Why do they always emerge safe and sound from conceivably death-dealing situations? Do cats really have 9 lives? Either you are amazed, or you just want your cat to have these qualities, but – sorry to disappoint – that cannot be exactly the case. Still, the question needs further discussion since the legends and myths about countless cats’ lives have been popular across various cultures.

Do Cats Have Multiple Lives?

No, cats do not have multiple lives. Felines having multiple lives is just a myth. But at its best, this myth is so convincing that a majority of kitty owners believe it to be a fact. We will see why this is the case, but first, let us discuss where this number nine comes from.

Do Cats Have Nine, Seven, or Six Lives?

Legends about cats having multiple lives have been around for centuries, but it’s not always nine lives. The number of lives varies from culture to culture.  While in most English-speaking countries, cats are believed to have nine lives, in the Kabbalah region, cats are believed to have seven lives, and in Turkish and Arabic legends, cats are believed to be blessed with six lives.

The theory about cats having nine lives is most prevalent today in some parts of Europe and the Spanish-speaking regions of South America. Though it is not possible to reach the reason accurately, it is believed that the legend has most likely originated from the proverb “cats have nine lives: for three her plays; three he strays, three he stays.” However, there is no evidence as to where and how it originated.

But interestingly, this legend has been mentioned in a lot of places. John Haywood, for instance, quoted in the 16th century, “a woman hath nine lives like a cat.” Likewise, William Shakespeare has also referenced the nine lives of cats in his famous play “Romeo and Juliet.”

According to various experts, the legend of the nine lives of cats may have originated in Egypt, where cats were revered the most – not to mention the famous Egyptian cat goddess, Bastet. Some sources also claim that figure nine denotes the number of years a cat normally lives. By the time this legend surfaced, cats had an average lifespan of nine years; with time, the lifespan increased, especially in the case of domestic cats, i.e., 15 years today.

Many also argue that number nine is associated with cats due to their sorcery background, especially in the case of black and some tabby cats. It is believed that witches could possess their cats’ souls nine times.

Similarly, Arabs and Turks used to believe that cats have seven lives. It is said that this saying was passed to Europe – particularly Spain – during the occupation of the Iberian Peninsula between the eighth and 16th centuries. When, in turn, the Portuguese and the Spanish landed in the New World, the myth reached there too.

Why Are Cats Believed to Have Multiple Lives?

Various reasons stemming from cats’ strong survival instincts make feline enthusiasts believe that cats have multiple lives and can cheat death. Since they are too good at pulling through potentially fatal scenarios, it is speculated that cats actually exhibit several lives and only die when all of them are over. Here are a few reasons that make cat lovers think that felines have multiple lives:

Cats Are Super-Speedy

A grey and white cat is galloping in grass
Image by rihaij from Pixabay

Cats are very agile and swift, especially the Egyptian Mau. Their known top speed hovers around 48 km/h, which is too much for such a small creature. Cats are, in fact, faster than most of the animals they consider threatening. For instance, they outrun dogs. Similarly, though wolves are a bit faster than cats, the latter are quite good at acceleration and use their maneuvering skills to outsmart wolves.

Cats Often Survive High Falls

According to a study, out of 132 cats brought to a New York vet clinic after they made a high fall, 90% survived. What is more astonishing? Out of these cases, a cat fell from a towering height of 32 stories and experienced a chipped tooth and collapsed lungs.

Moreover, cats can adjust themselves in midair, which makes them capable of landing on their feet. Hence, they can save their sensitive parts, such as the head, to avoid serious injuries.

Cat Are Fastidious Creatures

A cute British kitten is sitting in the bath

Naturally, cats always try to keep themselves clean. Kittens first learn cleanliness lessons from their mothers, afterward, by the age of six weeks, they start taking care of themselves and grooming on their own, such as by licking their paws. These great habits make them less susceptible to diseases and illnesses.

To compare again, cats are much cleaner than dogs. Similarly, the average lifespan of cats is 15 years, which is longer than that of dogs, i.e., 12 years.

Cats Rarely Show Pain

Cats are great when it comes to hiding their pain. This makes people think they are some kind of supernatural beings free of suffering in their lives. Whenever they suffer any sort of injury, they begin licking it silently, which eventually heals the wound in no time without letting their humans know.

Cats Get Back Home

A cute domestic beautiful cat on a road in a desert

Cats have an innate capability of always making it to their home when they are lost or abandoned, even if it takes years. According to research, cats can travel up to 80 miles in about two and a half years to find their way back home.

This particular prowess gives a further boost to the idea of cats having multiple lives. Even when the owners completely lose hope of their cats returning, they somehow magically find their way back home.

The Sixth Sense Factor

Though there exists no proof, cats are known to possess a sixth sense. With this sixth sense, they can sense impending dangers and thus escape the danger zone much before any uncalled-for event occurs.

Cats May Intimidate Big Animals

A blackish cat is looking curiously at a dog

Though our cats are small, they are feisty and sharp. Before domestication, cats have been wild creatures. They are used to catch their prey and outrun or even fight off bigger predators such as dogs and jackals, etc. When they are hyper, they are much more agile and are in offensive mode.

Though this might frighten the predators, it is not always the case; they might risk their lives.

Conclusion: Do Cats Have 9 Lives?

No, cats do not have multiple lives. Cats having multiple lives is just a myth, which is prevalently believed by people worldwide because of the old-age legends. These myths are widely believed because our cats have some supernatural reflexes, sixth sense, agility, and speed that save them from most life-threatening situations.

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