Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Do Cats Actually Have 9 Lives

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Cats Have One Life So Make It A Good One

Do Cats Really Have 9 Lives?! | Cats 101

In reality, cats have only one life. And there are a few ways that you can make sure your cat is happy and healthy:

  • Keep them safe. Cats that spend time outside are at risk of injury or death from cars, predators, and other hazards.
  • Play with your cat. One of the best ways to ward off boredom and weight gain is with active play. Playing with your cat is akin to going to the gym or taking your dog for a long walk, so make sure that you schedule in regular playtime for your cat.
  • Give them good food. As true carnivores, cats benefit from a diet filled with high quality protein.
  • Provide them with companionship. Another myth we can debunk about cats is that theyre solitary animals. In reality, cats enjoy the company of humans and would rather stay in the care of a local Cat Sitter than be left alone at home.

So, do cats really have nine lives? No! But we can do our best to make sure our cats are as happy and healthy as possible in the one life theyve got.

Can Cats Sense Death

They are also intuitive in that they often know when they are about to die. I have heard stories where cats hide or run away from home to find a place to pass away peacefully. Therefore, cats are attuned to their bodies and their environment to the point where they can detect signs associated with death.

Ancient Origins Of A Cat’s Nine Lives

The proverb that started it all states: “A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays.”

As with most oral storytelling, there is no evidence of when or where this famous English quotation was first documented. However, William Shakespeare knew about the saying because he referenced it in his play Romeo and Juliet, written in the late 16th century: “Good king of cats, nothing but one your nine lives.” Because of this, the myth predates the late 1500s and possibly has ancient origins.

What we do know, notes Science magazine, is that the fascination with cats dates way back to about 12,000 years ago in the homes and places of worship of the ancient Egyptians. The Egyptians saw their feline friends as divine creatures with supernatural powers. Most notably, the goddess Bastet’s ability to change from human to cat and back again may have promoted the idea that cats have multiple lives because she kept appearing and reappearing.

This mystical nature then seems to have followed the domestic cat during its migration from the Middle East through Greece, China and into Europe, eventually spreading into all corners of the world. By the time cats made their way to England, however, they were revered more for their ability to ward off rodents than to reincarnate. Despite their work as mousers, cats retained their air of mystique.

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Your Thoughts On How Many Lives Cats Have

What do you think about the myth that cats have many lives?

Which version have you heard 9 lives, 7 lives, or 6? Have you heard of multiple? From which sources ?

Do you have any theories on why people may have thought these specific numbers were the amount of lives cats have? Do you like or dislike any of the theories presented here? Have you heard any other information on the topic of the specific number of cat lives?

Love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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Protecting Your Cats Precious Life

Does Your Cat Have 9 Lives?

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What Is The Folkloristic Origin Of Cats Having 9 Lives

Long ago, people believed cats had 9 lives.

When and where did that belief come from?

  • yannisJul 28 ’16 at 19:40
  • It’s a reference to the movie when the sabertooth comes to life saying that cats have 9 lives

It may not be possible to trace the exact origins of the phrase that a cat had nine lives. Nevertheless there are a few sources from which we can find a possible origin of cats having nine lives.

First of all, it may have an Egyptian origin as the following statement reveals:

The old belief that a cat has nine lives goes back to ancient Egypt. The cat-headed goddess, Bast , was associated with the benevolent aspect of Hathor, the Lioness, and was said to have nine lives. The Egyptians did not fear the cat, but rather reverenced it, and they elevated cats far above the role of domestic pet. To the Egyptians, the cat was transformed from mouse catcher to supreme deity, the “Sayer of Great Words.” The Egyptian word for cat was Mau, which is at once an imitation of the animal’s call and the nearly universal human cry for mother. Cats came to be worshipped with such intensity that the wanton killing of a cat was punishable by death. – Encyclopedia of the Unusual and Unexplained: Superstitions, Strange Customs, Taboos, and Urban Legends.

The follow point could be taken into consideration here:

There is also the Celtic mythological legend of the Cat Sìth, which offers us its own possibility of being the source of this belief that cats had nine lives!

Curiosity Killed The Cat

In order for a cat to show off its incredible ability to survive, it first needs to be put in positions where survival is required. Cats do love to investigate, hence the idiom curiosity killed the cat. This curiosity gets cats into positions where they have to rely on their whiskers, tails, and their self-righting mechanism to survive and is why people considered cats to even need more than one life in the first place.

