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Cat Symbolism & Meaning

Are you feeling directionless? Looking for more balance? Cat as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal can help! Cat teaches how to remain perfectly poised as you get your bearings. Delve deeply in Cat symbolism and meaning to find out how this animal spirit guide can soothe, calm, and support you!

Cat Table of Contents

Cat Symbolism & Meaning

What’s up Pussycat? Apparently, you have been up to a lot of shenanigans throughout history. Human civilization and Cats are tied together with a bow of yarn miles long. People either love Cats or hate them. Nonetheless, Cats and Dogs are the top two well-loved pets in the United States.

Cats were domesticated about 4,000 years ago. The Ancient Egyptians kept Cats to control mice and rats, particularly in food storage areas. The Egyptian symbolism and meaning for Cats were influenced by their hunting ability. No one could kill a Cat, or they would face the death penalty.

The true extent of the Egyptian veneration of Cats comes in the 2nd Century. Egypt and Persia are at war. The Persians were determined to take Pelusium, and they would do so with the aid of Cats. Soldiers on the towers saw the Persian troops carrying Cats into battle. Talk about a difficult situation! The Persian strategy of the day results in 7,000 losing their lives versus the over 50,000 Egyptians who perished. The Warriors simply refused to attack for fear of hitting the furry representation of Bast, the Cat-Headed Goddess. This event shows us that Cat Spirit knows the importance of properly used faith vs. twisting it for personal gain.

Bast was an immensely popular Goddess in that she presided over the home, fertility, and women’s mysteries. This does not mean this Kitty Goddess had no claws. She is a fierce defender of children and women. Cat Spirit remains a protective soul with ancient ties to the Sacred Feminine. In any case, the mummified remains of beloved Cats have been found everywhere in Egypt, ensuring that the Cat would travel safely to the Field of Reeds (akin to Heaven) and continue playing happily forever.

Egyptians weren’t alone in their fascination with Cats. The Druids felt that some Cats, specifically Black Cats were actually reincarnated humans who had to live as a Cat to atone for their previous life’s deeds. Romans associated Cat with the Moon Goddess Diana. Here, Cat was the household guardian. Muslim stories credit Cat for rescuing Mohammad from a poisonous snake. That’s why Tabby Cats have a marking that looks like the letter “M” on their forehead. Also, Norse legends say that the fertility Goddess, Freyja, has a magical chariot drawn by Cats.

Italians began domesticating felines. From there Cats spread throughout Europe. And they braved the long sea arriving with the Pilgrims in the New World. Cats were also spreading out from the Egyptian hub, most likely due to trade routes, into Turkey, Iran, India and eventually the Far East. By the 18th Century Cat had snuggled its way into considerable homes, be it a palace or a farmhouse.

Domestic Cats have qualities in common with their wild cousins. These include intense eyes, sleek bodies, and tenacious grooming. Cats both large and small are also ready to bound into a full-out run with pure spontaneity. Currently, there are nearly 40 pedigree Cat breeds, but the simple non-pedigree felines (termed Moggies) win the day (and the hearts) in our homes.

Key symbolism and meanings for the Cat Spirit include curiosity, clever, mysterious, magical, sensitive, independent, spontaneous, playful, attentiveness, dexterity and resourcefulness just to name a few.

Cat Spirit Animal

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The Cat Spirit Animal is very selective about those they help, so take its presence as a compliment. Cat Spirit may arrive when you feel your timing is all off, and your patience is worn down to a thread. Cat helps hones your confidence and ensures the right timing so you can hunt down reliable options that position you with perfection. Teaching you when to act and when to wait is one of Cat’s greatest gifts.

Cat Spirit Animal also appears when you face a task you feel you are incapable of completing. Cat says, “Don’t be a scaredy Cat!” Your Spirit Animal is resourceful and adaptable. Sometimes you have to shake things up and get out of old patterns. Change your thinking and you’ll change the outcome.

When there are people or situations in your life from which you need distance, Cat Spirit enters as an aid. Your Animal Ally says “You’re too close for a decent perspective. Pause, think, and listen to your inner instincts.”

Cat Spirit Animal also bears a message of balance. Life is all about opposites; work and play or action and rest. If you’re working too much, it’s time to get your paws on a feather toy and romp to your heart’s content. If you never stop moving, find that sun puddle, relax, and enjoy a much-needed Cat-nap.

Cat Totem Animal

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Those born with Cat Totem Animal are definitely night people. Darkness comes, and they awaken with energy and curiosity. A person with a Cat Totem will take proverbial “walkabouts” with no particular destination in mind. It’s all about the walk, being wrapped in the night and working personal magic.

If this is your Birth Totem, you are the ardent adventurer, including exploring your own inner space. You are naturally agile and able to land on your feet in seemingly impossible situations, and you engage life with the ferocity of a Lion in a Cat’s body.

