Do Cats Have Nine Lives Or Seven Or Six
Interestingly, the myth that cats have multiple lives exists around the world. However, its not always nine lives the number varies from culture to culture. In certain regions of Spain it is believed that cats have seven lives, for example. Meanwhile, some Turkish and Arabic legends say cats have six lives.
Nine has traditionally been considered a magic number, which could also help to explain why cats are associated with nine lives. In ancient Greece, the number nine referred to the trinity of all trinities and a supernatural number that invokes tradition and religion. Cats have been both worshipped and feared over the ages, and were often seen as magical creatures.
Spot’s Corner: Why Cats Are Thought To Have Nine Lives
Every culture has a collection of wise sayings, proverbs or myths that offer advice about how to live one’s life, or try to explain some idea or natural phenomenon.
Many of these include references to animals such as dogs, horses, birds, fish and cats.
So with that being said, what comes to mind for the number nine? Lives? Yes, cats’ lives that is. An ancient proverb states, “A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays.”
While the origin of this myth is unknown, it’s well-known to have been around for a long time.
Cats are believed to have nine lives in part because they possess flexibility and agility. They are smaller and lighter in stature in most cases and have an unusual sense of balance, which allows them to land on all fours. Because of these physical attributes and qualities, it’s thought that cats are more likely to “cheat death” on many occasions before their number is up.
In ancient times, cats were worshiped as gods and goddesses. Cats were also revered and praised for being magical. This is probably why cats have been attributed for having nine lives. Farmers often left offerings for the cats to ensure a good harvest. The Chinese believe cats protect their crops from being eaten by rats and mice. The majestic cat has reigned supreme for thousands of years.
Jusak Yang Bernhard and Jeff Manley are co-owners of TailsSpin Pet Stuff, a Bentley’s Pet Stuff company. Send your questions and suggestions to them at .
How Cats Escape From Deadly Catastrophes
Cats DO almost always land on their feet. This is because they have what is called a righting reflex- they are able to twist around very quickly in the air if dropped from high places.
They have extremely good balance and reflexes, and have very flexible backbones, as they have more vertebrae than humans.
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How Old Do Cats Live Cat Breeds With The Shortest To Longest Lifespan
Youve likely already heard that a mixed breed cat is much more likely to live a longer life, compared to a purebred.
But, have you ever wondered why?
Heterosis is a term geneticist use to explain why moggies live longer than purebreds. Now, heterosis is actually quite a complicated scientific theory to understand. So, to keep things simple, well describe how it plays a role in your cats genetics.
Outcrossing is a practice where a breeder will introduce a new gene into the breeding pool. For example, the Toyger cat was created by mixing a Bengal cat with a domestic tabby.
The act of introducing new genes into an already narrow gene pool would mean the breeder is increasing the genetic diversity. It is almost like the law of probability!
The more diverse genes you have in an animal, the less likely are the chances on them inheriting a medical disorder.
Now that we understand how long do cats live for lets look more specifically at the lifespan of pedigree cat breeds.
Average Cat Lifespan: How Long Do Indoor Cats Live
If youve got an outdoor cat, then your veterinarian has probably already scolded you about keeping cats indoors.
You should listen to your vet!
Indoor cats do indeed live much longer than outdoor. And, it doesnt take a lot of science to prove it!
Cats kept indoors are generally kept in a clean and safe environment. For the most part, they are less likely to come into contact with deadly pathogens, viruses, and parasites. In addition, they are less likely to encounter a traumatic injury.
Cats who are free to roam the outdoors, are more at risk of contracting deadly pathogens. Viral diseases like the Feline Calicivirus or the Rabies virus will be prevalent in other cats or mammals. An outdoor cat who encounters such a virus will undoubtedly, contract these viral diseases.
Aside from viral diseases, outdoor cats also have an increased risk of contracting bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections. For instance, a few diseases an outdoor cat can acquire is:
- Campylobacter, and
Outdoor cats are a lot more likely to come home withor diefrom a severe injury. Cars, other cats, dogs, and even wild animals can all cause injury and death to a cat.
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Do Cats Land On Their Feet Every Time
Cats are incredibly agile, in large part due to their flexible backbones and righting reflex, which enables them to twist very rapidly mid-air whilst falling, landing with ease.
Of course, this isnt always the case Blue Cross states that, heartbreakingly, many kitties suffer fatal injuries as a result of serious falls.
Along with securing specialist pet cover, make sure you keep windows securely fastened and attach mesh to them during summer months.
