Black Cat Tales, Symbols and Meanings




Black cats are a symbol of the soul's mysterious coming to earthly life. Their impenetrable color represents the enigma of the spirit's return voyage to the physical world.

The cat in itself is a powerful symbol of wholeness and unity, a joining of the spiritual with the tangible. Color it black and you get a lot more compelling symbolism.

Old folks believed that a cat with black fur was the spirit of a human who died with unfinished business and was restless. Such spirits cannot be born again as humans and may only take possession of this particular inky cat and other black animals when they wish to return to the physical world.

Symbolic of wickedness, evil and darkness for some cultures, and of good fortune and good health for some, the black kitty continues to mystify, haunt and inspire.

Black Cats Around the World

In Arabian countries, the cat is gifted with seven lives and is the preferred form of the jinni, invisible creatures of power and fire living in an invisible realm.

In India, people feared black felines on the road, and to have one cross your way is a most unfortunate omen. In some regions, luck is determined by the cat's direction: if it crossed you from left to right, you can expect good luck. If it crossed from right to left, expect a bad turn of fortune.

In ancient Persia, you would bring harm to yourself by annoying a black pussycat, who is really your hemzad, or your higher self born to accompany you in your earthly journey.

In the highlands of Scotland, black kitties are diffusers of evil and misfortune. They like to put a black furball on their porch to repel bad luck and attract positive energy.

In England, folks bestow blessings on a black puss that passed them by or crossed their path. They are thankful that it swept an oncoming trouble away from them.



Black Cats in China

For the Chinese, the black cat exudes mixed symbolisms. It may symbolize coming poverty for some, but a symbol of impending prosperity for others.

Cats with pure black fur are an omen of illness and poverty in some regions. The ancient Chinese ran away from an oncoming blackie, which was believed to be throwing misfortune toward them.

In most parts of China, sable cats are a living lucky charm and were tied inside shops to keep drumming up business!

The Chinese picked the oldest cat they can keep as pets because cats bring greater luck as they age. Though cared for very well, these mousers enjoy less freedom. They are tied within the shop or home because if they leave their owner's house, they take away good luck with them.


More Chat Noir Trivia for You

A woman can stop her monthly period by holding the spleen of a black cat.


A black kitty that comes into one's room at night is a visiting jinn and you would do well to bestow a respectful greeting in return.

Some Europeans, especially Germans and Italians, observed that cats, whether black or not will frequent the bed of the person who is seriously ill and who might die soon.

Black kitties are the most favorite form of shape-shifters, be they witches or other magic-oriented humans.

These cats are living talismans of good fortune. Certain folks in Europe like to have black kitty cats cross their path, as these creatures take away their bad luck and replace it with good ones.

As a symbol of black magic and magical properties, a black-furred cat's flesh is used to undo enchantments or bewitchings (not so fabulous for the poor cat, however).


Sailors and Cats Black

A black kitten is kept by seafarers on their ship to calm the seas and tame the winds.

A cat is never thrown overboard: this was a major violation of maritime conduct and would allegedly cause dangerous sea storms.

In old Scarborough, the superstitious sailor's wife pampered a black pussy cat, which kept her husband safe at sea.


Occupational Hazard Warning

Miners, fishermen and other workers in dangerous trades would often skip a work day if a cat with an ebony fur crossed their path.

Although it was scary for them to see a blackie, they are thankful too for the warning it brings.

Black Cats in Love

In Southern England, the coal-black cat is a symbol of a good marriage and future. The origin of this tradition is unknown, but it seems the black-colored cat was seen as capturing negativity and ill fortune in a household.

Well-to-do families typically have black kittens as pets to symbolize the parents' wish of a good and well-to-do husband for each daughter.

A chubby cat with shiny jet-black fur is just the thing to give to a couple on their wedding day. This is imperative for excellent marriage luck, according to a Midland tradition.


If you haven't already read about cuddly black furballs on the Witchcraft Symbols page, please do! You'll enjoy more interesting symbolism and meanings there:-)

If you would like to know about cat totems, one of my favorite sites on this is Spirit Animals.


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