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Cats as Familiars Part 3: Advice for Beginners

Cats as Familiars Part 3: Advice for Beginners

by Elisa Black

There are three types of familiars recognized in the magick world. Physical, astral and spiritual. My research on cats as familiars will be solely on cats.

Keep in mind that although many cats live inside and under many different geographic conditions, they retain a certain wild element that connects them with nature and the primal instinct never dies. There's something wondrous in watching a cat using its basic instincts to hunt, climb and commune with nature. That is one reason cats as familiars is thought of as a primary example in modern witchcraft.

This article will examine only the tip of the iceberg on how cats are chosen and includes beginners training. For advanced training there is plenty of information in books and on the internet. To better understand the psychology of a cat Love Your Cat Familiar is a good read. I would recommend this article for ANYONE who loves cats.

There is some debate on whether a witch chooses the cat or the cat chooses the witch. Both arguments are in agreement on several criteria for choosing a cat to act as familiar. Many times a cat will be drawn to the person who needs it the most. At others a cat and a witch make an instant connection when they meet. Love and trust are obtained over time. Most references are in agreement that only one familiar is allowed and it's usually a life long commitment. A few state more than one familiar is allowed.

Whether the training begins as a kitten or a cat is not as important as finding YOUR familiar. You can't just grab the first cat you see and begin training.

One good method to call a cat as familiar is to find a peaceful natural area to meditate. A quiet wooded area would be ideal. Send out your thoughts into the world. Wish for your cat soul mate. Some cultures even teach that every human has an animal soul mate who will find us when called. This concept is no stranger to me than having and finding a soul mate in our human world.

During the first weeks with your cat you need to observe. Does the cat seem curious around items used in your rituals? Does the cat insist on staying in your lap while you practice magick. A cat should have an intense curiosity if it is to be trained in witchcraft.

Your cat must be taught to sit by your side for long periods of time. Face your cat in the same direction and at the same time for each session. Teach yourself to see the world thru it's eyes. Your cat has extremely useful instincts and can warn you of anything out of the ordinary. Cats as familiars make a "magickal" eternal connection if all of the above are met. Research has shown that petting a cat reduces negative energy.

A witches power is twice as strong once a familiar is trained. There is a misconception that a cat is only an extension of a witch when in reality the witch and the cat form a bond. That is how the craft becomes more powerful. One good article I found is at Totem Animals

The cat is to be treated with respect. If any of you have family members or friends with obsessive/compulsive disorder (basically a necessity for a strict pattern in all things) you will understand the needs of the cat and what the cat expects. To ensure proper training the cat should be fed at the same time each day in the same bowl. It should be high quality food. If fresh meat is used a supplement may be required to maintain health. Fresh water should always be available. A clean litter box kept in one place is necessary. Also frequent brushing to avoid hairballs. Stay on a strict routine with all of these things. Always provide a scratching post, a comfortable bed and a clean environment.

This is also good advice on the care of any cat.

One major concern is the safety of everyone around fire. Teach your cat to respect candles. This doesn't take long as cats are highly intelligent where heat is concerned. Do not leave a cat alone with a lit candle. I don't mean to belittle anyone to use caution but there are plenty of fires started from candles being accidentally knocked over.

The cat should have three names and one should be a secret name between familiar and witch. There are many sites that have suggestions Here's the link to a site that has a lot of subcategories. Personally I have a difficult time in naming a cat. Sometimes I change the name 2-3 times until I'm satisfied. Maybe I should stress until the CAT is satisfied. I believe the cat plays a part in choosing a name because most of the time the name just pops into my head. I like to choose a name that describes my cat. Then I pick a secret name that describes the temperament of my cat. I'm pleased that research suggests any cat have three names as I've been teased about changing the name several times the first week.

Please keep in mind I'm writing on this subject as an observer and I do not practice. I've made an attempt to keep it factual with references for further study and a little personal opinion thrown in for good measure. There are a number of pagan sites available on the internet that offer more in depth study on this subject. Even within the subject of cats as familiars there is a lot of conflicting information. A lot of studying is required and you must form your own opinion and beliefs.

My goal in Cats as Familiars Part 3 is not only to inform but to bridge the gap between the different beliefs of cat lovers. Whether Christian or Pagan we all love our cats and want them to be part of our lives. We want them to be with us as we do what we enjoy and keep them safe at all times.



Cats as Familiars Part 3: Advice for Beginners to Cat Facts

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Cats as Familiars Part 3: Advice for Beginners

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Feb 25, 2012
Vash NEW
by: Anne

Vashalamu (black domestic short hair) came from a litter of kittens in a friend's front yard. When we brought him home, he was completely covered in fleas. I bathed him frequently in the sink because he was too young for medicated shampoos. (Multiple baths are necessary because of the flea/egg cycle. It's impossible.) I don't think he will ever forget. He's been an incredibly loyal companion.

