People and cats have been living alongside each other for as long as 8,000 years and over that time, many myths have sprung up about our feline friends. A common saying we often hear is that cats have nine lives. But where does this legend of near-immortality come from? And why would a cat have nine lives, in particular?
Cats have a large body surface area compared with their weight, which also helps reduce the force of their landing.
Do cat really have 9 lives?
While cats don’t actually have nine lives, many humans believe this myth because cats are able to survive falls that would surely be lethal to most humans. … When they fall, cats have the natural ability to twist their body around and land on their feet — even when they are dropped from very high places.
How cats end up with nine lives?
An old English proverb states ” A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays”. … Nine is also a magic number- and this could be partly why cats are attributed with having nine lives, because they have been both worshipped and feared throughout the ages for being magical.
Across the U.S. there are almost 60 million pet cats, with around one in four households having a feline companion. With their incredible agilityand apparent ability to avoid certain death on a semi-regular basisthe saying that cats have nine lives has resonated across societies and generations.
One 2,500-year-old specimen scanned by French scientists in 2019 was found to be several different cats, with a textile ball in the place of the head. Earlier this year, researchers announced the discovery of what they believe to be the world’s oldest pet cemetery, with nearly 600 cats and dogs at one single Ancient Egyptian site.
The Egyptians’ obsession with cats is believed to have helped the species disperse around the globe, with felines traveling along trade routes into Europe and beyond. William Shakespeare also references nine lives in his 1597 tragedy Romeo and Juliet , appearing in Act 3, Scene 1 during a fight between Tybalt and Mercutio. The righting reflex, along with their flexible bones and ligaments, is how they are able to survive falls from huge heightsheights that would prove fatal for most other mammalian species, cementing the old saying that cats have nine lives.
“But our cats are fearsome predators and survivors equipped physically with great tools such as the mid air reflex whereby they right themselves during a fall to land on all feet, their whiskers, which can determine whether a space is big enough for them or not and their ability to make themselves appear like liquid when they squeeze into small boxes or a tight space. Haddon said: “Cats are small animals that can be preyed upon by bigger ones such as wolves, dogs, coyotes, large constrictor snakes, leopards etc. Even a pet cat, if it gets lost from its home, has quite a good chance of managing to find food and shelter on the streets at least for a little while.
While nobody knows exactly where the myth comes from, any cat owner can tell you why its claimed these hardy little furballs have nine lives: felines have an incredible set of survival skills.
The myth that felines have nine lives doesnt hold true, which is why its vital to secure reliable pet cover. Even as far back as Ancient Egyptian times, kitties were worshipped as sacred creatures, with many attaching superstitions, supernatural powers and mystical beliefs to pussycats.
Its more plausible that the myth gathered weight over time, due to our kitties impressive ability to get themselves out of tight corners, thanks to their intelligence, dexterity and agility. This myth can be incredibly damaging, as, even today, black cats are harder to rehome due to the negative (yet fictional) associations they carry. Cats are incredibly agile, in large part due to their flexible backbones and righting reflex, which enables them to twist very rapidly mid-air whilst falling, landing with ease.
Of course, this isnt always the case Blue Cross states that, heartbreakingly, many kitties suffer fatal injuries as a result of serious falls. While its true that moggies often purr to express happiness and contentment especially when being fussed by their humans the sound doesnt always signify comfort. The scent of your previous house will still remain on every other part of your cat, and theyll likely become even more distressed when trying to lick their grease-covered paws clean.
Its far safer to keep your pussycat indoors during the first two weeks of a move, giving them the time to realise that their new abode is secure. While cats tend to have a more solitary, aloof nature than their canine counterparts, theyre still incredibly loving creatures, often forming deep bonds with their owners and sometimes with household dogs, believe it or not. Its true that many kitties prefer to be the only household cat, but feline friendships can and do form, as long as they dont have to share or wait for resources such as food or personal space otherwise a catfight or two may ensue.
However, the fact remains: reliable pet insurance is a necessity from day one of kitty ownership, as you never know when injury or illness might strike.
Todays Wonder of the Day was inspired by name-hanna from live in canada. name-hanna Wonders, do cats have 9 lives? Thanks for WONDERing with us, name-hanna!
Ancient Egyptians believed that cats were divine creatures with psychic or supernatural powers.
How long do cats live?
