Cat Symbolism

Cat Symbolism in Culture, Religion & Dream [+Spirit, Totem, Omen]

You definitely know about the common belief that cats have nine lives. Mainly, for this reason, cat symbolism and spiritual meaning are associated with notions of resurrection and rebirth. Sometimes they are related to fear or the unconscious mind because of their ability to see in the dark. These animals also indicate magic and mystery.

However, in different cultural and traditional contexts, the meaning of a cat’s presence is entirely unique. Want to know all about them? Check it out here.

Cat Symbolism and Spiritual Meaning at A Glance

SubjectCat Symbolism & Meaning
Native American tradition– Independence 
– Bearer of energy
– Spiritual guardian
Eastern Tradition– Bearer of good luck
– Prospect of impeding happiness
– Shield against evil 
Celtic Tradition– Unpredictability of life
– Mystery
– Emotional distance
– Demonic energy 
African Tradition– Good fortune
– Royalty
– Fertility
– Spiritual protectors 
Ancient Chinese culture– Beloved companion
– Good luck- Mental peace
Dream– Warning 
– Betrayal 
– Bad fortune 
– Wrong friends 
Omens– Good luck 
– Visitors are coming 
– Something terrible is going to happen in a while 
Myth and Folklore– Demon 
– Animal with a human spirit
– Negative energy
Christianity– Satanic creature
– Demon
– Wisdom
– Protector & destroyer
Islam– Holiness- Affection
– Reminder of calmness
– Bearer of positive energy 
Zodiac and Astrology– Charm and intellect
– stubborn behavior 
– Intuitiveness 
Tattoo– Femininity
– Rebirth
– Grace 
Totem– Multiple opportunities 
– Energetic agility 
– Intelligence
– Freedom 
Spirit Animal– Spirit guide
– Cool and calm
– Flexibility 
– Confidence

Different cultures, traditions, and religions have different places for cats. These cuties are mysterious in appearance and behavior. This is why they create so much curiosity among everyone. See what they can mean below,

Cat Symbolism in Native American Tradition: Freedom, Positive Energy, & Spirituality

In the old days, Native Americans practically lived near wild animals. Cats were simultaneously their pets, and they roamed around the wilderness as well. This is why the cat symbolizes freedom to them.

The zeal of these animals and the spontaneous rhythm of their movement made cats a sign of positive energy as well. At the same time, their calmness and tenderness radiate an aura of spirituality and tranquility. Overall, this is why Native American associates cat with such notions. They respect and take good care of cats. As they are considered spiritual guides, people sometimes would follow a cat if they thought the cat wanted to show something.

Cat Symbolism in Eastern Tradition: Good luck, Happiness, Protection from Evil

East sees cats as clean, docile, and sociable animals. They think that the cat always has a smile on it. The cat’s general expression looks like a slight grin if you think about it. This is why this animal is regarded as a symbol of happiness. 

It is also believed in the east that cat brings good luck. This good luck is usually related to financial prosperity and the prospect of riches. 

Apart from this, Eastern countries believe having a cat at home keeps evil at bay. According to their belief, black cats can sense bad intentions or evil spirits. Not only this, they can drive the negative energy away from your home. This is an idea that is in direct contrast to the popular belief that cats of black color are bad luck.

Cat Symbolism in Celtic Tradition: Mystery, Emotion, Demonic Energy

Celts noticed the cats moving in unpredictable motions. You never know where your cat is going to settle for the night. Cats were seen as an emblem of unpredictability. To be more specific, cats symbolize the unpredictability of life. This also made cats mysterious. Well, Celts saw the overall attitude of cats as eccentric. 

This “abnormality” gave them the idea that cats are also the bearer of demonic energy. Celts believed crossing cats before any productive or good deeds is a warning. They especially believed this in terms of the black cats.

Cat Symbolism in African Tradition: Royalty, Fertility, Protector of Spirit

Cats are regarded with huge respect in Egyptian tradition. The Sphinx itself is an embodiment of divinity in the form of a cat-like figure. The cats of the Egyptian and the whole African region had royalty in their look. Their aura radiated the odor of divinity. Cats were seen as spiritual protectors of their owners. This is why the Egyptians put the cats in the position of Gods. They have been given the same respect a king or an aristocrat would get. For example, in Egypt, the cats were mummified like the Pharaoh.

