck finding love in Japan.
  • If a bride gets a black cat as a marital gift in some parts of England, her marriage will be filled with good fortune.
  • European sailors bring black cats with them on board because that means they will be blessed with a safe journey.
  • A black cat that appears on your doorstep in Scotland means you can expect good things.
  • Many French believe that encountering one of these cats means something amazing is about to happen.
  • If a single black cat appears in your dreams, you notice a black cat heading directly to you, or you manage to locate a single stray of white or grey hair on the cat's glistening dark fur, it's a good omen in different countries and civilizations around the world.

Adopting a Black Cat Isn't a Good Idea

These adorable black cats in animal shelters across the country have surprisingly low adoption rates but have the highest euthanasia rates. It's also more difficult to find adopters since cats with really dark coats are more challenging to photograph than cats with light coats. Rescues and shelters frequently post images of their adoptable animals online. Black cats often look mean or mystical simply because they are difficult to shoot. It has been observed that, based only on a photograph, potential adopters view black pets to be less friendly. In October, some shelters completely stop their efforts to find homes for black cats, fearing that their potential adopters would use them as Halloween decorations.

black maine coon

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These myths shouldn't make you rule out the possibility of adopting the elegantly charming black cat. You should never decide on adopting a pet based solely on its appearance. Instead, visit the cat you are interested in and meet it in person. This is the best method to determine if they are the ideal match for you. A charming black cat might just be waiting for its new adopter at your local shelter. Once you stop believing black cat myths and superstitions, that adopter might just be you! Besides, black cats are fantastic for keeping light hairs off your clothes!

It's not necessary to be a scaredy-cat. Let us try to lay old legends to rest and provide black cats the respect, warmth, and love they deserve.

World Cat Finder Team

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