Are cats evil? (Reasons why people think cats are evil)

Since theology school, I have been interested in various cultural and religious beliefs about different animals. I was mostly fascinated by the common belief that cats are symbols of darkness.

A few weeks ago, a friend recommended that I read Pet Sematary by Stephen King, and it reminded me of several other books I had read that depicted cats as dark creatures.

To ensure I did not draw a biased conclusion, I searched for answers online. I also studied the Bible to see if the superstitions had any religious origin.

In the process, I sat down with my pastor to get more insights. Recently, we had a group discussion where one of the members who had a pet cat wondered if they were evil because his visitors kept warning him about them.

Since I had done extensive research on the topic, I gladly shared my findings with them.

So, are cats evil?

Interestingly, the Bible does not mention cats, let alone label them evil. The idea stems from cultural beliefs. Also, not everybody believes cats are evil; some see them as fluffy companions around the house. Those who think they are evil believe so because they are nocturnal and have always been associated with witchcraft.

I invite you to join me in this article as we discover why cats are associated with evil, why people believe they are evil, if the Bible says anything about them being evil, and much more!

Why are cats associated with evil?

Because of their features and characteristics, like cynicism and laziness, medieval Christians associated cats with negativity, which led to their being a symbol of Satan.

At the time, black cats were already associated with witchcraft, which fueled the beliefs even more. It became so extreme that they were targeted and killed.

As a result, their population reduced, and subsequently, the population of rats increased. The situation became dire enough to compel the authorities to lift the ban on cats.

Though the need for them made them welcome guests again, some people held on to the belief that they were evil.

Films and folklore that continue to portray cats as evil have since incited similar superstitions. Some people have, however, stated that their dislike for cats and belief that they are evil is innate.

Such people mostly believe that cats’ unresponsiveness to authority makes them diabolical. Others also believe the same behavior symbolizes independence, so it greatly depends on perspective.

3 reasons why people believe cats are evil

Reasons why people think cats are evil
Reasons why people believe cats are evil. Image source: Pixabay

There are several reasons why people believe that cats are evil, but they mostly revolve around the following:


The belief about black cats being evil is built from the superstition that they are associated with witches. There is no exact proof that black cats, or cats in general, are evil.

The superstitions feed folklore and myths, which further compel others to believe the same.

Cultural and religious beliefs

Many cultures view cats as peculiar creatures that are associated with the supernatural. Also, the association of cats with Satan arose from the beliefs of medieval Christians.

In the 13th century, the pope issued a document that regarded black cats as incarnations of Satan. Those who believe so associate cats with evil.

Physical features and character of cats

Cats have claws, eyes that glow in the dark, and behaviors that are not popular with other pets. Many people today think cats are evil because they are snobby and do not show the same affection humans get from other pet animals.

Their nocturnal behavior scares people even more.

Does the Bible say that cats are evil?

The Bible does not mention cats in any instance. So, no, it does not say cats are evil. Genesis 1:24 says that God commanded the earth to bring forth living creatures of all kinds, including cats.

Christians believe cats are God’s creation and should be treated as such and not seen as evil. Many passages in the Bible have been interpreted to mean that cats are evil.

Also, many passages can and have been interpreted to mean that cats are good. What we know for sure is that God values all of his creation, and so should we.

Why are black cats especially associated with evil?

Are cats evil?
Why are black cats especially associated with evil? Image source: Pixabay

Black cats easily blend with shadows and become spooky because they also have glowing eyes. In the Middle Ages, when people died from diseases they could not understand, they sought out something to shoulder the blame for their ailment.

The mysterious nature of black cats made them an easy target. At that time, there was an illness referred to as the Black Death, which was caused by bacteria spread by rats.

The bacteria infected cats and, in turn, spread it to humans. Cats quickly became a symbol of evil and were associated with witchcraft and the devil.

The fear of black cats spread rapidly, and with time, the superstition became embedded in the folklore of various cultures.

Are other colored cats also associated with evil?

Yes. Though not as much as with black cats, other colored cats are also associated with evil. During the Black Death, all cats were believed to spread the disease.

When the hostility towards cats drove them away and led to near-local extinction, the population of rats increased. The people realized they needed to have cats around.

So, even though other colored cats have grown on people, others still believe they are evil.

Since the Bible does not explicitly talk about cats being evil or just cats in general, Christians should not share this belief. 1 Timothy 4:7 says that we should have nothing to do with silly myths but instead train ourselves in godliness.

So, unless it says God’s truth, we should not believe it.

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