Meaning of Cats in Witchcraft

Ever wonder why cats are associated with witchcraft? Here's there adorable, sneaky history with wise women.

From the serpent to the crow, many animals made their home in the popular imagination of witchy lore.

But one stands out above all others as the universal familiar of witches:  the cat. 

Why?  What is it about this slinky, mysterious creature that makes it such a legendary companion of the sorceress?

Why are cats associated with witches?

The Greek goddess Hekate is one of the earliest symbols of a witch and her cat.  Goddess of magic and the moon, Hekate’s kinship with cats is legendary.

Later, during the Witch Trials of Medieval Europe, the cat endured an especially strange reputation for shape-shifting from witch to feline and back again.

And filtering on down to the Halloween bins at your local retailer stocked full of trinkets picturing the cat seated next to her witchy companion, the legend persists.

Here’s what cats have to teach witches (and everyone else, really).  

They know how to keep a secret.

Did someone break into the bag of potato chips and scatter them all over the living room?

The parrot will rat you out.

The dog will rat himself out.

But the cat?  The cat ain’t no snitch.

As in the saying “To will, to dare, and to be silent,” the cat has a seemingly inherent understanding that the more you leave unsaid, the more potent your magical power.

Cats are comfortable as outcasts.

We’ll all, at some point in our lives, play the role of the outcast.  Sometimes, we deserve it.  Sometimes, we don’t. 

Either way, in these seasons of life, I encourage you all to look to the cat for guidance.

The cat has been venerated as sacred.  But the cat has also been cast out of the home, eyed with suspicion by society, and, at various times in history, condemned by the Church as the incarnation of the Devil himself.

Guess what?  The cat didn’t care either way.

She simply continued about her business.  Milling around Medieval Europe and killing the rats that infested the population with the Bubonic plague.  No one thanked her, and she didn’t need thanks.

They are masters of grace & dignity.

Simultaneously earthy and elevated, the cat’s mythical grace is a reminder that when you’re falling, it’s best to land on your feet.

Call on the cat when you’re feeling frazzled or your words get ahead of you.  For the cat is always the picture of dignity.

(Except when she’s wet.   That’s always a mess.  But no one’s perfect).

Cats are mysterious.

A cat’s eyes betray nothing.  They are neither empty nor brimming with emotions.

Much like royalty, they know the value of containing themselves, revealing their true nature selectively and with wisdom.

Their mystery gives them a certain allure that I, for one, long to emulate.

This obscure aura connects them to the Veil Between Worlds, anointing them as a messenger from this realm to the next.  

They’re fierce.

Despite the aforementioned grace, dignity, and mystique, if you mess with a cat, you’re gonna get messed right back.

And that, my friends, is a neat little trick.

The deep, legendary ties of cats to magic, spellcraft and wise women.

The meaning of cats in witchcraft---and what we can all learn from them!


  1. I love reading your descriptions and recipes, I am new to the craft and learning is so enjoyable having you pass on your knowledge and wisdom.
    I absolutely love it.

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