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Do Cats Really Have Nine Lives The Truth Behind This Myth

Nicole Cosgrove

The cats close relationship to humans is marked by its existence in countless idioms and sayings. We let the cat out of the bag, take a cat nap, there is more than one way to skin a cat, you put the cat among the pigeons, curiosity killed the cat, etc. But one of the best-known idioms refers to the fact that cats are said to have nine lives. This isnt true, but the saying likely originates from the fact that cats have an innate ability to survive dangerous situations and get away by the skin of their teeth.

But why are there nine lives specifically? And is there any truth to the saying? Lets take a closer look.

The Cats Have 9 Lives Version Likely Comes From

Do cats really have nine lives ?

Cats and witches seem to have historically thought to have had a connection. Either way, theyve been associated together for a very long time, it seems.

In the 1559 book Beware the Cat by William Baldwin, it states:

For witches have gone often in that likeness and thereof hath come to the proverb, as true as common, that a cat hath nine lives (that is to say, a witch may take on her a cats body nine times.

Thus, it may be that something to do with a witch being able to possess a cat 9 times had something to do with the myth being so popularly connected to the number 9 in English cultures.

As the quote also points out, in John Heywoods proverbs , theres a line alluding to the myth about cats having 9 lives that says, A woman hath nine lives like a cat.

So this myth goes pretty darn far back, even with the specifics of the number nine. And truth be told, while we have guesses with regards to where these specific numbers might have emerged we may never know! It might turn out these sources came way after the myth emerged and spread, and built on the already-existent myth of cats having 9 lives.

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Do Cats Have Nine Lives The Origin Of The Saying

Cats are lucky. After all, nothing else in the animal kingdom can boast more than one lifelet alone nine! So, do cats have nine lives? While felines display a Houdini-like knack for escaping precarious situations unscathed, we know that, unfortunately, the nine lives thing is a myth. But where did this common saying originate?

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Cats’ Godlike Nature in Ancient Egypt

First, cats began to develop a mythical quality in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptian people worshipped gods that resembled a feline or were half-feline in form, thanks to cats’ protective, motherly nature. The Egyptians respected felinity, and connected it to divinity and immortality.

Cats in English Literature

Some believe that the origin of the nine lives myth comes from an English proverb. The proverb reads: “A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays.” While this proverb was simply intended to describe a cat’s lifecycle from being a kitten to an adult cat to a senior cat, it’s possible that it caught on and people began to believe that cats actually had nine lives.

The myth also appears in Shakespeareâs play Romeo and Juliet, Act 3, Scene 1: where Mercutio says to Tybalt, “Good king of cats, nothing but one of your nine lives.”

The Cultural Significance of the Number 9

The number nine has significance in several other traditions and cultures. Nine is a lucky number in Chinese culture, because it sounds the same as the word “long-lasting.” And there are nine muses in Greek mythology. Also, nine may be considered lucky in the early Christian tradition, since the number nine represents a trinity .

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The Facts Behind The Myth

Heres the real truth behind all those mythical and superhuman powers. It all comes back to anatomy.

  • Heightened senses. By default, cats have enviably heightened olfaction, hearing, eyesight, and sense of touch. This aids them tremendously in tricky situations.

Your cat can sense the danger long before it approaches. As such, it has extra time to react to a potential death threat.

With each new day, kitties learn how to react faster. In return, this helps them cheat the gallows on more than nine occasions throughout their lifetime.

  • Excellent hunting skills. All kittens have inborn hunting instincts. As they grow older their skills evolve.

Exercising the art of stalking, lurking and attacking the prey at the right moment also improves their survival skills, even if theyre only practicing through play sessions.

And when the time for running away, wriggling out of something or landing softly from a high fall comes, they have already developed the necessary skill set to do so.

  • Agile bodies. Cats are outstanding athletes and no one can deny it. Some breeds are more active and athletic than others, but most felines are extremely agile.

Compared to most humans cats can twist and turn in ways we can only dream of. Their flexibility, as well as their inborn righting reflex, is a crucial aspect of their longevity.

To sum it up, your feline furball has only one life. Cherish it to the fullest and your fluffy pal will be forever grateful to you.

How Do Cats Cry

Do cats really have 9 lives?

