Black Cats and Halloween

I’ve always wondered why black cats were associated with Halloween. Sure, cats are nocturnal, their fur is the color of night (which is usually when the holiday is celebrated) and they’re predators.
But why black cats specifically.
I couldn’t find any definitive source on a single reason why–just lots of supporting one. The first one being the most obvious–cats are considered witches familiars. In other words, they’re another set of eyes and ears for witches. And anything associated with witches was considered evil by Christians and Puritans, in particular (Let’s face it, Halloween became a commercial holiday in the US first). Heck, I’ve even found reference that Puritans killed black cats along with witches during the Trials. Some folks even believe that murdered witches could return in their familiar’s body.
It should be noted that all the sacrifices of the animals were on the part of the ‘good’ Christians, not on the ‘evil’ witches, wizards, etc.
The reason why black cats in particular are singled out may be its association with darkness and the fear most humans have of not being able to see the threat out there (whether perceived or real). Of course, having those shiny eyes staring back at you without seeing a body can be a bit unnerving.
Naturally when commercialism got it’s hands on Halloween it decided the arched black cat became the symbol of the holiday–although to me the cat symbolizes fright not evil.
But not every culture considered black cats evil. The Egyptians prized them, even mummifying them. And in the UK it is considered good luck to pet one based in a black cat’s association with a king.
Still, the stereotype of evil remains and many humane societies refuse to adopt black cats during the month (some even extend the curtesy to black dogs). Here are some tips on keeping your animals, black or otherwise, safe during Halloween.

About Linda Andrews

Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounce: "What else would she write? She’s never been normal." All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion. So just how did a scientist start to write paranormal romances? What other option is there when you’re married to romantic man and live in a haunted house? If you’ve enjoyed her stories or want to share your own paranormal experience feel free to email the author at She’d love to hear from you.
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3 Responses to Black Cats and Halloween

  1. Nice blog, Linda! I love Halloween and the themes associated with it. 🙂 Good job!

  2. P.R. Mason says:

    Excellent post Linda. I have two black cats and they are the sweetest babies in the world. One was adopted from a haunted cemetery as a kitten and the other from a local park.

  3. I have 2 as well. One my husband rescued from work the other I rescued (there were 4 in the litter-1-1/2 weeks old and they all made it) after their momma was eaten by a coyote

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