Lets consider some other myths about our cute kitties:
Cultural Nine Lives Theories
Your cats ancestors were once worshipped in ancient Egyptian times, and trust me, he knows that and wont ever let you his simple humanforget it. The ancient sun god of Egypt, Atum-Ra, was said to have produced eight other gods. And theories surrounding this all powerful and mighty god also said that he often took the form of a cat, which would equate to the ninth life.
In ancient Chinese culture, nine is considered to be one of the luckiest numbers of all and quickly became associated with the feline kind. They say that nine is the trinity of trinities and believe that cats most definitely have multiple lives. Some other countries have developed their own theories surrounding cats lives. Italy, Greece, Brazil, and Germany believe that cats have seven lives, while those in Turkey only believe a cat to have six lives.
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Cats Land On Their Feet All The Time
It is true that cats land on their feet, but it doesnt happen all the time. As mentioned earlier, cats ability to land on their feet from a high drop is primarily due to their air-righting reflex, which allows their body to turn around while in the air. This innate ability is also made possible because of their elastic spine.
However, cats dont always land safely on their feet. Every year, animal hospitals treat cats that have fallen from high places, such as the windows of a multiple-story building.
While some cats survive the impact of their fall, a lot of cats dont. And even those cats who seem not to succumb from their fall also experience life-changing damage that can be expensive to treat.
So, for your cats safety, its best to keep them indoors and to always close your windows, especially if you live in a mid or high-rise property. You should also check the mesh of your windows and balconies during summer to prevent accidents.
The Meaning Behind Cats And Nine Lives Explained
All it takes is one look into a cat’s eyes to know that it’s a magical creature, though it’s hard to say whether those supernatural abilities are being used for good or evil. Over the centuries, quite a number of myths related to a purring feline‘s mesmerizing abilities have circulated through their human slaves, from speculation regarding the way that cats almost always land on their feet to the belief that they can see in total darkness, like that Riddick guy.
What about this whole nine lives business, though? While you’ve probably figured out that your cat doesn’t legitimately get nine chances to be daring before the timer runs out, it’s intriguing to ponder where this old tale might’ve started in the first place.
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When Did The Saying Cats Have Nine Lives Start
Many people believe the saying that cats have nine lives comes from an old English proverb that could be several hundred years old. The proverb states, A cat has nine lives, for three he plays, for three he strays, and for three he stays. This proverb doesnt tell us why cats have so many lives, but since the proverbs are so well known, its more than a little believable that this is the origin of the myth.
This One Cat Is Pretty Near Immortal
Myths aside, this cat is doing pretty well for itself. Pinky is apparently the worlds oldest cat at 28 years old. Shes still healthy and eats well, and still has beautiful thick, soft fur.
Shes ancient and wise and is the oldest cat in existence to our knowledge.
Perhaps all the baby kittens we see on the internet are secretly hundreds of years old and are on their ninth life.
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One In New York City Fell From A Window On The Thirty
In truth, even the most ardent ailurophile will concede that they only have one life, but is there some trait in a cats behaviour that leads to the belief that they are death-defying?
Well, yes. They have a remarkable propensity to fall from height and land on their feet, apparently unharmed, something that has not always worked in their favour.
The Kattenstoet is held in Ypres in Belgium on the second Sunday of every May, a parade commemorating the custom, dating from the Middle Ages, of throwing cats from the seventy-metre-high belfry tower of the Cloth Hall down to the town square below. Again, the origin of this curious ritual is lost in the mists of time, but cats were used to protect the wool stored there from the predations of vermin over winter. Once spring arrived, the wool was sold, they were redundant, and the ungrateful merchants simply tossed them out of the windows.
And it seems that the cats survived. In 1817, after the defenestration of a live cat, the towns keeper remarked that in spite of the height of the fall, the animal ran off quickly that it might never be caught again in a similar ceremony, as well it might. Youll be glad to hear that proved to be the last time a real cat was used puppets are used in the modern ceremony.
Etienne-Jules Mareys film of a cat falling.
Cats Have A Relatively Low Terminal Velocity Of 60 Mph Which They Reach Around The Five
The researchers suggested an explanation. When cats begin to fall, they tense up and arch their backs and rely on their physiological advantages to survive. This proves an admirable strategy for short distance falls, but less so for falls which are longer but not long enough for the cat to reach its terminal velocity, the point where its speed while falling remains constant.
Cats have a relatively low terminal velocity of 60 mph, around half that of humans, which they reach in a fall at around the five-storey mark. Up to that point injuries increase in severity, but then they have time to adopt a more relaxed body state, using it rather like a parachute, and so minimise their injuries.
Picture Post covered the falling cat phenomenon in 1944.