Jun 30, 2011
Cats as "Familiars"
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

Readers of "P.O.C" might be familiar with my blogs including a previous reply to this topic.My latest topic was on "The oldest and most heavily guarded tabby cat at the American Centre in Mumbai".This cat that lives a luxurious guarded life mystifies me by its longevity as well as casual manner of lazying in the "U.S.I.S" premises, knowing very well that the entire posh compound is its domain.Is this cat a "FAMILIAR"?The "U,S.I.S" authorities do not allow photography and hope Mr Michael.Broads letter to them convinces them to expose their well kept secret cat to the outside World.Manny times, when my cats have behaved strangely, i become overtly cautious as i am convinced that our pets do sense our welfare, good or bad from reasons "HUMAN SCIENCE" is still unable to explain.All cat lovers have heard the famous story of "Oscar" the "Hospital cat" that can sense a patients demise, similarly some of our pets can sense our impending fortunes or disasters or death.Its left to the believers to decide.

Jun 30, 2011
by: Gail (Boston, USA)

It's great that this subject has come up again. As the PoC forum knows, Sadie passed peacefully just days after my birthday last September. It was devastating.

One week after her death, whilst cleaning cat cages at the shelter, Abby smacked me upside the head and decided that she would be my next Familiar. I truly believe that Sadie sent her to me. Although Abby is her own wonderful feline, sometimes she exhibits behaviors that are eerily reminiscent of Sadie. Somehow, I've come to the conclusion that, through Abby, Sadie is letting me know she's still looking out for her Mom.

We've had oodles of cats over our lifetime, but only these 2 and 2 others stand out from the rest. Blessed be.

Jun 29, 2011
by: Anonymous

My black cat companion showed up as a kitten on my doorstep eight years ago on Halloween. I have never had any question about her choosing me or as to her function in my life. Everything you say is true. She is my guide......Dan

Feb 06, 2010
good article
by: kathy

I have already identified my cat Lia as my medicine cat or "familiar" I have come to be able to read his face and eyes. He also is a dream companion. Two days ago I had a dream in which several of my old pets came to me in a dream. The dream was very disturbing. Our other cat Midnight started the dream off by escaping out the back door. She didnt try to run away, but other animals started to appear. One cat I didnt recognize. But then Lia came from around the house with the new kitten in tow. Then Lia started trying to gather all the animals up. The kitten stayed by him and Midnight just seemed to stay put. Then my Poodle Dolly appeared and she started running like she always did trying to get the other animals to chase her. Then my son came out and picked up one of the cats and was telling me "Mom look Safari's back"! There was a cat by his side who I identified as Lia's mother Quasey. The dream continued on but I took it as a message from the other side that my pets that arent with me anymore are in Pet Heaven? Safari and Quasey were sent to the same farm when my husband and I split and I had to find homes for my pets. Dolly lived with my friend until she passed away. It was a very disturbing dream and it took me a while to recover from it. The same night my boyfriend had a dream that Midnight was singing the Beatle song "I'm in love with you and I feel fine"! That was all she sang and he woke up. CAT POWER

Feb 01, 2010
It's like any other subject
by: Elisa Black

This was very hard to research because everything was contradictory. Parts 1 and 2 were basically easy research but how to choose and how many a witch can have are under debate.

My next article will be proof that cats love each other. I love watching 2 cats take care of each other and thought it would be a good subject. Michael already approved it so keep watch.

Feb 01, 2010
Cats as Familiars - Pt #
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Elisa, your article was indeed fascinating!

Dad's side comes from a long line of Celtics and mysticism has always been within the household as a natural thing. Mom's side is from Poland with lineage to a mystical side, so for the descendants of both grandparents, this has always been natural, like breathing.

Sadie chose me a over 11+ years ago. A former co-worker was moving out of state and couldn't take her so I went to her house to meet Sadie to ascertain her personality before trying to place her. Little did I know, Sadie had her own idea!

While speaking with my co-worker, I found out Sadie had been in 2 previous homes - as a kitten abandoned at a shelter, adopted by a woman who got pregnant and couldn't keep her, then my co-worker. Sadie kept tapping me on the ankle, going into her open cat carrier, coming out to tap my ankle again, back into the went on that way for over 5 minutes until Sadie finally smacked my ankle pretty hard, this time with her claws out! It was love at first sight by then!

She has 3 names and I never even knew there was a reason for it! It just felt right, and yes, one of them is a secret name. Wow...that's why your article blew me away! Nice.

Feb 01, 2010
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

Thanks for the trouble of researching this article on "Mysticism and cats". I am firmly convinced that our pets can warn us of impending disasters or "BAD LUCK". People can call me eccentric or "Cat Crazy" but akin to "Religious Beliefs" which exist purely on "HUMAN FAITH" i am convinced that some animals do possess certain supernatural power akin to a "6th sense" that some humans posess. If some humans can become millionaires demonstraiting "Telepathy" and "Fortune telling " then don't consider intelligent animals very inferior in the same field, although their methods of revealing the same could be in a different mode, like behaviour and attitude towards its owner.I am commenting strictly from observation of my pets and interaction with them.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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