What Does a Black Cat Symbolize

What Does a Black Cat Symbolize? [are black cats really bad luck?]

Have you heard that black cats are a symbol of bad luck or that they have magical powers? These tall tales about black cats are just a myth! In fact, in some parts of the world, other cultures and religions find black cats to be a good omen and they are a sign of good luck instead of bad.

Below, we’ll talk about the spiritual meaning of black cats in different countries, religions, and mythologies. We’ll also go over some common myths when it comes to black cats. 

Are Black Cats Bad Luck
Are Black Cats Bad Luck?

So, curl up with your favorite furry friend and read on to learn more about the different meanings of black cat superstition! This will be the most fun you have all day…if you dare to continue!

History of Black Cats

Black cats have been around for centuries. In fact, there are even references to black cats in ancient religious texts. They are one of the earliest mentioned creatures in ancient literature.

Throughout history, black cats have been associated with different myths both good and bad. 

In the 12th century, they were included in the notion put out by the Catholic Church that cats are linked to Satan, which gave them the “bad luck” rep. 

History of Black Cats
History of Black Cats

In other cultures, such as Egyptian culture, they were seen as good luck and even gods. 

Now, they’re still somewhat associated with their “bad luck” reputation, but more people each year realize just how untrue that myth is. 

Black cats make excellent companions and are extremely loving. Anyone would be lucky to have such a special furry friend!

Common Myths about Black Cats

There are many myths about black cats, both good and bad. In some countries, a black cat walking by indicates upcoming bad luck. 

In Italy specifically, a black cat jumping on the bed of an ill person indicates they’ll soon die.

In other countries, black cats are seen as bringing good fortune, such as in Scotland. 

Common Myths about Black Cats
Common Myths about Black Cats

In Germany, a cat walking in front of you from left to right means good luck ahead, while the opposite means you should watch your back. 

In Japan, crossing a black cat means future prosperity, giving them a positive perception from locals. 

Spiritual Meanings of Black Cats

Most of the myths surrounding black cats have to do with their spiritual representation. 

For spiritual people, black cats were considered bad omens or representations of things spiritually “dark.” This led people to avoid black cats, and for some to even harm them.

This is also why black cats are often used in decorations at Halloween.

Spiritual Meanings of Black Cats
Spiritual Meanings of Black Cats

Others perceive black cats as spiritually good. These people believe black cats are positive spiritual beings who bring good health and fortune as gifts from the spiritual world. 

This growing perception has led to a decrease in poor treatment or abandonment of black cats.

Black Cats in the Middle Ages

It was in the Middle Ages that black cats got their bad rep. Around this time, it was believed that black cats were witches’ familiars, and sometimes were witches disguised as a cat! 

Some religious people in medieval times believed this thought that if a black cat lived near someone, it must be a secret witch.

On the other hand, witches that became “human” again would lose their black cat, as the black cat was a connection between the witch and Satan. 

A lot of this superstition came from the fact that black cats at the time were mostly nocturnal, so they would roam the streets hidden at night. 

Black Cats in European Civilization

Early European countries including Great Britain continued the Middle Ages’ perception of black cats being Satanic creatures. 

In parts of Europe, it is said, they would hold mass killings of black cats called “cat-burnings,” in which black cats would be captured and burned over a bonfire. 

This early animal cruelty was because of a religious belief that they were eliminating Satanic forces on earth. 

This European folklore was carried into the United States once the pilgrims arrived. Any black cats found would be killed and destroyed.

Those cats that were shown mercy were often considered witches and subsequently punished. 

Since then, black cats have been treated much better and are no longer associated with Satan in most circles, but are still attributed to bad luck because of this.

Black Cats in Egypt

Contrary to European beliefs, ancient Egyptians often held cats in high esteem due to their similarity to the Egyptian goddess Bastet, who was in the form of a lion and later a cat. 

Black Cats in Ancient Egypt
Black Cats in Ancient Egypt

Were Black Cats Really Worshipped by the Egyptians?

