Cat Symbolism: Exploring the Cat’s Role as a Symbol of Mystery, Magic, and Power

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cat Symbolism

Do you have a cat as a pet? If so, you know that they are mysterious creatures that always seem to keep us guessing. But did you know that cats also have symbolism and meaning in the spiritual world?

The cat spirit animal is often associated with intuition, mystery, and magic. If a cat has crossed your path, it may be trying to tell you something about yourself. In this blog post, we will explore the meanings of cat symbolism and what the cat spirit animal means to you.

From the quirky yet adorable things they do to their vigilant and inquisitive nature, there are millions of reasons why people just can’t seem to get enough of cats. Worshipped as gods thousands of years ago, these relatively affectionate creatures’ erratic mood suggests that they may not have forgotten about the prominence that their ancestors enjoyed in the past.

While a handful of cultures see them as a figure of the occult that can bring tragedy and misfortune, many believe that these felines, instead, carry messages of intelligence and wisdom. Friendly and gentle when they feel like it, let’s take a walk through the fascinating cat symbolism.

“In a cat’s eye, all things belong to cats.”

– English Proverb
  • white cat2 Cat Symbolism: Exploring the Cat's Role as a Symbol of Mystery, Magic, and Power
  • white cat Cat Symbolism: Exploring the Cat's Role as a Symbol of Mystery, Magic, and Power

Cat symbolism

Admired by many for their adorably distinct purr, the cat walks into our lives brimming with myth and lore that describes why these curious creatures are like no other. Regarded to be a mischief-maker by some as well as a whimsical spirit guide that tickles the imagination of others, here’s what the presence of a cat symbolizes.

Take one step at a time

Much like their oversized cousins in the wild, watching a cat stalk their prey in our yards is an image of beauty. Taking their sweet time to pursue and eventually creep up on smaller animals, they remind us how we should patiently wait for the most opportune time before we make our move and pounce. While some relish in the attention and brag about their talents and abundance, these highly intelligent creatures urge us to remain still and unobtrusive as we wait for the right moment to act and do the damage.

A leap of faith

Revered for their ability to perform vertical jumps up to 5 feet, cats encourage us to be more adventurous and take risks. Whether you are learning a new skill, making new friends, or finding out fresh things about yourself, these otherwise friendly creatures provide us with the courage to put ourselves out there and allow us to face our fears and enjoy life the way we never did.

cat symbolic meaning

Reach for greater heights

Suspicious and watchful by nature, the cat prefers to rest in higher places as it allows them to feel safer for they are able to easily spot any signs of danger. Gifted with exceptionally strong hind legs and back muscles, they can propel themselves up a wall to grab lunch or to avoid a potential predator.

Using a specialized claw that provides them with a good grip for mounting vertical surfaces, represents our capacity to use our talents to go after our dreams and never let go of them, no matter how difficult and challenging. Observed to have the ability to jump from one towering structure to the next, they serve as our motivation to keep on chasing our goals regardless if it’s a tall order.

Go the distance

Believed to possess nine lives because of their ability to cheat death, the cat’s presence inspires us to have a strong heart that enables us to face adversity and stress, all while moving forward without faltering or losing a step.

Known for their ability to make the needed adjustments to cushion a fall, they leap into our consciousness to help us adapt to the challenges and to guide us through a difficult period with certainty and confidence.

While it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should jump into things without throwing caution to the wind, these remarkable creatures, as mentioned, inspire us to take the leap of faith with great courage and determination.

cat brown Cat Symbolism: Exploring the Cat's Role as a Symbol of Mystery, Magic, and Power

Cat spiritual meaning

Perhaps because of its ferocious and unpredictable nature, the cat was considered an unpleasant animal that was associated with mysticism and witchcraft.

While tradition has it that disturbing beliefs and superstitions surround these generally stoic yet tender creatures, the threatening way they carry themselves inspires us to awaken our curious side and to go out of our comfort zones as it enables us to gain more knowledge. Not only do cats help enhance our analytic and problem-solving skills, but they also provide us with a more meaningful purpose in life.

Known for acting only from well-calculated decisions, this remarkable spirit animal reminds us to think twice and to act precisely. Highly territorial and solitary, their presence teaches us about the importance of doing things independently.

As the image of a cat diligently transporting its kittens to a safer spot all by themselves is all too familiar, it indicates how we should value our individuality for it allows us to grow into well-rounded individuals who are ready to face all kinds of adversity.

Often seen looking down at us with their bright yellow eyes from high above, this cryptic spirit animal is perceived in various traditions as a physical manifestation of our guardian angels as they lead us away from danger and towards the righteous path.

