Whether you love cats or hate ‘em, we can all agree: the black cat gets a bad rap.
While black cats are typically associated with Halloween, witchcraft and bad luck, there’s much more to these fur balls than creepy stuff. Learn more about the history of black cats (and how they became Halloween icons), the places they’re considered a symbol of good fortune and how their genes may, one day, help prevent certain diseases in humans.
Black cats are ultimate Halloween icons—and a top costume choice for both elementary school children and women in their freshman year of college, oddly enough—but do you know how they got such a spooky rap?
Beginning in the Middle Ages, black cats became associated with Satan, witches and witchcraft; some people went so far as to believe that black cats were cohorts to witches or even witches who had taken on another form.
As with any story that has such a long and colored past, many myths about black cats still linger today. Some of the more commonly heard black cat warnings include:
- It is bad luck for a black cat to cross your path
- Never turn your back on a black cat or you will be cursed
- A black cat on the bed of an ill person will bring death
- In Asia and the United Kingdom, black cats are considered good luck
Black cats in truth are far from bad luck and evil. They are loving family friends, just like any other cat.