Show Categories+

What is the origin of the saying “cats have 9 lives “?2014/09/14

When people say that cats have 9 lives, often it’s because of the natural flexibility and gracefulness cats show in life-threatening situations like a fall- which often leave cats unharmed.

Occasionally cats can survive falls from high places with few injuries- due to their flexible body and small size and low body weight; plus their fantastic sense of balance, meaning they usually land on their feet.

New York Veterinarians gathered Hospital data from their feline patients, which show that a pet cat stands a greater chance of survival if it falls from a higher place than from a lower place! Ten percent of their patients died after falling from 2-6 stories, while only five percent of the fatalities occurred when their patients fell from 7-32 stories. Apparently, the highest recorded fall survived by a cat is 45 stories.

There are a few stories which explain the myth of cats having 9 lives. One favourite is below-“One day, a very hungry cat entered a house and found a plate of nine fish that were going to be eaten for dinner by the nine starving children who lived there. The cat was feeling a little selfish that day and ate up all of the fish in nine quick bites. With no food on the table, the nine starving children died of hunger the very next day, along with the cat who died from eating WAY too much. When the cat went up to heaven and spoke with God, God was so angry with the cat that he threw him out of heaven and made him fall for nine days all the way back to earth. To this day, the cat still holds the nine lives of the starving children in his belly, which is why he has nine lives- he must die nine different times before he will stay dead.”

At Homevet we love cats, and seeing cats in the home environment rather than a clinic is fun and rewarding.

Homevet: HK’s cat friendly vets. Contact us to learn more about Feline Housecalls.