Cat spiritual meaning Cat Symbolism: Exploring the Cat's Role as a Symbol of Mystery, Magic, and Power

Cat animal totem

Throughout history, our feline friends have been shrouded with deep spiritual meanings and mind-boggling mysteries. Recognized in many cultures as a protector and a harbinger of good fortune, Chinese tradition tells us that the image of a white cat with its right arm constantly in a knocking motion signifies the coming of prosperous days ahead.

While their tranquility and stillness have long been given a mystical connotation, it actually implies how these instinctive creatures can see or feel a life-changing event that is about to occur. Elusive and highly active at night, having the cat as your animal totem signifies your fondness for getting things done even without being seen by others since the results are only aimed to please yourself.

Observed to sleep for up to 16 hours just to wake up and lick-clean themselves up to 30 percent of their waking time, cats remind us of how we too should strive to get rid of our perversions and lead a life of purity and innocence.

If your cat likes to sleep above your head and you want to know what it means spiritually, follow the link to our article.

Equipped with whiskers that help provide them with better vision, the cat’s specialized facial hair enables us to find the right direction as we navigate through countless hardships and difficulties.

Favored for hunting down pests such as rats and snakes, the cat totem urges us to let go of all the negative feelings that we have for they do nothing but make our lives troublesome and taxing. While they quietly lie in wait for the perfect moment to pounce before they act, these intuitive creatures tell us that prosperity and success would come to light when the time is right.

Cat animal totem

Cat symbolism in different cultures around the world

Cats have been revered and worshiped by many cultures around the world. In ancient Egypt, they were seen as gods and goddesses while in China, they were believed to be able to ward off evil spirits. Native Americans also held cats in high esteem and saw them as symbols of good luck while in Europe, black cats were often associated with witchcraft and sorcery.

In general and in all cultures, cats are associated with feminity, read more in our post.

Despite the different beliefs and perceptions about them, one thing is certain – cats will always remain enigmas, wrapped in a world of mystery and intrigue. And, whether we see them as our guardian angels or lucky charms, their enigmatic ways will continue to amaze and fascinate us for generations to come.

Cat symbolism in ancient Egypt

Egyptians believed that cats were magical creatures, capable of bringing good luck to the people who housed them. To honor these treasured pets families dressed up their felines in jewels and fed them treats fit for royalty! And when do those kitties die? They too received a fitting burial with mummification – how quaint indeed…

cat symbolism egypt

Cats in ancient China

Not to be outdone, the Chinese also believed that cats had special powers. In addition to being able to ward off evil spirits, these felines were said to be able to bring good luck and fortune to those who welcomed them into their homes. As a result, cats became highly valued pets and were often given expensive gifts and lavish meals.

Cats in Native American culture

Native Americans also saw cats as lucky animals, often incorporating them into their ceremonies and rituals. In some tribes, it was believed that cats had the ability to shape-shift into other animals – talk about a cat with multiple lives!

The Oglala people of South Dakota believe that cats are symbols of witches. They see these furry creatures as having the power to put curses on them and others, which is why they treat their pets delicately among all else in life – because if you aren’t careful with a feline’s sharp claws or teeth then it might just be harming YOU!

cat and hand

Cats in European cultures

While most cultures viewed cats as benevolent creatures, Europeans saw them as symbols of witchcraft and sorcery. This perception is likely due to the fact that many witches were said to have black cats as their familiars. As a result, these poor kitties were often persecuted and killed during witch trials.

Cat symbolism in Christianity and the bible

The cat also has a place in Christianity and the bible. In the book of Revelation, a cat is described as “a creature like a leopard” that has seven heads and ten horns. This beast is said to be an evil spirit that will rise up during the end times (the black cat also made it on our list: symbolism for evil).

While there are many different interpretations of this passage, some believe that the cat is symbolic of Satan himself while others see it as a metaphor for the Antichrist. Either way, it’s clear that cats have long been associated with dark forces and evil spirits.

The Bible is full of animals that have been given human qualities. Some cats are depicted as wise, while others display jealous temperament or anger management issues with their owners; yet there’s one thing they all share in common—they get Kit Kat bars after being nice enough to feed them!

cat symbolism christian

Seeing a cat meaning

Since they are fond of doing most of their activities at night (see also the post: night symbolism), cats have been widely associated with darkness, isolation, and secrecy. However, the presence of this mysterious animal serves as an invitation for us to feed our curiosity and give our freedom and independence the utmost importance.

