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Cat Superstitions Around the World (From 10 Countries)

Cats have long been associated with superstitions, not just in America, but around the world! From black cats’

unfortunate reputation of being omens of bad luck in Western cultures to the fa

te of someone’s soul being sealed if a cat is perched on one’s grave, cats have had a lot of stigma around their spiritual and mystical reputations. Perhaps there’s no other animal in the world shrouded in superstition more tha

n our lovely friend, the housecat. For better or worse, considered good or bad luck, omens of death and of love, they are revered and feared, cats hold the most coveted spot in superstitious beliefs. A cat having nine lives is a tale as old as time, but where exactly do certain superstitions come from? Here are some equally odd and common cat superstitions from ten countries around the world.


- If you hear a cat sneeze in Italy, it could be a sign that money is coming your way.

- The myth of black cats being bad luck is prevalent in Italy. They’re believed to be omens of death and misfortune.


- Contrary to Western beliefs about black cats, in Japan, they are considered good luck! In fact, the Beckoning Cat, a common symbol in Japan and China with one paw raised, is believed to bring good luck to its owners.

- If Japanese women own a black cat, it’s a common superstition that they will have better luck in the romantic department finding suitors.

- Black cats are also believed to protect children against disease and illness as well as ward off potential evil spirits.

- Japanese Bobtails, a darling breed with equally darling stubby tails, are believed to be less “bewitching” in the culture.

- Certain tortoiseshell coated cats, like tortoiseshell and white or tomcats, are believed to be particularly lucky.

- If a cat grooms its face, it’s considered a sign that an unexpected guest is about to pay you a visit.


- It’s no secret that cats were worshipped in Ancient Egypt. Cats would be placed outside tombs to ward off evil spirits from entering and bothering the dead.

- Cats were believed to be magical creatures in Ancient Egypt and likened to the gods. They were believed to bring good luck and prosperity to their owners.


- In England, if a cat runs away from a household and doesn’t return, it’s believed that the household will be plagued by bad luck.

- It’s also believed that windy weather will come if a cat toys with your curtains. Another similar weather superstition is that if a cat sleeps with all four paws tucked underneath or washes behind its ears, rain is coming.

- It’s also said in England that cats can predict if a loved one that’s recently passed has gone to heaven or hell. If the cat climbs a tree, the soul has gone to heaven; if it climbs down the tree, the soul has gone to hell.

- There’s an ancient myth in England about cats being bad luck at sea. During the witch craze, a woman was thrown overboard a British ship for suspicion of being a witch and is now believed to haunt the high seas as a cat. It’s believed her spirit has the power to influence storms. To this day, fishermen in the U.K. throw offerings overboard to avoid being shipwrecked by her ghost.

- Black cats are also believed to be particularly good luck in England. Similar to Japan’s superstition, if a woman has a black housecat, it’s believed she will be very desirable by men and have no lack of potential suitors. It’s actually considered bad luck to chase off a black cat in England!


- Perhaps the most peculiar superstition on this list is the one the Dutch have for our feline friends. It’s said that if you’re having a private conversation while a cat is in the room, it will tell all your secrets. Cats are believed to be big gossips in the Netherlands!


- In ancient Hindu religion, cats were believed to be the symbol of childbirth and fertility.

- In India, grey cats are considered specifically lucky.

- If a cat gives birth to a litter of kittens, it’s believed to ward off evil spirits and keep the family safe spiritually for up to three months and promote well-being.

- Black cats also signify good luck in India. If you see three together, it’s considered very lucky.

- If someone is to leave their house in India, and a cat calls as they leave, it’s considered to be an omen of danger to that person’s life.

- If a cat jumps on a sleeping person, it’s considered bad luck. If you see a cat on your left side in India before setting out on an adventure, it’s a sign of good luck.

- If a cat follows a person out of their house, it’s considered a sign of monetary gain in the near future.


- In Ireland, there’s the superstition of the Cat Sith: a large female black cat with a white spot on its chest. It’s believed that if the Cat Sith curls up next to a dead body, it will possess the corpse’s soul.

- There’s the odd belief that kittens born in May are particularly troublesome, and even thought to bring snakes into the house!

- Killing cats in Ireland is believed to bring not seven, but seventeen years of bad luck!

- There’s plenty of myths about black cats crossing the road. In Ireland, if you see a black cat cross your path in the moonlight, it means one will suffer an epidemic related death.


- Cats have long been held in high cultural esteem in Russia. In fact, they are the most common household pet! Blue cats, known as Russian Blues, are considered very lucky in Russia.

- It’s a common belief in Russia that when you’re moving into a new home, always let the cat enter first. If the cat doesn’t want to enter, it’s a sign of bad luck.

- If a black cat crosses one’s path in Russia, most Russians wil move to the other side of the street, as it’s believed to bring bad luck to be on the same path.

- Despite the ill held common beliefs about cats in other parts of the world, cats are usually a sign of good luck and are considered luxurious animals in Russia!

United States

- When cats were killed in the South, it was believed that their killers would be severely punished by the Devil.

- If a cat sits on one’s grave, it means their soul is possessed by the Devil. On the contrary, if two cats are fighting over a grave, it’s believed an angel and a demon are fighting over the person’s soul.

- White cats are considered particularly lucky in the United States. If you see a white cat on the road during the day, or dream of one, it’s a sign of good luck.

- Common superstition says that if you see a cat with only one eye, spit on your thumb and palm it in your hand. If you make a wish, it’s believed to come true.

- Cats used to help future brides decide whether or not they should get married. Hopeful future wives would pluck three hairs from their cat’s tail and wrap it in paper. If it created a ‘Y’ shape (for yes), then she should marry him. If it created an ‘N’ shape, then she shouldn’t marry him.


- In the south of France, there’s a local superstition that feeding black cats and treating them with respect is believed to bring good luck.

- We often associate bad luck with Friday the 13th, but it’s a particularly unlucky day for cats in France. If you cross a stream with a cat in your arms, it’s viewed as an omen of death for a loved one.

- It’s believed that if a cat sneezes near a bride on her wedding day, the marriage will be one of love and prosperity.

From cats being worshipped in Ancient Egypt to symbolizing fertility goddesses in India and China, cats have always had a mysterious spot in not only theology and major world religions, but superstitions. However, cats clearly haven’t been worshipped in all countries, specifically major Western cultures. Black cats take a majority of ill-believed superstitions, from seeing one crossing the road or on Friday the 13th. Considering all the superstitions at hand, cats have withstood the threshold of folklore and mysticism based falsehoods. Though these superstitions don’t have any truth to them, we believe our feline friends are nothing but love!



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