Dreaming About Your Cat

Many months after my lady cat died, on two occasions, I woke up in the middle of the night in a bit of a panic, convinced that she was locked outside. I immediately got out of bed and went to put on some slippers to go and fetch her, to suddenly realise she was no longer around anymore. It was a case of panic followed by sadness – an unpleasant experience. In that moment, I genuinely believed that she was still alive. It was a shock to remember that she was dead. It took about 10 – 15 seconds to remember that she was no longer with me.

Person dreaming about her cat

Person dreaming about her cat. Photo by Ryan Vaarsi

If you believe in spiritualism and the after life or even that the spirit lives on, you could be forgiven for believing that my darling lady cat didn’t want to come inside but to come back to me. She was meowing at me, calling, from beyond the grave.

Most of the time I don’t remember my dreams. Although the experience mentioned above occurred many months ago it is still in sharp focus.

Not infrequently, I daydream about my lost cats. I have to stop myself because I don’t think it is healthy to think about your cats that have passed, if it makes you unhappy. What good does it do?

Following, are a couple of cat dream experiences from people who have shared their experiences online. They may tell us a bit about our relationship with cats.

A woman or man with a username of BlindCodex on Reddit does not have a cat, he never has. One night at 3:30 am – the middle of the night – he woke up thinking he had a cat called “Ember” and that he had locked her outside. He put some clothes on and went outside to fetch Ember in. He then realised that he had been dreaming.

It is strange for a person who has never looked after a cat to have a dream which is quite similar to mine. He has no idea why he had this dream. Perhaps there is the spirit of a cat named Ember that haunts this person’s home who is seeking to come in? You’d have to believe in spiritualism to believe that. Or perhaps he once had a cat named Ember and the shadow people took his cat (a theory based on the John Dies at the End,  a comic horror novel).


“In an alternate universe, another you has a cat, and her name is Ember. She’s still outside….”

I suspect the real reason is far more mundane. Another person who kept cats had a dream that her dead cats live in the walls of her home:

“So now I dream that my dead cats live in the walls….I’ll see them come out and think OMG my cat, and I start following behind them and I’ll realize they’re dead straight away and become confused about why I can see them, and they’re always out of reach and don’t look or acknowledge me and just keep on walking and I can’t stop them and then they slip back behind a closet and I know they’re back in the walls where dead cats live….I’m so jealous of people who dream of their dead cats being healthy and normal”

Cat buried in a wall 400 years ago in England

Cat buried in a wall 400 years ago in England

This seems to be a reflection of a very close relationship with her cats that have passed. This person may have read about the centuries old tradition, in Europe, where they used to put a living cat inside the wall cavities of a new build home to ward off evil spirits. It sounds very cruel. It is cruel by today’s standards.

Dr Marion Gibson, a witchcraft expert in England, says:

“Cats were often put into walls as some kind of good luck charm. They seem to be designed to keep away witches, the evil eye, bad luck, vermin, anything that can be seen as a threat to the house. It does seem to have been quite a widespread practice across the European continent….”

I don’t believe in spiritualism. I believe that when we die that is the end – blackness, nothing. But I do believe everyone and every animal leaves a trace of their life on the planet as memory. Eventually, there is no memory of that person or animal.

In about 3 billion years the sun will die, and so will the earth, and there will be no memory.

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Dreaming About Your Cat — 25 Comments

  1. I dreamed once that I was feeding Monty and then I woke up and heard as clear as day a male voice say my name. So I got up and fed Monty. Is he telepathic? I don’t know. If he were he would most likely communicate a message about food.

    I feel sad for you, Michael that you do not believe in purpose or meaning in the universe. I believe complexity and intelligence can’t happen by accident so there must be something. Whether that means there is something after death is a separate question.

    Once when I was five I was singing Jesus songs outside and my mom, overhearing remarked, “The devil’s never going to get my little girl.” Immediately a candle flew across the room and landed near her feet. So I believe in the Christian God because if He did not exist then evil spirits would also not exist and not be angered at my mother’s comment.

    I had some frightening experiences growing up in that house and they drove me to pray because I felt so small against the malice I was up against.

    I believe there is a God of love and power. I have trouble with humans being an object of that love since we obviously should all be obliterated. It’s easy to believe that God loves Monty, harder to accept that He loves me.

    This morning I was talking to Monty over breakfast and it went like this, “God made you so wonderfully, Monty. You are made perfectly and you know the One who made you. Silly humans think they made themselves, but you know. The same God who made you made me.” Suddenly I realized that that means I am worth something– not because of what I’ve done, but because I didn’t make myself, I belong to the One who made me. I owe Monty the best love and care I can give him, knowing we were made to be together.