Studies show the average cat may only live to be 14 years old, which is the equivalent of age 70 in human years. Ageing in cats begins rapidly, but slows down as they get older.Dr. Lucinda Alderton-Sell, Cats Protection’s Field Veterinary Officer, previously toldAlderton-Sell explained that as cats mature, from age 7-10, they start to slow down a bit and put on weight. When they reach old age, they need more rest and tend to live at a slower pace of life. If a cat makes it to 21, that would be like 100 years old in human terms.
How many lives do cats have?
It has been suggested that the idea of cats having nine lives has its roots in Ancient Egypt. The sun god Atum-Ra was said to take the form of a cat so he could visit the underworld. Atum-Ra was said to have given birth to eight other gods. As a result, some people have linked the saying of cats having nine lives with this myth—the eight gods, plus Atum-Ra, equal nine lives.Anita Kelsey, U.K. feline behaviorist and author ofThe Egyptians’ obsession with cats is believed to have helped the species disperse around the globe, with felines traveling along trade routes into Europe and beyond.And as they expanded across the world, so too did the myth of multiple lives.In other countries and cultures, the number of lives a cat is said to have differs.Arab countries tend to say that cats have six lives. In Spain and other Spanish speaking nations, cats are said to have seven lives. This is thought to relate to seven being considered a magical number related to good luck. With cats being some of the luckiest animals in terms of evading danger, assigning the species seven lives seems appropriate.The number nine has significance to many early cultures. To the Ancient Greeks, it represented a magic number and is associated with the gods. For example, they believed it took nine days to fall from heaven to Earth. In Hinduism, nine is considered a complete and divine number. In China, nine is associated with the dragon, which is a symbol of power.Cat behavior expert Celia Haddon toldThe idea of nine lives may also have come from Shakespeare or traditional sayings.An old English proverb of unknown origin directly references the idea of cats having nine lives. It says: “A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays.”William Shakespeare also references nine lives in his 1597 tragedyTybalt: What wouldst thou have with me?Mercutio: Good King of Cats, I want to take one of your nine lives. I’ll take one, and, depending on how you treat me after that, I might beat the other eight out of you too. Will you pull your sword out of its sheath? Hurry up, or I’ll smack you on the ears with my sword before you have yours drawn.Kelsey says the saying has endured because of our connection to felines: “We love cats and want them to be mystical and all powering. Plus, they get up to so much mischief we want the nine lives saying to be true!”
Who made up the ‘9 lives’ myth?
According to Blue Cross, no one is entirely sure where this myth originates.Even as far back as Ancient Egyptian times, kitties were worshipped as sacred creatures, with many attaching superstitions, supernatural powers and mystical beliefs to pussycats.As a result, some suspect the myth started here.Others trace the rumour back to William Shakespeare, as there’s a mention of the nine lives of felines inIt’s more plausible that the myth gathered weight over time, due to our kitties’ impressive ability to get themselves out of tight corners, thanks to their intelligence, dexterity and agility.
Are black cats unlucky?
This myth can be incredibly damaging, as, even today, black cats are harder to rehome due to the negative (yet fictional) associations they carry.For centuries, black cats have featured in folklore and mythologies.In the US and many parts of Europe, black cats are thought to signify bad luck.In Italy, some believe that a black cat hopping on the neighbouring bed to that of an ill person signals oncoming death, while in China, black cat sightings are sometimes interpreted as symbols of impending poverty.On the other hand, in Japan, crossing paths with a black pussycat is a sign of good fortune – in Germany this depends on the direction in which the cat is walking: left to right is good, right to left is bad.If you happen to find a black puss on your doorstep in Scotland, it’s believed you’ll soon come into wealth.
Do cats only purr when they’re happy?
While it’s true that moggies often purr to express happiness and contentment – especially when being fussed by their humans – the sound doesn’t always signify comfort.Cats may purr out of fear, pain or discomfort, as a means of self-soothing. They also purr to comfort their kittens.
Do cats prefer being alone?
While cats tend to have a more solitary, aloof nature than their canine counterparts, they’re still incredibly loving creatures, often forming deep bonds with their owners – and sometimes with household dogs, believe it or not.It’s true that many kitties prefer to be the only household cat, but feline friendships can and do form, as long as they don’t have to share or wait for resources such as food or personal space – otherwise a catfight or two may ensue.
Is milk the best treat for cats?
Cow’s milk has long been viewed as a nutritious treat that felines need for good health, even after kittenhood. In actual fact, milk can cause an upset stomach, as many kitties become lactose intolerant once their mum weans them.If you provide your moggie with a balanced, healthy diet, they should receive all the nutrients they need. However, if you wish to give your kittycat milk, it’s advisable to purchase a lactose-free option.