Cats and Witches: The Magical History of a Black Cat

by catfood

Halloween, according to some, is the time of year when cats and witches truly work their magic! You may have wondered how they are so intimately intertwined.


Halloween would be incomplete without costumed cats and witches. But what is it about those mischievous felines that makes them the ideal broomstick companions for witches?

Magic’s Origins

Black cats and witches are a famous Halloween combo due to their long history dating back to prehistoric times. Cats were regularly depicted as witches’ magical companions long before trick-or-treaters and candy baskets. In Norse mythology, the goddess Freyja rode a chariot carried by charmed cats, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Freyja oversaw death and the afterlife and was well-known for her witchcraft.

Witches and cats were also prominently linked in the European witch trials of the Middle Ages and those of Salem, Massachusetts. Heretics suspected of witchcraft were usually identified by the possession of a cat – or other animal – believed to do the witch’s bidding. Cats were even thought to be witches in disguise by certain people.


Why are cats present?

Why was it thought that witches preferred cats to cows or rabbits? Witches, in fact, were considered to have “familiars,” or diverse animal companions. Cats and dogs were the most prevalent familiars, but other animals such as toads and mice were also used by witches. Cats were more frequently associated with evil than other animals because to their nocturnal and independent nature.

Fortunately for Halloween and pop culture fans, cats have remained at the top of the list with masked witches. After all, a cat is infinitely more adorable than a toad on Halloween.


Trick or treat?

Do you fear your cat will perform tricks on Halloween? Due to their historical affiliation with witches, cats, particularly black cats, have earned the unsavory reputation of bringing bad luck. However, cats are associated with hundreds of different superstitions, both good and bad.

In fact, in many cultures, seeing a black cat is a sign of good fortune. Regardless of your superstitions, your cat may have more sweets than tricks in store for you this Halloween.

Return the favor by giving your cat a new Halloween-themed toy or her favorite treat. You may dress up like your cat to show her how much you admire her.

First and foremost, there is safety

The finest Halloween gift you can give your cat is to keep her safe. Keep frightened cats away from the busy front door, and keep all rewards out of their reach. If you’re going trick-or-treating with her on a leash or in a cat stroller, be sure she’s acclimated to it.

Whether you believe in magic or not, the long history of cat lore shows that cats have always been regarded as magnificent creatures. Halloween is an excellent time to remember your favorite feline.

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