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How Do Cats Have 9 Lives?

Updated: August 11, 2022 by Kristen Chapple

Unlike us and other animals, cats sometimes seem to have an unnatural ability, that of getting out alive from situations that one would bet are deadly. Sometimes it just seems that cats have 9 lives. But how’s that even possible?

How do cats have 9 lives? Is that a myth or are there some facts behind to support it? Since hundreds of years ago, people kept telling this story on and on, yet where did it originate from, nobody seems to know. But one thing is sure, they had to have a reason for it.

The Myth in Different Cultures

The saying that cats have 9 lives is something most people seem to know, no matter where they come from. It’s a tale that has spread across the globe, everybody has heard it and nobody knows what’s the deal with it.

According to science, cats have only one life. That’s a given. But if you ask around in different cultures and beliefs, you will find out that cats have more than one life. For example, in some Spanish-speaking countries, the myth talks about seven lives, while in Turkey people know about six lives.

In China, the number nine is considered lucky. Actually, in most cultures the number nine is considered somewhat magical or holy, being the trinity of trinities. Numerology tells that nine is the complete number, thus making it the most special of all.

It seems that people have always had a fascination with number nine and combined with the fact that cats are considered sacred and mystical animals in some cultures – plus their amazing abilities – have made for the perfect ingredients of a good story.

Egyptians were the first to domesticate cats and also believed that they’re sacred animals, so they worshiped them as gods. And everybody knows that gods live forever, perhaps giving birth to the idea about the multiple lives of cats.

The Myth and a Cat’s Abilities

In the more modern world, the myth of cats having 9 lives is more closely related to a cat’s ability to almost always land on her feet, thus getting out quite easily from extreme situations.

Across time, people have witnessed cats surviving storms, earthquakes , and other natural disasters 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 it’s 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.

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