The flaw in their research, though, was that the sample was skewed significantly towards cats that had initially, if not ultimately, survived their falls. After all, owners would not take their cats to a veterinary surgery if they had been killed outright. Further doubts were cast on the findings by a study of 119 cats that had fallen at least four storeys, published in October 2004 in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. One of its key conclusions was that falls from the seventh or higher storeys are associated with more severe injuries and with a higher incidence of thoracic trauma.
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The Myth And A Cats Abilities
In the more modern world, the myth of cats having 9 lives is more closely related to a cats ability to almost always land on her feet, thus getting out quite easily from extreme situations.
Across time, people have witnessed cats surviving situations that other animals would have gotten out of with severe injuries or not at all, thus reinforcing the myth that cats have 9 lives.
The extreme flexibility and agility cats proved over and over again in all kinds of situations have made them almost invincible in our eyes, somehow reinforcing our beliefs.
While its clear that those nine lives are only a myth, we should admit that our little feline friends are pretty awesome at preserving the one and only life they have and we should respect them for that.
Why Would People Think Cats Have Many Lives
Ever watched a cat whether its a house cat, a lion on TV, a leopard at the zoo, jump and run and heck even fall all without a scratch?
The fact that cats are so agile, swift, and flexible likely has a lot to do with the myth about cats having multiple lives arising.
Wikipedia points out that:
The myth is attributed to the natural suppleness and swiftness cats exhibit to escape life-threatening situations. Also lending credence to this myth is the fact that falling cats often land on their feet, using an instinctive righting reflex to twist their bodies around. Nonetheless, cats can still be injured or killed by a high fall.
Cats run at speeds quite baffling from the viewpoint of a human. The fastest domestic cats can sprint up to 30 mph or 47 km/hr thats ridiculously fast for a little cat!
Imagine seeing a cat speed away from an aggressive dog or wolf, or any other predator picking a fight with him or her, and making it out of a terrible, completely life-threatening altercation, just in the nick of time. I can see why youd think that type of near-death experience cats face and scramble out of all the time might mean some started to believe cats have more than one life, and they used one up each time they came so close to death.
Then theres the fact that cats have the ability to right themselves in midair when falling from high places often saving themselves with little to no physical damage, even if theyre many storeys up in the air.
Why Do We Say That Cats Have 9 Lives
Cats are magnificent creatures that make wonderful pets. They are also excellent hunters skilled in stealth, and they can ambush or stalk their prey. Cats can see in near darkness and have amazing balance with no fear of heights. These characteristics have inspired many legends, like the claim that cats always land on their feet or have nine lives. If you want to learn more about your cat, keep reading while we look at the latter claim to see when it started and why people say that cats have nine lives to help you learn more about your pet.
Heres Why They Say Cats Have Nine Lives
Old English Proverbs
Sometimes old theories carry weight over time. For cats, the theory surrounding the nine lives origin rose in popularity thanks to an old English Proverb. Although not meant in super seriousness, the proverb tells that: A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays.
In 1732, Thomas Fuller wrote a book called Gnomologia: Adagies And Proverbs Wise Sentences And Witty Sayings, Ancient And Modern, Foreign And British. In it he said that,A cat has nine lives, and a woman has nine cats lives. Thus further solidifying the theories surrounding the origin of why they say cats have nine lives.
Cats Always Land on Their Feet
While your cat is one incredible acrobat and stealthy ninja, it is NOT true that a cat always lands on its feet. Yes, of course it is likely, but certainly not always true. Your cat is advanced in terms of agility and reaction speed. And because of their profound righting reflex they will land on their feet more times than not. But, this popular myth about cats is definitely one of the reasons that cats are said to have nine lives.
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Cows Milk Is Great For Cats
Cats dont really need milk, more so, if its from a cow. They can live and thrive a long and happy life as long as you give them a complete and balanced diet where they can get the essential nutrients.
Cows milk can upset a cats stomach, especially if they are not used to it. This is because, once they are weaned, cats become intolerant to lactose, which is a primary component of cows milk.
However, if your cat has had cows milk all his life, his body has pretty much adjusted. So, he can digest the milk in most cases.
If you want to give your cat milk as treats or as part of his daily meals, its best to buy a lactose-free equivalent.
However, you should still pay attention that what your cat drinks or eats would all total to his recommended daily caloric intake.
And given that milk is high in calories, your cat can easily put on weight if you are not particular with the amount of milk, he drinks each meal.
As for kittens, its obvious that they need milk to survive, but only their mothers or specially-tailored formula milk meant for kittens that can be purchased from your local veterinary clinic.