Apart from being a symbol of royalty, cats were considered to be a symbol of fertility as well. This is because cats deliver multiple children at once. 

Overall, in African tradition, cats had a respectable position. 

Cat Symbolism in Ancient Chinese Culture: Companionship, Fortune, Mental Peace

Ancient China focused on the calmness of cats. They regarded felines as calming and soft. To them, cats have always been good companions. Chinese believed cats could reduce mental stress and offer peace of mind. 

Interestingly, Chinese people who had cats as their pets felt more energetic throughout the entire day. As a result, they could work more and generate a higher income. This is why cats were also seen as a symbol of good luck. 

Simply put, the companionship of cats made the life of the Chinese more relaxing. Consequently, they got the opportunity to be more productive in life.  

Cat Symbolism in Omens: Good luck, Visitors, Bad Time 

Different types of cats symbolize something different in the omen. For example, according to superstition, black cats are an omen of the upcoming storm. It is thought that something terrible is going to happen on the road if you cross a black cat while leaving. 

However, other cats, especially the snowy and ginger ones, are considered the generator of good luck. In Chinese culture, it is popularly believed that if you see a cat sitting in front of your door, it means something good is going to happen to you soon.

However, the Japanese, on the other hand, believe that a cat licking its paws and washing its face is an indication that some of your relatives, friends, colleagues, or old neighbors are coming to visit you soon. 

If you find these symbols frequently, be prepared to embrace positive energy in yourself. 

Cat Symbolism in Myth & Folklore: Demon, Humanistic Animal, Negative Energy

Old American culture believed that cats were demons. They were and still are believed to be animals with the cunning spirits of humans. Well, if you take a closer look, you will find the street cats of American allies are kinda vulgar. Their behavior is feral. An interesting fact is, if you closely inspect the video of John F. Kennedy’s death, you will notice there was a cat just before he was shot. 

According to popular folktales, cats are animals with the spirit of humans. They act proud and boastful while being indifferent to the surrounding world. Myths associate them with witchcraft too. Some believe the witches trap humans inside cats. 

Cat Symbolism in Christianity: Satanic Creature, Cunning, Protector & Destroyer

The position of cats in Christianity is not that high. They are seen as companions of the devil because of their grumpy attitudes. The stealthy movement of cats makes them appear wise to many. But Christian belief is not willing to call cats “wise”. Instead, they say cats are shrewd because they tend to steal food.

Christian belief also acknowledges that cats are a symbol of protection and destroyer. Cats protect what’s their own and destroy others’ belongings.

Cat Symbolism in Islam: Holiness, Affection, Calmness

In contrast to Christianity, Islam teaches to adore cats. To Muslims, cats are a symbol of calmness. They teach us affection, and Islam commands Muslims to be affectionate toward cats. A Maqasid Hasanah Hadith reads, “Affection for a cat is part of faith”.

Cats are also seen as pure and holy. They are deemed so clean that even prayers are not interfered by their presence. It is because they hold positive energy. A hadith from Sunan Ibn Majah Reads, “Cats don’t invalidate the prayer.”

Even the prophet of Islam, Muhammad (PBUH), had a pet cat called Muezza. So you can realize the high regard for cats in Islam.

Cat Symbolism in Zodiac and Astrology: Charm, Intellect, Intuitiveness

According to astrology, cats are a symbol of charm. They radiate the aura of charisma and magic. Their witty behavior makes them intelligent too. Overall, they are attractive.

This is why Zodiac signs associated with cats, such as Aquarius, have charming traits. The Aquarius people have cat-like personalities. They have calm behavior. Most importantly, they are clever like cats. 

Cat Symbolism in Tattoo: Femininity, Grace, Rebirth

People get cat tattoos for various reasons. Some get them as a reminder of their deceased friend, and some get them because it’s cute. 

However, having a tattoo of a cat symbolizes some personal traits. Firstly, it means the person with the tattoo has profound femininity, and they are proud of it. 

And, as cats are known for their nine lives, some gets their tattoo to express their belief in rebirth.

Cat as Totem Animal: Opportunities, Energy, Freedom

Totem animals are the spiritual symbol of an individual. If you have an avid spiritual interest in cat or feel an intense connection with cats, it means cats are your totem animal. In totem, a cat encompasses all the positive traits of life. Firstly, the cat is a symbol of opportunities. As already mentioned, cats have nine lives or multiple opportunities in life. This is why totems, indicate multiple scopes for success.