Your perspectives on life are unique because you like checking out all the angles, touching them with your sensitive whiskers. No one will ever “own” you. Independence is the name of the game. Sure, you’re up for a good scratch, snuggle and warm lap regularly, but when you want to get up and do something well, you DO.

Your need for freedom means taking a periodic time out from the bustle of daily life. While you are a social “Cool Cat” the chaos gets overwhelming. Your comings and goings make you a marvelous mystery to those in your circle, and you love that. You don’t want to be pinned down in any way. Uniqueness is Cat Spirit’s mantra.

The Cat Birth Totem often portends an unpredictable life filled with antics, risks and a little bit of craziness. But you always have those 9 lives. Just be careful how you use them.

Sleep is essential to Cat Totem. You like your naps, and hate being disturbed at an unexpected time. If you are a friend to a person with this Birth Totem, do not wake the slumbering Cat unless they’ve told you when and how to do so.

Cat Power Animal

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Reach out to Cat as a Power Animal when you are experiencing insomnia and other sleep problems. Think of the term “catnapping,” and you’ll understand how Cat as a Power Animal is the perfect aid for catching some sleep.

Cat is adaptable, so it makes an ideal Animal Ally when you face change and feeling resistant to it. Invoke Cat when you want the same adaptability of the flexibility of movement and decisions making. Cat comes to help you decide when it’s the right time to pounce while showing how to do so while remaining in balance.

If you are in a codependent relationship or depend too much on others, Cat arrives at a supportive Al-ly in the search for greater independence. When you need a confidence boost on your quest, Cat encourages you to free yourself from whatever hinders your emotional liberation.

If you’re interested in esoteric studies, petition Cat for help. The creature has ties to all things mysterious, and with its keen instincts, can show you how to sniff out secrets and hidden mysteries.

Native American Cat Symbolic Meanings

Domesticated Cats were late to the Native American culture arriving at the same time as Horses. Various tribes certainly kept them for useful, low-maintenance pets. In travel, Comanches would park their Cat on their shoulder then ride on.

Some Native Americans feared Cats. The Oglala, in particular, shunned our feline friend, thinking Cat had Powerful Medicine and could put curses on people. Even so, the general symbolism and meaning for Cats among the tribes were that of independence, guardian energy, Eros, the esoteric, and mystery.

Cat Mythology and Folklore

The role of Cat Spirit in Celtic Tradition is truly the Cat’s Meow! Cat symbolizes the otherworld that is a mystery to the living. They guard the gates and the secrets that lie within.

Celtic myths connect Cat Spirit to Cerridwen, a Goddess of wisdom and magic. Cats can bring messages from the Goddess if She so chooses. The Norse also have the Goddess Freyja who presides over sexuality, wealth and all things beautiful. Her companions are two Cats.

Folklore in this region tells us that if you put out a saucer of milk near your cows, Cat Spirit will protect them from sickness. Stories say that Gogyfwlch (one of Arthur’s servants) had Cat eyes. Cats can shapeshift and walk the earth long after they’re dead. There are some stories of Druid priestesses keeping Cats and having them assist in magic.

If you know a Cat person, you can trust them with a secret since they hold their own very close to the chest. In fact, they will take this on as a sacred task and guard it vehemently until you say otherwise. Just remember to relieve them of that duty when it is no longer needed.

Cat people love some shenanigans, humor, and hijinks. You are a tad of a flirt, but always stay true to your heart. You may have a natural affinity for the Fey and working with those energies. Above all else Cat is honest. You never have to second guess a reply. Their words are their bond.

In Poland, there is a myth about how the Pussy Willow came to be. A mother Cat sat on a riverbank in total agony. Her kittens fell into the river, and she knew she could not rescue them all. The reeds on the bank heard her lament and showed compassion. They bent over the water allowing the kittens to climb up their leaves and returning them safely to their mother. Ever since then the reeds grow with fluffy blooms on their stalks as a reminder of that gentle kindness.

In Norwegian stories, there is a Forest Cat that is of fairy blood. He may be a goblin in disguise, no one knows for sure. However, you if see this Cat and stare deeply into his eyes you can see visions of other dimensions, realms, and magical creatures.

Siamese Cats were purportedly plain-furred until one of the Gods picked them up in admiration. As a result, Siamese Cats have shadow-like patches on their necks. Birman Cats were likewise plain until they touched the skin of a holy man which turned their fur golden and their feet pure white.

One British folktale tells us how a princess was blessed by Cats. Having been trapped by Rumpelstiltskin and having to spin 10,000 skeins of white to save her love from his curse, she was devastated thinking they were both doomed. Her three house Cats decided to do the spinning for her, so she would reach her goal. It is said that a Cat’s purr is the ancient remnant of the spinning wheel’s hum.

