Good Or Bad Omens: 35 Myths And Superstitions Surrounding Black Cats Throughout The EonsBy Aakash M
No other cat’s reputation is more tainted than the black cat. Black cats have jet-black fur and yellow eyes that look like they are glowing, and this specific appearance has a lot to do with their notoriety. While many people find them just as cute as any other cat, others get easily creeped out upon seeing them. From being witch familiars to the chosen pets of goddesses, one thing is for sure: black cats play a significant role in history, mystery, and folklore. We’ve clawed our way through the internet to find some of the most intriguing myths about black cats, and some of them are plainly unexpected and strange! One thing is for sure, and that’s that black cats have played a huge role in history and folklore. Here are 35 black cat myths to help you understand why they are so special.
Witches and black cats
Many stories exist about black cats and witches. If you notice, you’ll come to find that they all have something in common. That’s because there’s a myth that black cats are often the pets of witches. It’s quite a strange association, right?
Black cats have long been associated with witches, and they’re often considered to be connected to the devil. In some cases, it’s also believed that black cats are a present from the devil to the witch. Some people are even convinced that black cats are demons that feed on the blood of the witch.
Association with Bastet
Bastet is an Egyptian goddess and the daughter of the sun god, Re. Bastet is often seen in the form of a black cat. Bastet was worshipped for many things since she’s the goddess of the home, childbirth, fertility, and even cats!
Black cats are associated with this Egyptian goddess, but it’s not a bad thing since they weren’t seen as a bad thing. Instead, it’s seen as a good omen, and people would deeply admire them since they thought it would help them have a child and keep their family healthy.
Don’t let them come near ill people
It won’t come as that much of a surprise to you, but black cats weren’t really looked upon as signs of good luck during the 16th century in Italy. So, since they’re bad omens, most of the things that they do would be bad omens as well.
For instance, it was considered that if a black cat sits on an ill person’s bed, it’s a bad omen. To be more precise, if a black cat sat on the bed of somebody who was ill, then it was a sign that the person would dye soon. Yikes!
As difficult as it seems to come to terms with that, this is actually a pretty famous myth, at least in Japan, if not all over the world. In Japan, black cats (and all other cats) are a symbol of good luck, contrary to other mainstream myths!
So, they are a symbol of good luck for single women as well. If you are a single woman living in Japan, and you have a black cat or even encounter it somehow, it’s a good omen. It is said that it could attract a decent man to be your husband.
Black cats are considered to be bad omens, but that’s not the case everywhere in the world. There are places like Japan, where they are believed to bring good luck and prosperity. You’ll be surprised to know that Scotland is another country that shares similar beliefs.
In Scotland, it’s believed that if a stray black cat stumbles upon your home, it’s a good omen. We think you might want to consider putting some cat food on the front porch in an attempt to attract them!
Relaxing on the porch
Surprisingly, we’re finding more information than we thought about black cats being good omens. To be honest, we didn’t quite believe that there would be so many good omen myths about black cats! This next myth comes from Ireland.
Like in Scotlant, in Ireland, it’s widely believed that if a black cat sits on your porch, it’s a sign of good luck. Well, that gives everybody a justifiable reason to have some treats on hand since to help attract these good-luck kitties!
Ability to sink ships
While black cats choosing to enter your house or sitting on your porch could be a good omen, there are many bad omens surrounding them as well. For instance, there’s a saying that a black cat could sink a ship.
A black cat on a ship at the sea is a bad omen; almost like a warning that you’re about to be doomed. Many people also believed that if a black cat walked onto a ship and then jumped off, the ship was about to sink.
Ability to sink ships, but not their own
The previous myth is a pretty famous one, but it only concerns the black cats that step on a ship and then get off. A black cat that lives on a ship isn’t considered a bad omen. In fact, it’s a good omen and, moreover, a sign of luck!
Letting a black cat live on your ship has many practical benefits as well. They help keep the rodents and other insects away, and since those creatures carry diseases, these cats are actually protecting you! Let’s not forget that you can enjoy an awesome pet to keep you company while sailing.
The most famous myth
This one is probably the most popular myth floating around about black cats. We’re pretty sure that most of you have probaby heard this at least once in your lives. If a black cat crosses your path, it’s a sign of bad luck!
It’s a pretty famous myth in Ameria, Europe, and some parts of Asia. It was widely believed during the Black Plague that if a black cat crossed a person’s path, it meant that the person might dye of the plague soon.
The most famous myth, with a twist
As we mentioned before, this myth was and is quite well-known around the world. It’s known in America as well, but there’s a twist to it. Back in the day, people living in the Appalachian Mountains believed the same thing.
But, they also believed that if a person drew three “Xs” in the air before the cat crossed their path, they could stop the bad luck that was coming their way. It’s almost like a solution to the whole mystery.
The most famous myth, with another twist
Well, there’s another twist to the whole “black cat crossing the road” myth. It’s not that significant of a twist since; it’s only one country where people think this way. We are talking about Germany, and the black cats there really need to stick to one side of the road!
