Why Do People Say Cats Have 9 Lives? The Myth Explained

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Why do people say cats have 9 lives? The belief that cats have nine lives is a popular superstition. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim, but it is still a fun idea to think about. Cats seem to be able to dodge danger and will often get out of situations unscathed. They can land on their feet, even when falling from a great height. 

Why do people say cats have 9 lives? The saying originated as a way to describe how resilient and tough cats are since they often seem to survive situations that would be fatal for other animals.

They can land on their feet when they fall. This ability is due to a flexible backbone and righting reflexes which allow them to twist their bodies around so that they always land upright. There have even been cases of cats falling from apartment windows several stores high and surviving. 

Let’s look at all the reasons cats may have nine lives and find out where the saying originated! 

Why do people say cats have 9 lives?

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Why do people say cats have 9 lives? Cats seem to land on their feet and often escape situations that would harm other animals. They have good reflexes and are able to land on their feet!

There are a few explanations for why people say cats have nine lives. The main reason is that cats have good survival skills. This gave rise to the belief that cats have a unique ability to survive dangerous situations. The following abilities help cats survive:

  • Cats are small and lightweight

  • They have good balance. Cats hold their tail upright, which allows them to balance.

  • Cats have flexible bodies that help them turn quickly in mid-air while falling.

  • Sharp claws and quick reflexes

Cats land on their feet

Cats usually land on their feet when they fall, which helps them avoid injuries. They also have quick reflexes, which help them escape danger quickly. Cats also have thick fur that protects them from getting hurt. They are light and agile, making it easy for them to climb and jump.

Cats have good balance, which helps them stay safe when climbing or walking on narrow surfaces. They also have flexible bodies that help them squeeze into small spaces and escape danger. Cats also have sharp claws that help them grip onto surfaces and climb quickly.

Although cats are considered fairly laid back or even lazy, they can run quite fast if they need to. This helps them get out of danger if they are being chased and avoid conflict with predators or other cats. 

Cats have good survival skills

Cats are good at surviving in the wild. They are able to find food and shelter, and they know how to avoid predators. 

Cats also have a strong instinct to reproduce, which helps them keep their population going.

9 is a lucky number

The number 9 is considered to be a lucky number in many cultures, so saying that cats have nine lives may be seen as a way of bringing good luck. 

The number 9 also has a sacred meaning in many religions. In Chinese culture, the number 9 is associated with long life and good luck. Some cats seem to have plenty of luck. 

Angel number 9 is believed to represent completion and fulfillment. It is also seen as a symbol of wisdom and knowledge. The number is a reminder that you are on the right path and that you should continue to follow your intuition. Cats are considered intuitive animals that seem almost to have magical powers and were often owned by witches. 

 Cats are magical creatures

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The belief that cats have nine lives may also be based on mythology and folklore. In some stories, cats can come back to life after being killed. This may be why people believe that cats have a special ability to survive dangerous situations.

Another explanation is that, in medieval times, cats were considered to be magical creatures. It was thought that they could transform themselves into other animals or even humans. This made them feared and respected, which may have led to the belief that they had multiple lives.

The nine lives belief may also have come from Ancient Greece or Rome. Cats were thought to be sacred in these cultures, and they were often associated with magical powers. This was particularly true of black cats

In ancient Egypt, cats were worshipped and seen as the embodiment of the goddess Bastet. It was believed that cats had special powers, and they were often mummified after they died. 

Their owners would go through a two-week period of mourning and would even go as far as shaving off their eyebrows. 

“In ancient times, cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.” Quote by Terry Pratchett 

The history of the nine lives legend 

Why do people say cats have 9 lives? This saying may come from shakespearean times.

The saying ‘cats have nine lives’ can be traced back hundreds of years. There is an old English proverb that says:

“A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays.”

Shakespeare may be most famous for writing Romeo and Juliet in 1595, but it seems like he was also one of the first people to say that cats have nine lives. 

In the play, there’s a scene entitled ‘king of cats’ where Tybalt is addressed by Mercutio, who was threatening to take one of his nine lives. 

“Good king of cats, nothing but one of your nine lives

that I mean to make bold withal, and, as you shall use

me hereafter, dry beat the rest of the eight.”

How long do cats live?

The average lifespan of a housecat is about 12 to 14 years. However, some cats have been known to live much longer. 

One cat named Creme Puff holds the record for the oldest cat ever lived, at 38 years old! The owners put her long life down to a healthy diet which included an eyedropper of red wine every few days. She was also given coffee and cream and enjoyed broccoli and turkey bacon regularly. 

While most people would never think of giving wine to their cat to increase its lifespan, this technique may have worked. Crème puffs owner also had another cat named Granpa Rexs Allen, that lived to be over 34. 

A few factors contribute to the lifespan of a cat, including genetics, diet, and environment. Cats that are well-cared for and live in a safe environment tend to live longer than those that don’t.

Related Article: New Kitten Checklist

Cats’ years to human years

How old is your cat in human years? To find out, use this simple calculation:

 Take your cat’s age in years and multiply it by 7.

 For example, a 5-year-old cat would be 35 in human years.

Why do people say cats have 9 lives? Final thoughts

Whatever the origins of the saying, it’s clear that cats have always been seen as special creatures with abilities that set them apart from other animals. The belief that cats have nine lives is widespread. It is likely that this saying will continue to be used for many years to come.

So next time you see a cat calmly walking away from a fall, you’ll know that he’s used one of his nine lives! 

Further reading: Why Do Cats Groom Themselves and Each Other?

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