It means you will get multiple shots at life. So don’t get disappointed at failure. Instead, let the failure encourage you to do better.

Cats also embody the notion of energy and freedom. The agile movement of cats gives rise to this idea. If cats are your totem animal, you will find mental peace and flourishment in agility.

Cat as Spirit animal: Spirit Guide, Calm, Flexible, Confident

Is your spirit animal a cat? This reveals a few things about you. Firstly, you have a calm personality. You are either calm from the outside or in your mind. The flexibility of your thinking gives you the confidence to walk freely in the world as a cat does.

Most importantly, it means cats are your spirit guide. If you keep a cat at home, you can hope to achieve your spiritual awakening soon.

Cat Symbolism in Dreams: What Does Dreaming About Cat Mean

Seeing cats in the dream is not good. Oftentimes it’s a warning of impending misfortune. This bad luck is going to manifest through your relationships. It is likely that you are going to be betrayed by your friends. And this betrayal is going to bring bad luck to you. 

However, different types of cats or different scenarios with cats can have unique meanings. What are they? Check below,

Dreaming of a single cat: Dreaming of one cat means you may encounter weird behavior from your friend, family, or partner. Something unpredictable may happen. Someone may break your trust. 

Dreaming of multiple cats: On the contrary, dreaming of many cats means something good for your work environment. Something good is coming in your financial management and you will be utilizing it pretty effectively. Just don’t be greedy. 

Dreaming of small cats (kitten): If you see a kitten in your dream, it means something good is coming into your relationship. Probably there will be a strong bond between you and your partner. Wait for it and stay faithful. 

Dreaming of dead cats: Dreaming of dead cats is a warning for you. It’s basically an indication that some kind of intense conflict is going to ruin the harmony of your life. You will be haunted by doubts. Your emotion-driven actions will pull you down. So be aware of what you do.

Dreaming of a white cat: Seeing a white cat in dreams means one of your relationships will bring harm or damage to you. They may want to take away your property too. 

Dreaming of yellow cat: If you see a yellow cat in dreams, it means you are going to get confused about something soon. You may need to make a guess about something serious or just may encounter an existential crisis. The key is to stay calm and think properly before making a decision.

Dreaming of a gray cat: Gray cat in dreams means that you will have a massive change in your look soon. This change is usually for the better. 

Dreaming of Multicolor cat: Multicolour cat reflects your unstable mental state. Now’s the right time to go and seek therapy.

So, as you can see, if you encounter dead cats or just cats in a dream, be alert. Don’t trust anyone for now, and see what destiny has in store for you.

Key Takeaways 

Different traditions and cultures hold a unique stand on cats. Their cuteness, calm behavior, and intelligent approach make them beholders of positive energy and good luck. But as you can see, some culture believes otherwise. And not all cats mean the same thing. However, they definitely have symbolic significance. You just have to see it and make sure to maximize the fortune while minimizing the bad luck they may bring. Here’s what you can do around cats,

  • Don’t hurt or harm cats in any way
  • Help a cat when you see them in trouble or in distress
  • Feed stray cats
  • Cats have feelings too, don’t be rude to them
  • If you think a cat is trying to take you somewhere, follow it

In conclusion, a cat’s spirituality is no joke. They possess real mysterious power. This is why Egyptians put them in such high positions. So please don’t ignore them, and never hurt them. Instead, try to keep them fed. If cats like you, your mental and physical stress will greatly reduce. Their magical spirit will heal the whole of you.


Are cats associated with femininity?

Yes, cats’ spiritual instincts, rich fertility, and quick healing process make them associated with the concept of femininity. Moreover, many argue that a cat’s ability to calm a stressed soul is similar to a mother’s care. Overall, cats are feminine animals.

Why are black cats considered unlucky?

In the past, black cat owners were accused of being witches. Older women, who barely got out of the house, usually owned black cats. People thought the old women practiced something unlawful all day long. And as they practiced evil deeds, their cats were considered devilish too. This is why, to this day, black cats are thought of as unlucky. 

What do dead cats symbolize?

Dead cats are usually seen as a warning of some impending horror. It is an omen of something bad. This sign also tells you to go out and seek help with whatever you are going through. Now is the right time because you will get all the help you need. 

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