SlimDoggy Mythbuster: Do Cats Have Nine Lives?

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Do Cats Have Nine Lives?

This is a myth that has been bothering Jack for quite some time, so we decided to tackle it today. The simple answer is no, cats, just like dogs, have only one life to live.

Where did that saying come from?


The idea of cats having nine lives most likely stems from their ability to land on their feet thereby escaping dangerous falls and other injuries. They have highly developed inner ears which provides them with excellent balance and they also possess superior reflexes. Combine the balance and reflexes and it facilitates those narrow escapes.


How did this idea ever get started?


From what I can tell, it traces back to ancient Egypt where the cat was revered and seen as a mystical creature with spiritual powers. An Egyptian sun god call Atum-Ra took the form of a cat to visit the underworld. Atum-Ra also gave birth to eight other gods…hence the ‘nine lives’.

There is also a theory that the saying originated in China where nine was a lucky number, at times being referred to as the trinity of trinities.

An old proverb states: “a cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays.” Does your cat fit the proverb?

Whatever the origins or it’s meaning, it’s a a MYTH, so rest easy all you doggies out there – the cat has only one life.




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  1. Wow, very interesting. I have had cats that lead those lives for sure.

  2. well they could have fooled me. I seen some cats that I knew had to have 18 lives. BOL!
    carma Poodale recently posted…Cooking with Carma – Chicken GizzardsMy Profile

  3. Great myth busting with interesting information! We are all dogs here so not able to give input into cat lives but Prince is relieved it is a myth. He didn’t think that would be fair if it was true 🙂
    Stacey recently posted…Tequila Wants A DogMy Profile

  4. Hi Y’all!

    Jack should be worried. I am, cause those cats live longer lives than us!

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog
    Hawk aka BrownDog recently posted…Bark Time! I Had Lots of Barks!My Profile

  5. Cats may not have nine lives, but they are such amazing survivalists, it certainly seems like many of them do.
    jan recently posted…All of the evil in the world seems to be attracted to the Olympics, and yet…My Profile

  6. I have to say, my daughter has a cat that is on his fourth or fifth life. 🙂 And by this I mean, he’s had near death experiences. One was a viral pneumonia, one was a urinary blockage and one was thread that he ate wrapped itself around the back of his tongue requiring surgery. Then of course there was the time he escaped outside to near peril in the wilds surrounding our home. So while I agree cats literally have only one life to live, I would argue that figuratively, some cats (animals, humans) in fact do get second and third opportunities. 🙂

    Thanks so much for joining the Thursday’s Barks and Bytes Blog hop.
    Jodi recently posted…Jumps, Lumps and SpamMy Profile

  7. That was a excellent myth to bust and very interesting. I didn’t know where it came from but MK has used up about 5 of her lives.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Thursday Barks And BytesMy Profile

  8. Oh man Nestle is disappointed to read this! lol Thanks so much for participating in Barks and Bytes!
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Thursday Barks And Bytes–Is That A ????My Profile

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