Yes! In ancient Egypt, cats indeed were once worshipped. Black cats were a favorite due to their physical similarity to a previous cat goddess. 

Many Egyptians perceived black cats to be the most closely related to Bastet, which made black cats the holder of excellent luck. 

In fact, they were so loved and worshipped that archaeologists are now uncovering dozens of mummified cat tombs. 

Black Cat Tombs

Historians are discovering mummified cats in tombs with jewelry and toys, a sign of their owners’ deep love for them.

This shows that Egyptians cared for their cats so greatly they were given a burial similar to that of a human. 

These cats were thought to bring prosperity and prevent disease in households that they frequented. 

Black Cats in Norse Mythology

Black cats are familiar in Norse mythology due to the story of Freya, the goddess of love, fertility, and beauty. 

In folklore, it is said that Freya rode in a chariot pulled by two black cats, making them a representation of Freya and her luck. If you want love, fertility, or beauty, you should get a black cat.

It is also perceived that those who have black cats are considered fertile and beautiful because of their association with the cats and Freya. 

Many black cats are now named Freya because of this story. 

Black Cats in Celtic Mythology

In Celtic mythology, black cats are known because of the mythical creature Cat Sith

Cat Sith is a fairy creature that has taken the form of a black cat with a white spot on his chest and is known to haunt the Scottish Highlands.

Though he is sometimes feared as a soul-stealer, he is also known to occasionally bring good luck and prosperity when feeling generous. 

To avoid risk, many people avoid Cat Sith either way, as they fear the consequences of bad luck more than the potential prosperity of good luck. 

Others have taken the risk regardless in pursuit of much-needed good luck or good health. 

Black Cats Today

Luckily, black cats are no longer seen as evil spirits by most people nowadays. Today, black cats are cherished as loving pets with beautiful black coats, especially by cat owners. 

They are also known for being gentle and intelligent. 

Because of past and current superstitions about bad luck, some shelters still won’t adopt out black cats around holidays such as Halloween for fear of animal mistreatment. 

They are also the color that is most abandoned compared to cats of other colors. 

If you’re considering adopting a cat, be sure to consider a sweet black kitty, as many are looking for happy, loving homes. 

Black Cats as Spooky Pets

Black cats make great pets because of their gentle natures and intelligence. They often bond closely with their owners and are always on alert. 

They also have soft, shiny coats and greatly enjoy being petted. 

Why are Black Cats Associated with Halloween?

People may get black cats for the aesthetic. While some may see them as bringers of good luck, others enjoy the association they have with all things spooky and Halloween. 

Why are Black Cats Associated with Halloween
Why are Black Cats Associated with Halloween?

Some credit the association of black cats with Halloween to the ancient Celtic tribes of Ireland who practiced paganism and worshiped at night.

Others connect black cats with the witch trials. There are many possible reasons black cats seem to fit so well with Halloween.

Believe it or not, there are some people who celebrate Halloween year-round and may enjoy a black cat as a companion because of the association.

Why are Black Cats Associated with Halloween
Black Cat Halloween Postcard Courtesy of Wiki Common Public Domain

Cute Black Cat Names

If you have a black cat as a pet make sure you honor them with a great name! Here is a short list of the most popular black cat names

Black Cat Names for Males

  • Bear
  • Crow
  • Ember
  • Midnight
  • Nova
  • Pepper
  • Pluto
  • Storm

Black Cat Names for Females

  • Autumn
  • Batgirl
  • Belinda
  • Bewitched
  • Celeste
  • Jade
  • Lucy
  • Ursula

Related Black Cat Questions

Is Black the Most Common Cat Fur Color?

Believe it or not, black is the most common fur color in cats! This is because there are not only many black cats but also because many cats have black markings on them. 

The genes for black fur are incredibly common in cats worldwide. 

Where Can I Find a Black Cat?

You can find black cats from animal shelters and cat breeders. Always be sure to check animal shelters first as black cats are often mistreated and abandoned even today. 

These cats just want homes where they will be loved for their black coats and green eyes!