    As I struggle with knowledge of human evil versus a loving God’s incomprehensible patience I do fight thoughts of suicide at times. But only when I look away from the cross of Christ. If I believed as you do Michael I would not be here writing this. But if I had not struggled living in a house inhabited by a nameless but tangible evil presence perhaps my faith would not be what it was. What seemed a curse may be, in reslity, a blessing.

    Our cats used to puff up and stare at something, sitting on edge for no reason in that house.

    I am so glad Monty never does that.

    • Nice comment Ruth as usual. I agree that believing in God is better. It makes life better. I wish I did, actually. I do believe there could be some sort of creator of the universe because it needs to be explained. None of us really knows what the universe is and looking at it from a purely scientific standpoint fails to provide the definitive answer.

      Thank you for feeling sorry for me. I know life is harder when all you believe is a short difficult life and then nothing. But I manage and still enjoy it (sometimes ;))

  2. Not only have I dreamed of pets I’ve had who have died, I’ve dreamed of pets I’ve never had nor met. They communicate with me and I’m aware in my dream we don’t know each other. Those dreams make me sad while I’m experiencing them because I realize when I wake up they’ll be gone. It’s very very strange. Perhaps its genetic memories from an ancestors past…

    • Wow, Elisa, maybe you should do a part 2 version of this page sharing your animal dream experiences.

      Dreaming of pets you have never had is interesting and is similar to the person who dreamt of Ember.

  3. Cujo still sees Dreyfuss and barks. The first few weeks after Dreyfuss died the dog food bowl was still getting empty until I finally told Dreyfuss that ghost dogs don’t need to eat and to please stop eating it up. After that the bowl stayed full.

  4. Hello Michael, i have just finished reading a condensed book of the “SALEM WITCH TRIALS” that occurred in Salem village of U.S.A in 1692.The book titled “Witches, The absolute true tale of disaster in Salem” by Rosalyn.Schanzer for “National Geographic” is a mandatory reading book for everyone regarding superstition and its manipulation in society.Three dogs were hanged for being convicted of being Witches re-incarnations.Cats have always been persecuted in Western Cultures throughout history as Witches accomplices and not surprised to read that live cats were sealed in walls to ward off evil and in the process dying a horrific death.I have dreamed of my dead pets and presume its common with all pet owners as a pet is definitely an extension of a individuals human family.Will be off to Amritsar today(1-3-2013) and a few North Indian hill-stations for a fortnight a long overdue “backpacker Tour”. Away from my home, will definitely miss my cats and parakeet.

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    • I am pleased you dream about your dead pets. I have not dreamt of mine except for those two startling occurrences. Is Amritsar known for good backpacking country?

      • michael.Amritsar is known for the “Golden Temple”, the most sacred temple of the Sikhs. It is also known for the infamous “Jallianwalla Bagh ” massacre by your Country’s ancestors in 1919.British Prime Minister Mr David.Cameron had visited Jallianwalla Bagh on his recent visit to India.Nearby Kashmir and the hill stations of Himachal Pradesh are considered good backpacking and trekking regions of India. Gulmarg in Kashmir is considered one of the 7 best skiing locations in Asia. Hope i have been helpful in assisting you regarding the tourist information of some North Indian city’s which i myself will be visiting for the first time.Will keep an eye for the cats of these cold regions of India and hope to photograph a few.

  5. I have heard of that happening– a child sees a deceased pet, the food dish keeps emptying and in one instance the cat showed up on a photo even though it was invisible to the eye. It’s possible the spirits of pets hang around for awhile. If being in heaven is being with God then where is heaven really? God is everywhere. The veil between those who have passed and our current existence is very thin, I think. Maybe those who have pure, loving hearts can see across it even from this vale of tears.

    On the other hand, some of what you have described in your home, including that photo of Cocoa with an orb floating by him, scares the bejesus out of me, Elisa. Be careful. Spirits around us are more likely to be evil than benign. The evil seems benign and then when you talk to it, get chummy with it, you basically invite it to stay and the fun begins. I believe that is what happened at some point at my parent’s home, before we lived there. I spent a lot of nights praying for God to send the Archangel Michael to protect me.

    Your animals may be able to perceive an evil presence even before you would. I saw a tv program about a haunting where the woman’s two rabbits were terrified and thumping a warning every night. She shrugged it off, despite her own sensing of a presence in the home, and both rabbits eventually perished from the stress.

    When I was very young I thought the world was such a good and wonderful place, but the older I get I realize just how horrible it is on so many levels– how ruined and spoiled by so much evil. If this is all there is then evil has won and we all are getting a raw deal, though certainly no worse than we deserve. The harm done to our planet, other species and to each other is all if our own making.

