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.
Is it true cats have 9 lives?
For one, cats are not described as having nine lives in all cultures. While certain areas around the world believe that cats have multiple lives, the number nine is not universal. For example, in Arabic-speaking parts of the world, cats are believed to have six lives.
Where does the myth cats have 9 lives?
We love to relate feline lore all the way back to the ancient Egyptians, who revered and even worshipped cats. A common creation myth says that the sun god Ra, who took the shape of the “Great Tomcat” or Mau during his visits to the underworld, engendered eight other gods—thus representing nine lives in one.
Youve likely heard the saying, “Cats have nine lives.” While you probably know that the idea of a cat having nine lives is a myth, have you ever wondered where it all started or if theres any truth at all behind it?
The myth also appears in Shakespeares play Romeo and Juliet , Act 3, Scene 1: where Mercutio says to Tybalt, “Good king of cats, nothing but one of your nine lives.” Also, nine may be considered lucky in the early Christian tradition, since the number nine represents a trinity (three times three).
While certain areas around the world believe that cats have multiple lives, the number nine is not universal. And in Spanish-speaking parts of the world as well as Italy, Greece, and Brazil, people believe that cats have seven lives. A study published in October 2016 in Scientific Reports found that the #1 killer of cats (at the end of a long life) is kidney disease, and that acute kidney failure usually leads to the death of a cat around age 15.
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. This makes cats very flexible, and allows them to have extreme balance and quick reflexes, which can also help them survive tough situations and risky falls. For instance, Ive treated many dogs in my practice lifetime for poisonous snake bites, but Ive never treated a cat for poisonous snakebite; theyre too smart to approach a snake,” says Cullen M. Dauchy, DVM , veterinarian and former owner at the Katy Veterinary Clinic in Katy, Texas.
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.
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.
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.