Why aren’t cats mentioned in the bible?
Let’s admit it, we don’t know why cats aren’t mentioned in the bible (actually the cat – meaning domestic cat – is mentioned once in the bible but there is confusion about it). It’s probably because men wrote the bible. If women had written it there would have been more cats in it…..
And we should take note that we are referring to domestic cats because the lion is mentioned in the bible. For instance: Proverbs 30:30: ‘The lion, which is mightiest among beasts and does not turn back before any’. There are many other referrals to the lion in the bible.
Of course, domestic cats were very much in existence at the time of Jesus Christ. They would have been mainly community cats (shared ‘ownership’) but at the time of Christ the wild cat had been domesticated for about 7,500 years. There would have been domestic cats too during the times referred to in the Old Testament (8th century BC to 1st century BC) although at that time they would have been less common.
There is lots of speculation on the internet as to why cats aren’t mentioned in the bible and some of them are amusing viz ‘cats have nine lives, God has three’ or ‘God is not a cat person’ which means I have to mention that the Prophet Muhammad was a cat person.
The cat (believed to be referring to the domestic cat) is mentioned once apparently in the bible namely Bar., vi, 21 (Book of Baruch). It is a book in the bible according to some Christian traditions. There seems to be some confusion over the reference to the cat in this book, however. We don’t know the word for ‘cat’ as used by the Jews at that time.
Some guys on Reddit.com discuss this and say that there is no Hebrew version of the word ‘cat’. It seems that the word for cat was unknown to the Jews at that time.
Frankly it is highly confusing. The word for cat might have been lost in translation! However, the common-sense reason why domestic cats are not mentioned in the bible is because they were not considered relevant to the bible’s content by the authors at that time. There is no obligation to refer to cats in the bible. A lot of subjects are omitted from this book.
One proposed reason is that there was a backlash against the Ancient Egyptians worship of the cat god (Bastet). That would have been uncomfortable for the Jews at the time.
It is interesting that in this regard the bible is in stark contrast to the Hadiths of the Koran which mention the Prophet’s love of domestic cats. The Prophet was an ailurophile but sadly this has not been translated to better animal welfare in Muslim countries; quite the opposite in fact.
Google does not help. It places one website high in search results (constative.com). This site says that cats are not mentioned in the bible because they caused the Black Death in Europe! The Black Death occurred in the 14th century, thousands of years after the bible was written. Thanks, Google, for your stupid search engine.
P.S. The dog is mentioned over 40 times in the bible but nearly always in a derogatory and contemptuous manner.
I have a page on cats in the bible: