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Do cats have nine lives?

How many times have you heard the saying, ‘Cats have nine lives?’ Have you ever wondered why some people believe it, and where the saying came from? Do cats really have nine lives? Why do cats have nine lives? And what does it mean to have nine lives?

Cats seem to have nine lives because Stray cats climb on rooftops and trees and survive. They take nasty falls that would’ve killed a human – and other animals – for sure, and they land gracefully back on their feet. They avoid getting hit by cars at the last second. Where I live, they survive on the streets. There are hardly any mice to eat. The cats have wiped the streets clean of them. Haven’t seen a mouse in years.

So, do cats actually have nine lives? No. The myth that cats have nine lives originated from the cats’ resilience, the evolutionary traits that keep them alive in dangerous situations; their flexibility, the razor-blade sharp instincts and amazing speed that help them turn in the air to land on their paws, the nails that go through wood that they use to climb trees to avoid dogs and predators, their amazing sense of smell that helps them find food in garbage cans, and their sixth sense that helps them determine when someone is about to attack them.

Why do they say cats have nine lives? Why nine and not another number? The reason why the myth states number nine as the number of lives feline have in their possession is because this particular number is supposed to be a mystical number. See this article.

Many years ago, my cat had run away for two and a half months and had come back so skinny, she didn’t weigh anything when I picked her up, and I could feel her spine and bones sticking out. She had survived. That cat had used eight of its nine lives.

If you have a similar story about a cat surviving against all odds, please share it in the comments. I love hearing stories about cats.

Cats love to climb, and they love being on higher ground that gives them a good viewpoint. To keep your feline entertained and fit, view this huge and complicated cat tree, with scratch posts, toy mouse, and resting places. Click to view customers reviews.


9 thoughts on “Do cats have nine lives?

  1. I had a tabby kitten named Verty who was in the upstairs window watching a squirrel in a nearby tree. Somehow the screen popped out, and he fell to the ground outside! Running down to get him, he was just standing there not moving and quite all right. He landed on his feet!!! 😺


    1. It’s outdoor cats with survival stories, mostly. Indoor cats are safe from the danger of the road and dogs. The road, mostly, since dogs usually don’t succeed in catching cats. Cats are faster and can climb. The road is the mostly dangerous one.


    2. I read the link. Breathtaking post. Good ending for that cat.

      I paid over a thousand dollars for my Amiga’s operation when she was hit by a car. So many strays here, and the shelters are full. Vets sometimes take care of a sick or wounded cat for free, but only if they find them themselves. If a sick stray is brought to them, they ask for half the price. Because, seeing that there are so many feral cats here, if they start taking care of whoever people bring, they’ll be working full time for free. You can’t really blame them.

      I know of a vet’s assistant that took a brain damaged bat to her house after my niece brought it to her. It was hit by a car, and of course it bit my poor niece. Now Spiky lives in the vet’s house, and she makes it a daily salad made of three different fruits.


      1. I understand vets are in business to make money and I’m sure they spend a lot of money on their education so they should but on the other hand it is nice when they do what they can to help strays. Even if they split the cost that’s better than nothing.

        Liked by 1 person

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