Cat Superstitions & Folklore

Superstitions About Cats

Black cats are notorious among the superstitious, but cats in general are regarded as powerful and mysterious animals across many cultures throughout history. Though history hasn’t been as kind to our furry friends as we are today, their mysterious nature has always been revered.

Cat Superstitions  About Weather

Many cat superstitions involve weather. It is said if the family cat lies with its back to the fire, a huge storm is on the way.

If a cat licks its fur in the opposite way that it naturally lies, there will be significant rain.

Alternatively, if the cat calmly and smoothly washes itself, expect fair weather.

Cats could cause very bad luck if they snuck aboard a boat, but throwing the cat from the boat would surely cause treacherous weather for the crew.

Likewise, a Dutch superstition says that forgetting to feed your cat on your wedding day is an invitation to the rain.

To see a cat eating grass foretells rain.

Weather will be bad when the cat licks itself “against the grain”.

A German belief says that mistreating a cat can cause a rainstorm to occur on the clothes you’ve hung out to dry.

Anyone who makes cats his enemy is certain to be accompanied to the grave with wind and rain.

If the cat tears of the cushions or carpet with its claws, it is a sign that wind is coming, as we say, “the cat is raising the wind“.

If cats are playing in the house and an unusually lively way, windy or stormy weather is approaching .

If the cat while washing its face draws its paw over its forehead it is a sign of good weather. If not, it means speedy rain.

If a cat sits with its tail facing a burning fire in the fireplace, it means a change in the weather is coming.

Cats as Good or Bad Luck Omens

Bad Luck Cat Omens:

If the family cat should sneeze three times in a row, the family will soon suffer from the flu.

A German cat superstition says that to dream of a black cat at Christmas is a warning of a serious illness to come.

A superstition in New England says that if you own a white cat, you will live in poverty.

To dream of a cat is unlucky. Some believe it is a sign that your friends will betray you.

If a cat runs across your path, you will regret it if you do not turn back.

If a cat follows you when you leave home, it is an omen of bad luck.

It is unlucky to move into a house in which the former occupants have left their cats.

May cats are unlucky, and will suck the breath of infants. Also, cats born in May will never catch mice or rats, but will instead bring into the house snakes, worms, and other undesirable reptiles. May cats are also inclined to be sad and melancholy.

Allowing cats to sleep with you is considered to be very unlucky. They are said to, “draw your breath away”.

In Ireland, it is considered highly unlucky for a family to take their cat with them when they move. Also, it is unlucky to have a cat when you cross a river.

Those who play too much with their cats never have good health.

A cat crying on the rooftop of a house means death for the sick inside.

It was once thought unlucky to let cats die in the house.

Good Luck Cat Omens:

In general, if a kitten comes into a house , it is a lucky omen. However, some cultures make a distinction, saying that if a kitten comes into a house in the morning, it is lucky. If a kitten comes into a house in the evening, it is an omen of evil unless the kitten stays in the house, which will prevent the evil from taking place.

A three-colored cat is good luck, and in some places is thought to offer protection from house fires.

A cat sneezing is a lucky omen for a bride to witness.

Also, if a cats brushes against the gown of a bride as the bride leaves the church on her wedding day, the bride will have good luck for years to come.

A spotted cat coming to your house is a good luck omen.

One cat superstition says that it is a good omen when a cat washes its face in front of a burning fireplace.

A double-pawed cat is good luck.

If you dream of a playful kitten, it means that powerful friends are watching over you.

An Irish superstition says that if you’re moving into a new home, the family cat should not be moved to the home by you, especially if water has to be crossed in the process, or bad luck will surely follow.

Various Cat Superstitions and Folklore Through History

Cats are said to be able to see better in the dark than in the light.

It is unlucky to weigh a cat or a kitten.

If a cat washes its face in the presence of several people, the first person the cat looks that will be the first to get married and the first to die.

In Massachusetts a cat putting its paw over its head means company is coming. When the cat licks its paws, it also means company, and the company will come from the direction in which its tail is pointing.

If a neighbor’s cat comes around “listening”, it is a sure sign that your neighbors are gossiping about you.

A New England superstition says that if you give a friend a cat, your friendship will end.

Cats possess nine lives. In other words, they require killing nine times before they remain permanently defunct.

When a death occurred and the body awaited burial in the home, cats would not be allowed indoors. If a cat was to jump across the corpse, the devil would gain control of the soul of the deceased.

An old superstition said that cat hair was thought to be indigestible and it was believed that you would die if you got it into your stomach.

Scottish superstitions treat cats poorly. In Scotland it was thought that epysipelas (a horrible skin infection) could be cured by letting the blood from a cat’s ear drop onto the infected area. The Scottish also use the family cat as a sort of “canary in the bird cage”… Before entering a new home, the family would throw the cat into the house, so that it could absorb any disease or curse left by former tenants. Some in Scotland believed that human disease could be transferred to cats, as well.

Maybe the Scottish were so mean to cats because of the cat superstition that said that witches often assumed the form of cats while they plagued their family.

In parts of Asia, a person who kills a cat will have the sins of the cat transferred to them, whether the killing is accidental or intentional.

The cat was a favorite of the Ancient Egyptians, and the death of a family cat was considered a great misfortune. When the cat died, the family would shave their eyebrows and enter a state of mourning.

Cats are huge fans of “Cat thyme,” or Teucrium Marum, the subject of this rhyme:

If you see it, The cats will eat it;
If you sow it, The cats will know it.

Cats also love Valerian, according to many. They say that if a cat comes upon it, they will instantly dig it up.

In parts of England it was believed that cats’ eyes dilated and contracted with the flow and ebb of the tide.

If a cat washing it face in front of the fire stops suddenly and looks at anyone, that person will soon receive an important message.

On St. John’s Eve (June 23), it was thought that cats left their homes and went to the meeting places of witches. It used to be believed that if a cat tail was cut off, the cat could not take part in the Witches Sabbath.

Cat Superstitions