In Germany, there’s a different approach to determining if a black cat crossing your path is good luck or bad luck. If the cat crosses your path from right to left, then you’re doomed. But, if it crosses from left to right, you’re in the clear!
Things would have really been amazing if this one was a fact and not a myth. But, black cats predicting weather is just that. A myth. We hope you all might be aware of the saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”
In Norse mythology, it was believed that witches rode their brooms during storms. You might have also seen similar things in movies. Anyways, since they had cats, it was a sign of heavy rain. In Wales, there’s a myth that a black cat washing its ears is a sign of rain!
Do you have a stye on your eyelid? Have you ever had one before? Let us enlighten you about a myth regarding styes on eyelids. In most cases, these things disappear by themselves in a few days. If not, there are always antibiotics.
A prescription for antibiotic from the doctor will clear things up in a week or a few days. But, there is also an alternative way to treat it, There’s a myth in the Appalachians that rubbing a black cat’s tail on the stye will help alleviate your pain, but in no way are we recommending to do so.
If black cats weren’t enough, there’s something called the devil cat as well. Have you ever heard of the Clach Tagniarn nan Cat? It’s in Scotland, and it basically translates to The Stone of the Devil Cat. We find that to be a pretty intense name.
According to Scottish folklore, a clowder of wild black cats would appear every Halloween. Their purpose of arrival was to welcome and worship the Devil Cat, which was, of course, black, and huge in size. However, we’re not sure where exactly they congregated.
Sleeping on the north side of the house
Black cats are know bad omens in many cultures, but they’re not considered to be so terrible or unlucky in certain parts of the world. For instance, black cats are good omens in China, and there are many good myths surrounding them as well.
In China, some people believe that a cat sleeping on the north side of the house will ward off evil. So, they’re not all bad! Sometimes, they bring good luck, and other times, they’re protecting you and your house from evil stuff!
Normal skin problems
Black cats sport an amazing coat of black fur, but even they get skin problems. For instance, the coat of a black cat can be bleached by the sun. If you have ever seen a black cat with red highlights in its hair, then their hair was probably bleached by the sun.
So, this one is more of a fact than it is a myth. Also, black cats aren’t the only animals with sun and skin problems. The same thing happens to almost every other animal with a black coat, like dogs and horses.
Black cats are considered pets of witches, and you know that there are myths and explanations for why that is. But, let us tell you about something that revolves around that particular myth. Black cats are a witch’s alter ego, according to Hungarian folklore.
Also, there is something called the “Encyclopedia of Witchcraft.” According to this book, we cannot even tell apart the witch and the cat. Because a cat is an alter-ego, we don’t know which one is the cat and which one is the witch.
100% black cat
The thing about all cats is that many of them can give birth to a black kitten. So, they will technically be a black cat upon first glance. But, the Bombay is a single cat breed that’s completely black in color. With all the black cats around, it’s surprising, right?
It’s not a natural breed. It is a short-haired cat that was created by breeding American shorthair cats and sable Burmese cats. The aim was to create a breed that looked like a small panther. Well, they did succeed in that.
White hair on black cats
Unlike how it is on humans, a black cat getting white hair doesn’t mean that the black cat is getting old. There can be white hair even on a young black cat, and it’s basically an indication of illness.
If you observe the same signs with your cat as well, it’s time to get that checked out. Also, some cultures believe that each black cat has a single white hair strand, and if you pull it out without a scratch from the cat, you’ll have a happy marriage!
The beckoning cat
Earlier, we talked about how the Japanese people think that all cats bring good luck, including black cats. Also, Japan’s famous “beckoning cat,” that goes by the name of Maneki Neko, is often a black cat. Isn’t that interesting now?
The myth is that not only are these black cats considered to be welcoming, but they also bring good luck with them. With all that information, they are believed to ward off evil. So, getting one of those for yourselves might actually be beneficial for you!
More black cat breeds
Earlier, we discussed the Bombay breed being the only cat breed that’s exclusively all black. But, other than that, there are 21 more breeds that have been recognized by the Cat Fancier Association to also be exclusively black. But does that mean that all of them carry myths?
There’s still the Bombay breed that’s the only all-black cat breed, but these breeds do come really close to that! Some of these breeds are the Norwegian Forest Cat, Persian, Sphynx and Turkish Angora, and the American and Japanese Bobtail. And yes, they all fit under the umbrella of black cat myths.
The theater is one such place that is home to different kinds of superstitions. And, of course, many of these superstitions include black cats. For instance, the “break a leg” superstition is a pretty famous one in the entertainment world.
Although having a black cat at a theater is a sign of good luck, that’s not the whole story. It’s only good luck until it runs across the stage. If it does, then bad luck for you. Also, kicking a black cat isn’t only a terrible thing to do, but it means that evil will follow you.
Don’t be surprised if this one is rather strange. In England, it was believed that gifting a black cat to a bride at their wedding would bring good luck to the new couple. We hope all those couples who believed this ended up happy and healthy.