In Japan, tortoiseshell Cats are the luckiest, while Russians favor the blue. Tri-colored Cats appear as luck in Canada. In Indonesia Cats are rain-bringers. If you pour water on a Cat’s back, it will summon the storm (and a bit of wrath from the Cat we imagine). The Chinese favor ugly Cats for good fortune, and Buddhists believe that Cats with light colored fur attract silver while dark-colored fur brings gold.

Cat Dreams

Cats appearing in your dreams sometimes indicate the need to connect with the Feminine aspect of yourself or to get in touch with your sensual nature. Sometimes, when Cats strut into your dreams, it’s a call to awaken your inner child so you can get more joy out of life; it’s time to find that all-important balance between work and play!

Cats are highly sensitive creatures that rely on their instincts; as such, their appearance in a dream may be a calling for you to listen to your intuition. Doing so will help you avoid potential problems in your waking life. Since Cats closely connect to the Spirit World, their appearance in the dreamscape can also signal that you’ll soon receive a message from an Ancestor Spirit, Teacher, Master, Angel, or Guardian.

If you see a Cat nipping you, the dream represents neglecting something important. If the Cat is crying, it’s an omen of sorrow. A Cat following you means you have a secret admirer.

The color of the Cat you see in dreams can tell you more about the creature’s symbolism and meaning. For example, Orange Cats portend dramatic change, so prepare and stand tall. Grey Cats in your dream are a symbol of harmony, peace, foundations, and love. White Cats are your psychic self. Your gifts are growing. Nurture them.

Learn more about Cat Spirit by reading Dreaming of Cats: In-depth Cat Dream Meaning & Symbolism on!

Cat in Astrology & Zodiac Signs

One of the Celtic Animal Zodiac Signs is that of a Cat. If you were born between January 21-February 17th, you are the sign of the Cat. According to the Celts, this means you are smart, charming and often baffling. You like things a little askew as you know you land on your feet.

The Cat Sign is one of individuality and a hint of stubbornness. You want love and affection on your own terms. When you’re done or uncomfortable, you simply move on without a care. People born under the sign of the Cat are incredibly playful and a bit of a rogue. Surprises please you since you are hard to fool.

Those born under the Celtic Sign of the Cat are very intuitive, and your accuracy astounds or makes people wary. Part of your gift comes from simple observation, but the rest is all mystical. You are tuned into magic in every way.

While the Rabbit is the fourth zodiac symbol in Chinese Astrology, the Cat replaces the Rabbit in the celestial wheel associated with Vietnamese Astrology and Gurung Zodiac. In the Vietnamese system, the Cat is “The Flexible One,” and is associated with those born in the years 1963, ’75. ’87, ’99, and 2011. Those born under the sign are friendly, social, retrospective, but also secretive.

Far Eastern Cat Symbolic Meanings

Myths in the Far East are littered with Cats, including Goddesses like Li Shou, who had a Cat form. Cats participated in the Creation and at one time may have been able to talk like humans. At one time the Gods wanted Cats to oversee the world, and they firmly turned down that offer wishing to simply enjoy life, so the task fell to humans.

In both China and Japan, you will see statues of the Beckoning Cat near doorways of homes, temples, and businesses. It represents happiness, harmony, success, and luck. Finally, in early Japan Cats guarded manuscripts housed in pagodas. Only the noble could own them.

Cat Symbolic Meanings Key

  • Attentiveness
  • Clever
  • Curiosity
  • Dexterity
  • Independent
  • Magical
  • Mysterious
  • Playful
  • Sensitive
  • Spontaneous

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2 thoughts on “Cat Symbolism & Meaning

  1. Simon says:

    So I need someone to tell this to because I’ve been thinking about this dream I had about a cat, a wolf and a blind man. Actually I believe we were all blind except me and the wolf. The cat had an ability to turn into a human, she was very strong and always stepped forward first. She was even stronger then the wolf,, I forget her weapon but were definitely fighting something in the woods and in a field. Eventually a teenage girl came to kill us, which was one of the people who attacked us. I held up the cat to her because I thought that she would shape shift into a human and kill her. The girl was beyond freaked out and scared for no apparent reason but the cat just sat in my hands, doing nothing. I encouraged her to kill the girl but she responded with “She is to innocent”. The girl ran away I think, can’t remember. I thought this was all really weird and I need someone to tell me what this means honestly, I just heard about this stuff yesterday so I am very interested. Thanks.

  2. Laurel Colton says:

    The imagery described in your dream is rich, but its meaning will differ depending on your view and life experiences. So, another person cannot tell you what each symbol means to you — only you can do that based on what each character and symbol in the dream represents for you. Therefore, one way for you to interpret this dream for yourself is to consider each character in your dream as an aspect of yourself. Ask yourself, “What does each character represent about me?” Once you have determined the personal attributes and aspects of you represented by each character, review the dream again and insert these symbolic meanings to understand all the characters’ roles in the dream and what the dream is trying to tell you. Hope that helps.

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