Technically, cats don’t cry actual tears when they‘re sad like humans do. … Instead, when a cat feels sad or hurt, they’re more likely to meow in a pained or troubled fashion. Meowing in a more distressed or sorrowful manner is a cat’s way of vocalizing that they’re feeling a degree of sadness.

  • Citrus: orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit. Citrus smells are widely reported as being repugnant to cats. …
  • Lavender, geranium, and eucalyptus. …

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Does Putting Butter On Your Cats Paws Help Them Get Home

Unfortunately, many of us still believe this myth, applying butter to our kitties paws when we move to a new house, before we let them outside.

Not only is this untrue, its also potentially dangerous. The myth states that butter helps to mask the smell of your mogs old home, helping them settle into their new habitat and acclimatise as they clean off the butter.

This doesnt work for a variety of reasons. The scent of your previous house will still remain on every other part of your cat, and theyll likely become even more distressed when trying to lick their grease-covered paws clean.

Its far safer to keep your pussycat indoors during the first two weeks of a move, giving them the time to realise that their new abode is secure.

Make sure theyre microchipped, then gradually progress to supervised trips outside, right before their mealtimes only do this during the daytime. After a few weeks of this, they should settle in.

Ancient Origins Of The Myth

If youve ever seen Ancient Egyptian art, you probably already know that this society loved cats. In fact, they believed that cats had special ties to the gods and the afterlife. And mummifying cats in order to help guide their Owners into the underworld was a common practicearchaeologists say that millions of cats were mummified at the height of the Egyptian empire! There were even special laws and customs to ensure protected status for cats, giving them an exalted place in society.

But, what does this have to do with our myth? Well, one important legend for the Ancient Egyptians was that of Atum-Ra, the sun god. Atum-Ra created the eight other gods who were responsible for all life on earth, from air to water to earth and more. And, whenever Atum-Ra wanted to visit the underworld, he embodied all nine gods in one, taking the form of a cat in the process.

Atum-Ra isnt the only god related to cats. However, the story is generally accepted as the origin for the myth that cats have nine lives.

But as you already know, the story doesnt end there. Long after the fall of the Egyptian Empire, the myth of cats having nine lives has endured. And the next iterations also tell us a lot about the influence of cats around the world!

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Are They Reborn Or Just Good At Jumping

Cats don’t really have nine lives. But the main reason that cats got a reputation for reincarnation is their ability to jump and land.

They climb high trees, run in front of cars and jump from high places. Surely someone with only one, short life wouldnt leap about frantically, like a pogo stick with a death wish?

Cats do though. So an old housewives tale, based on the fact that Mr Nibbles would jump from the top of the wardrobe and land on his feet, has persisted over hundreds of years.

The Cats Have 6 Lives Version Likely Comes From

Do Cats Really Have 9 Lives?

Finally, we have the myth that cats have six lives. And this one, for some reason I couldnt find any guesses or information on.

I have a feeling that the fact that cats were thought to be associated with witches and hexes, evil and bad luck, made the number 6 spring up because, Biblical, the number 6 is also associated with evil, as well as Satan/the devil.

If you already have a bad or negative representation or idea of cats, it makes sense to couple the myth with a negatively thought of number, at least this is the theory Ive come up with that makes the most sense to me.

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Why Do Cats Dislike Dogs

Why do cats hate dogs? Dogs are descendants of naturally social wolves, while cats’ ancestors are Arabian wildcats, who were known primarily to be loners. … Dogs have an instinct to chase small prey especially if it’s fleeing. It’s no secret that cats typically don’t enjoy being chased, even if dogs view it as a game.

Nine Lives Of Popular Culture

That said, among all the various myths, legends, and superstitions surrounding cats, the old “nine lives” trick is the one that seems to appear in popular culture the most, and not just in corny dad jokes. For instance, in the 1992 film Batman Returns, the iconic DC antihero Catwoman is portrayed as surviving eight near-death experiences over the course of the film, implying that she either scored nine lives from her initial cat resurrection, or is just insanely lucky.

Later, Men in Black director Barry Sonnenfeld played with this trope in the 2016 comedy flick Nine Lives. It was also referenced in the graphic novel Garfield: His Nine Lives, and yes, there is a longstanding pet food brand called 9Lives, which has been producing kitty chow since 1959. Anyhow, the point is, anywhere cats are referenced, a shout out to their multiple lives will follow soon afterward. It’s like magic. Kinda.

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