Honestly, it could be a good uck charm for the couple. Also, the newlyweds will always have a cute furry friend to keep them company, and there’d be fewer rodents in the house! What more could you ask for?
Let’s talk about the eye color of a black cat! It’s certainly a pretty interesting thing, and it’s hard not to stare into their piercing eyes. These guys look pretty scary when you see a pair of glowing eyes in the dark.
The fact is that most black cats have yellow eyes. But, you’d be surprised to know that many black cats also have green eyes. Black cats have yellow eyes because of excessive melanin, which is also the reason behind their robust black coat.
Sign of wealth
Black cats are a symbol for many things. They are signs of bad luck, good luck, health, prosperity, and many other things. They are also believed to protect us from evil! However, did you know that black cats are considered a sign of luck in southern parts of France?
The myth in Southern France is that if you treat a black cat with respect, you’ll get repaid with a lot of wealth! That’s why many people give these cats the first bite of their meals and a nice and comfy sleeping place.
Finding treasure at crossroads
According to a French Folktale, if you place a black cat at a crossroads, well, to be more precise, where five roads meet, then they could find treasure. That’s exciting, but we don’t think a crossroads where five roads meet is something we see every day.
In fact, we think that finding the treasure would be easier than finding a crossroads where five roads meet and then placing a black cat on it. Well, that’s today’s situation. Maybe that wasn’t the case back in the day.
If a cat in a theater is a sign of good luck, then casting a black cat for a movie or a show makes a lot of sense! You never know if that show or movie could end up becoming a box office success!
Hollywood, for one, loves working with black cats, considering the number of popular black cats from TV shows and movies in the past like The Simpsons, Hocus Pocus, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and many more. Many of these shows and movies are cult classics.
How many of you are aware of black cats having their own holidays? Not many, right? This one isn’t even a myth! It’s a fact, and a really cool one at that! Irrespective of whether they’re good omens or bad ones, they have their own day.
No, they are not the most popular worldwide, but they still exist. For instance, the 17th of August is Black Cat Appreciation Day in the USA. Similarly, the 27th of October is the National Black Cat Day in England, and October is Black Cat awareness month!
Are you scared?
Chances are you’ve probably heard this myth as well, considering that it is pretty famous one about black cats crossing roads causing bad luck. If a black cat enters your dream, that signifies fear. It basically means that you are experiencing fear.
Unlike other myths, this one doesn’t really mean that it’s evil or it’s a sign of bad luck or anything, but it means that you’re scared and need to face your fears. A black cat attacking you in your dream also means the same the same thing.
Leave some milk for them
Have you ever heard of Freya? She’s a Norse goddess who is associated with war, love, beauty, and fertility, among many other things. If you read more about her, you’ll see that she’s often displayed driving a chariot pulled by large-sized black cats.
There is a saying about this as well. It’s good to leave milk out for black cats during the harvest season. They’re believed to be Freya’s black cats, and if you leave a bowl of milk for them, they’ll bless you.
Pirates and black cats
Well, we couldn’t really leave them out of this one. So, get ready for a black cat myth that was quite famous in the world of pirates. Back in the 18th century, pirates had mixed opinions about black cats. Sometimes they were holy, and sometimes evil.
Let us provide some back story for you. For instance, a black cat coming toward a person straight on is a sign of bad luck. Similarly, a black cat walking away from a person was considered to be a sign of good luck.
There is no exact ratio here. It’s just quantization, so hear us out. It is more likely for a male cat to be black than a female cat. This one is technically not a myth, although we wouldn’t be surprised if there are ‘side’ myths to this one.
The reason for a male cat to be more likely to be black than a female black cat is genetic. The hair color that cats carry is in the X chromosome. Therefore, while a male needs only one allele for black hair, a female needs two. Well, that just got really scientific in no time.
Salt and Pepper
John Lennon was a legend. He was one of the best singer-songwriters to ever exist, and of course, he was in the Beatles. Anyways, apart from being a legend, John Lennon was also a big-time cat person and believed in their powers.
He owned a pair of black and white cats, and since you read the title, youprobably guessed their names as well! But you’d be wrong because John had a wicked sense of humor. He named the black one Salt and the white one Pepper.
Take good care of them
Well, you shouldn’t only take good care of black cats because of this myth. You should also generally take good care of them, even if you think they carry evil. Sadly, black cats have the lowest adoption rates in the USA. These creatures deserve all our love and affection.
Anyways, this belief is from the Northern parts of Europe. Back in the day, it was believed that if you take in or adopt a black cat and care for it, the black cat would ensure safe weather and passage for sea voyages.
In Italy, it’s believed that if a person hears a black cat sneeze in front of them, it is a good omen. It means that the person is in for a streak of good luck! But, we also wonder how rare it would be to find yourself in this situation unless you’ve adopted a black cat.
If you haven’t adopted one, then roaming the streets just to find a black cat seems like a huge task. After finding a cat, you have to wait for it to sneeze, which seems like another huge task! Anyways, if it brings a person good luck, why not?