As a pastor, I spend a lot of time in church, talking to people. One day after fellowship, I noticed that one of our young choir members was sad and asked what was wrong.
She told me that her cat had recently died. I felt her pain since cats are excellent friends to humans. As I tried to console her, she asked me, “do cats go to heaven?”
In this article, I will examine what the Bible says about animals, especially cats going to heaven. Join me as we discuss why religious scholars disagree about the afterlife for cats and why people believe cats will go to heaven.
You will also learn whether you will meet your cat in heaven and gain an understanding of what happens to animals after their death.
Does the Bible say where animals go after they die?
The Bible does not mention where animals go after they die. It does not talk of their salvation as it does of that of man.
Like most traditional beliefs, Christians do not explore the possibility of life after death for animals. God cares when we have lost our precious pets, such as cats, dogs, and others. He understands our pain.
Their death is not unknown to him, just like he says, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father” – Matthew 10:29.
In the verse, God says that he cares for the birds or animals in general and that not one of them dies without his knowledge.
So, although the Bible does not mention what happens to animals after they die, we know that God loves them, and they are precious to him. After creating them in Genesis, He looked at them and declared they were good.
The animals were also the largest part of Noah’s ark. God saw it fit to save them when humans were perishing. They are, therefore, a significant part of his creation.
According to Brandon D. Smith and many theologians, Noah’s ark represents the salvation of Jesus Christ. So, if the ark was used to save animals, it is possible that Jesus Christ will also save animals, and they will go to heaven after they die.
Do cats go to heaven when they die?
Cats are precious animals to man and before God. That is the reason God created them and declared that they are good.
There is no teaching in the Bible that declares that cats go to heaven or their lives end on earth. The Bible does not teach that cats have spirits that can live after death.
During creation, man and animals were created differently.
In Genesis, we see the process of creation is different for man and animals: “Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good” – Genesis 1:24-25.
In these verses, God created the animals in the same way as everything else. But when he came to man, it was different because he breathed his spirit into the man: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being” – Genesis 2:7.
Therefore, man was created differently from the other animals, which gives him the ability to live after death while the other animals lack.
Therefore, cats do not go to heaven because they lack the same spirit as humans, which is crucial for life after death.
Why do some people believe that cats go to heaven?
Some believe cats will go to heaven because they were saved during Noah’s flood. Theologians concur that Noah’s ark was a typology of Jesus Christ.
Biblical Spiritual Press notes that Noah’s ark is a typology of Christ and shows how Christ will save humanity. Considering this is a typology, it is crucial to note that animals were the ark’s greatest occupants and were saved.
It implies that, just as they were saved in the ark, they would also be saved again through Jesus. This is one of the arguments presented to show that cats and other animals will go to heaven.
Another reason why people believe cats will be in heaven is that Isaiah indicates that animals will be in heaven. The Bible says, “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” Says LORD in Isaiah 65:25.
The Eternal Perspective Ministries note that Isaiah’s account of animals in heaven clearly indicates that there will be animals.
Those who believe that cats will go to heaven argue that the animals in heaven are the same as those on earth. They are the animals that have died and have been resurrected in heaven.
Therefore, cats go to heaven and become part of heaven’s inhabitants.
Finally, people believe that cats will be in heaven because of Paul’s writing about the creation being set free. The Bible says, “that the creation will also be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now” – Romans 8:21-22.
Animals shared a curse with man after man fell into sin. Since then, they have lived in bondage and await the revelation of God’s sons so they can be released from bondage and corruption.
So, people argue that this text implies that salvation is for humans and the entire creation, including animals. Therefore, cats will be released from bondage and corruption and will be in heaven.
Why do religious scholars disagree about the afterlife for cats?
Religious scholars disagree about the afterlife for cats because there is no direct mention of them being in the afterlife. Animals have an inferior soul to that humans.
The reason is that they were not created in the image and likeness of God. They lack will, emotions and mind. Because of this reason, scholars argue that they cannot proceed to the afterlife.
Once the cats die, they have no spirit that proceeds to the afterlife.
On the other side, some scholars disagree with the argument that animals have a different souls from humans. They point out that the Bible says that humans and animals are the same.
It states, “For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity” – Ecclesiastes 3:19.
This passage implies that; the soul of animals and humans is the same and follows the same route after death. The book of Psalms also suggests that God will save humans and animals.
It reads, “Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgments are a great deep; O LORD, You preserve man and beast” – Psalms 36:6.
This verse shows no distinction between man and animals and that both will be saved alike. The verses are clearly against the argument that animals will not have an afterlife and that they have a lesser spirit than humans.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.