    • We did have something show up in a recent photo of Middy and Brinkley together. Looked like orbs and Cujo had been barking in that direction earlier. It was where Dreyfuss would lay in the kitchen. Its the exact spot he was in when I left for work the day he died. He’d be between there and the couch.

    • Not sure it is weird. Probably more normal that weird. For me though to dream my cat was alive and to wake up in a startled way and race to let her in when she was dead; for me, that is weird.

  6. I sometimes dream about Red, it’s always the same thing, I see him and then I lose him and I spend the rest of the dream looking for him. It’s very sad when I wake up. It’s also very real – it’s like he is really there in front of me alive in the dream. I always end up running around in a panic trying to find him. Sometimes I find other cats who look similar to him but never do I find him again but I always see him once in the beginning of the dream. I don’t like it at all it really makes me feel awful when I wake up.

    I don’t believe in god – just samsara – the endless cycle of life death and rebirth. A lot can exist within that and anything can be possible under that premise.

  7. It’s sad waking up from a dream and then the truth that your cat has gone hits you.
    I sometimes dream about loved ones, people and cats, a psychic friend tells me that if a dream feels very real and stays with you when you wake up, you have in reality been with that person or pet by psychic travel. Not sure if I believe this but the night after we had to have Bryan PTS with cancer I dreamed I was at our old home with him, where Felix had lived with us and had been PTS at 15 years old because of kidney disease. I was in the living room with Bryan rolling at my feet as he did and I heard our late mother saying from upstairs ‘Don’t worry pet Bryan is coming to me’ and Felix appeared round the door at the bottom of the stairs and Bryan jumped up and went to him and they exchanged head butts and disappeared together round the door.
    I wanted to go too but I couldn’t move, then I woke up.
    I lose Faith sometimes as Babz and I have had some truly awful losses and bad things happen to us, but I like to believe that all our cats are with our late mother because she worshipped cats as we do.
    I dreamed one night I saw her at the door of a cottage surrounded by Roses (her second name was Rose) It was called ‘Rose Cottage’ and I just knew it was full of cats, ours and the ones who had had no one to love them on this earth. But I couldn’t go near.
    I’m told I have a very airy fairy imagination lol and I do dream vividly most nights, the happy dreams make up for the horrific nightmares thank goodness.

    • You also seem to remember your dreams, or some of them, very well. Almost all the dreams that i remember (not many) I then forget a while afterwards. Only the strongest remain and I know I’ll never forget the Binnie experience. That is crystal clear and I really felt she was outside.

  8. It takes sensitive people a long time to grieve and I think when you have had a cat PTS the guilt remains for a long time too even though you know it was the right thing to do.
    I’m no dream analyst but your dream says to me that in your subconscious you felt like you had shut Binnie out of your life and felt the need to suffer yourself, so you tortured yourself by that dream.
    Yes I can remember dreams from years ago, in vivid colours too, interestingly some people dream in black and white!
    Who are the strangers we meet in our dreams? I see them in great detail.
    I once wondered if our dreaming was our real life and this life we are living is our dreams?

    • You could be right. There is always guilt it seems to be attached to euthanasia of a loved cat companion.

      I once wondered if our dreaming was our real life and this life we are living is our dreams?

      This poses the question of what is reality? Reality varies from person to person. A lot of people live in a dream world, that is for sure…and they are dangerous.

    • I’ve wondered that so many times! And I dream in color and during the really vivid cat dreams I’m paralyzed and can’t wake up.I’m going to do an article since Michael asked me to.

        • I refuse to comment on the grounds it may be used against me 🙂 You’ll have to wait until Sunday when I’ll have you a “part 2” done about my dreams. My dreams are the reason I have insomnia. I’m afraid to go to sleep.

  9. Elisa do you have that ‘mind awake but body still asleep’ syndrome when you can’t move? I do sometimes when under a lot of stress. Apparently your mind wakes up before your body, it’s quite frightening waiting for it to catch up, wondering if it will ………….

    • Every so often I do. But the cat dreams are more of a deep sleep where nothing would wake me up experience. I have a lot of dreams like that. I’ve slept thru 2 tornadoes and 3 sonic booms. When we had the fire last year I was in deep sleep with my ex and two other friends who had passed away gathered around me asking me to join them. I told them I still had things to do on earth. It was then Laura burst into my room yelling FIRE. I’ll always believe if I’d told them I was ready to join them I’d be dead. Something made Laura come home earlier than she’d planned.

  10. Pingback: Dreaming Of Strange Cats And Genetic Memory Theory | Pictures of Cats

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