Black cats, Bad luck and witches -National Black Cat Day 27/10/2016



It is a sad fact that many black and black & white cats get overlooked in the rescue shelters. Jackie May – Cats Protection Digital Manager said:

“Black and black and white cats make up almost half of the unwanted cats in our care and take around a week longer to find a home”

Every year the Cats Protection hold a National Black Cats day to raise awareness and try to find these misunderstood cats new and loving homes. While in some cases they are overlooked because the sheer number of cats in the shelters means that people become overwhelmed and one that stands out visually or is an unusual colour will be more likely to catch their attention, however it is clearly no accident that the CP decided to hold Black Cat day near Halloween as another subconcious reason for overlooking black cats could be the deep routed links in our social history with bad luck and witches.


To celebrate Black Cat day, I have found some quotes and information regarding folklore of cats from around the globe.

The following information comes from a book by Stephen Budiansky – The Character of Cats. 2002


‘Many European folk beliefs hold that one should kill or maim any cat one encounters at night to ward off evil’

‘From a benevolent symbol of fertility and motherhood the cat became a literal symbol of the devil.’

‘Norse Legend, Freya, queen of the Valkyries and goddess of fertility, drove a chariot pulled by black cats…’

‘…bad sign if a black cat crosses your path since it means you have been noticed by the devil.’

‘In Germany the above was true if the cat crossed you from right to left but was good luck if it crossed from left to right.’


The following information was sourced from the book by Chloe Rhodes, Black Cats & Evil Eyes – A book of old fashioned superstitions. 2012.

‘In Scotland a black cat arriving at your house was a signal prosperity was coming’

‘In China cats are harbingers of hunger & poverty.’

‘In Italy a black cat getting on the bed of a sick person signalled their imminent death.’

‘In England a black cat walking towards you is lucky.’

‘It was lucky to see a black cat on important occassions.’

‘Witches in animal form.’

Cats have been both worshiped and persecuted thoughout their history of domestication. Possibly the most damaging element being their association of witches in disguise or friends of witches, this association was likely made due to old lonely ladies were often accused of witchcraft and they also happend to have cats as companions, black cats are also able to seemingly appear out of nowhere in the darkness (like magic).

To help support Black Cat day, share this post and visit Cats Protection or your local animal shelter.

Think you know everything about cats? Take the fun quiz on the  Catwyse website.

You may be interested in Preparing to raise a life


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