If your local shelter doesn’t have black cats, consider looking on online pet sites such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to see if they’re being adopted. 

This can help you find a black cat in need.

Finally, you can get a black cat from a breeder. Always make sure they are a reputable breeder that has responsibly bred their purebred black cats, whichever breed your cat is. 

You never want to support a breeder with poor animal care habits. 

Are Black Cats a Breed?

No, cats with black fur can be found in a variety of different cat breeds.

How Big do Black Cats Get?

Black cats get anywhere between 8-12 pounds in weight, making them small-average-sized cats. 

However, this can vary depending on your specific breed of cat, as some cats may be genetically larger than others. 

If you’re concerned about size, try to adopt an adult cat or consult with a cat breeder who specializes in smaller breeds.

Are Black Cats Aggressive or Mean?

Typically, no. Black cats are not aggressive or mean. However, this can depend on the cat.

Cats that come from poor backgrounds in which they have been mistreated may be aggressive at times and may have to be in a home without small children or other pets

However, most of these cats can still be given a second chance at love if they simply get the time and care needed for them to thrive.

If you’re worried about cat aggression, be sure to talk with the people you are getting the cat from to learn more about the cat’s general behavior and needs. 

This will help you find one that is best for you and your family.

What Makes Black Cats So Special?

Cat lovers say that black cats are special because they are beautiful and sweet creatures. 

Genetically, they are also more resistant to disease than other cats as they’ve evolved to survive better in the wild. They have done this by using their dark coats to camouflage in the wild. 

Black cats are also intelligent and aware of their surroundings. This makes them a good fit for those with other animals as they can easily care for themselves. 

They will also be highly responsive to you and often grow extremely close to their owners.

How Do I Care for My Black Cat?

Black cats need care just as much as any other color of cat! You will need to feed them regularly, provide them with clean water, and get them a litter box that you clean daily. 

You’ll also have to consider medical needs such as medication, illness, and regular check-ups and vaccinations.

If you’re willing to put in the work to give your black cat a happy, healthy life, you’ll find it’s all worth it in the end! Black cats make excellent furry friends for families and individuals alike. 

Were Black Cats Executed During the Salem Witch Trials?

While there is no official evidence of black cats being punished during the Salem Witch Trials there is a testimonial from a defendant that cats influenced their actions by speaking to them.

Are Black Cats Mentioned in the Bible?

It is said that the bible implies that black cats are a positive blessing. 

Are Black Cats Considered Bad Luck in Islam?

From my research, it appears that black cats are not considered bad luck in Islam as Islam does not recognize superstition. In general, cats are considered to be holy animals.

Do Black Cats Get Along With Other Pets?

Yes! Just like other cats, black cats absolutely get along with other pets. 

Because they are known to be independent and alert, they are able to take care of themselves in a home with other pets too.

Always be sure to talk to the people you are getting a cat from to see if they have any special needs, such as needing to be in a home without dogs. 

Cats with prior trauma may prefer less-stressful homes. Many black cats, however, get along with other pets just fine as long as you adjust them properly. 

What is Black Cat Appreciation Day?

Many people felt that black cats were getting a bad reputation for no good reason at all so they came up with the idea of setting aside a special day just to appreciate black cats.

Black Cat Appreciation Day is actually now officially observed on the 17th day of August. There is also National Black Cat Day which is celebrated each year on October 27th.

Did Edgar Allan Poe Write About Black Cats?

Yes, in 1845, the famous writer, Edgar Allan Poe, wrote a short story about black cats called “The Black Cat”.

The harrowing tale relates how a man is bitten by his pet black cat and the immediate aftermath.

“The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body.”

Read “The Black Cat” at your own peril!


Though the perception of black cats has changed over time depending on the country you’re in, they are sweet creatures that make excellent companions. 

Even with the “bad luck” reputation, they’re often perceived as fascinating animals that many people enjoy interacting with.

The next time you see a black cat, challenge yourself to think of them as a bringer of good luck. You may find that your dreams do come true.

What Does a Black Cat Symbolize

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