Admired for their ability to rapidly change their direction to avoid danger, they would often gracefully walk into our lives to stir us to embrace the changes that are about to take place for they have seen in advance the wonderful things that such a transformation will bring.

Well-known for the belief that they actually have nine lives, seeing a cat is an encouragement for us to be more adventurous and to take risks for they are critical in helping us grow, flourish, and thrive.

And, since taking chances has its dangers and pitfalls, these enchanting creatures remind us to constantly listen and trust our instincts for not only will they keep us safe from harm but also tell us exactly when the appropriate time to pounce has come.

Meaning of dreaming of a cat

Most animals that come to us in our dreams are said to be direct reflections of our subconscious minds. Since they are often seen as symbols of bad luck, dreaming of a cat usually points to some negative turn in our lives that we fear the most.

Whether it is related to our love life, career, or finances, this nocturnal creature usually appears to give us a warning about the possible hardships and trials that we may encounter along the way.

To have a better understanding of what your cat’s dream could mean, pay attention to the physical attributes of the animal as well as your emotions and actions during the course of the dream. Doing so will give you valuable insights into the message that your subconscious mind is trying to send you.

dreaming of cats

A cat appearing in a dream may also mean that you are about to enter into a period of bad luck or that someone close to you is going to cause you some harm. To prevent this from happening, try your best to be more cautious and alert in all your dealings.

If the cat in your dream was friendly and playful, it could signify good fortune coming your way. This may come in the form of a financial windfall or a new relationship that will blossom into something beautiful and long-lasting.

Being scratched by a cat in a dream can signify that someone you trust will betray you. This person may be someone close to you such as a friend, family member, or romantic partner.

Alternatively, this dream could also be telling you to watch out for your enemies as they may be plotting something behind your back. If the cat in your dream was hissing or acting aggressively, then it could mean that there is some danger lurking in your life.

This danger could come from an accident, illness, or financial setback. To avoid these negative outcomes, try to stay away from risky situations and always be prepared for the worst.

What does it mean when a black cat crosses your path?

In many cultures around the world, the black cat symbolism is considered to be bad luck. So, if a black cat crosses your path, it is often seen as an omen of misfortune or bad luck. This superstition is particularly common in Europe and North America. In some cases, black cats are also associated with death and darkness.

So, if you see a black cat crossing your path, it may be a sign that you need to pay attention to your health or that someone close to you is in danger.

scary black cat

If you believe in cat symbolism, then seeing a black cat crossing your path can be interpreted in a number of ways. It could be a sign that you are about to enter into a period of bad luck or that someone close to you is going to cause you some harm.

To prevent this from happening, try your best to be more cautious and alert in all your dealings. If the cat in your dream was friendly and playful, it could signify good fortune coming your way. This may come in the form of a financial windfall or a new relationship that will blossom into something beautiful and long-lasting.

White Cat Meaning

A white cat crossing your path can symbolize that you are about to receive good news. The little white cat might just be a sign of good luck. One thing is for certain though: if you see one on their way out or coming towards home (depending on where they were going) then expect something positive shortly after.

white cat meaning

A white cat crossing your path could also mean death or it might be an omen of bad luck. Other cultures believe these creatures carry messages from their ancestors. To get the full picture please read our post white cat meaning.

Dead Cat Symbolism

Although it is easy to say that a dead figure of a spirit animal as powerful and menacing as a cat represents all things bad and dreadful, it could also serve as our reminder about the beauty of change and transformation, as well as the awesome benefits of a fresh start.

Not only does it allow us to look at our mistakes in the past and urge us to be better in the present, but it also helps us keep focused on attaining our most desired goals. Read on about the dead cat symbolism.

See also


From ancient times up to the present, we have viewed cats as mysterious animals that have a rooted connection to the spirits and the occult. While they are adored for their incessant hunger to catch a red dot as seen in countless images, their delicate purr, and wonderful messages easily make this spirit animal the cat’s meow.

Cats have long been considered one of the most popular animals in symbolism. Their independent nature, combined with their grace and beauty, makes them the perfect subject for a wide range of meanings and interpretations.

Whether you see them as a good omen or a bad sign, there is no denying that the cat symbolism always seems to leave a lasting impression on us. So, the next time you see a cat, take a moment to think about what it might be trying to tell you. After all, who knows? It just might change your life for the better.

The cat also made it on our list of the top animals representing loyalty.

Big cat symbolism

We have some posts about the big brothers and sisters of the cat:

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Author: Cynthia Demers
Cynthia is dealing with animals' symbolism and all things spiritual for many years. She wants to help readers achieve balance in physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband.

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