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…..

Cat cartoon featuring Noah's Ark

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.

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:

Cats In The Bible

Associated pages (this is a selection. Please search for more):

Cats In Ancient Egypt

Cats in ancient Egypt were used for the benefit of people despite being worshipped, and despite the idea that they were treated extremely well, I would argue. I quite like cat history and trying to learn about the cat (or … please continue reading

History of the Big Cats

Here is a potted history of the big cats by a student of the wild cats – me. It is not meant to be overly heavy. The big cats are grouped together because they can all roar. The Puma (not … please continue reading

Angora Cat

This page is an attempt to clarify what the Angora cat is! Jean-Jacques Bachelier Angora cat – 1761 Introduction Have you been confused about the meaning of “Angora Cat” and the other cat fancy terms that overlap with and surround this term? … please continue reading

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About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!


Why aren’t cats mentioned in the bible? — 9 Comments

  1. There is no direct mention of cats in the translated Bible. It is known that the Israelites distrusted everything associated with the Egyptians, who ruled over them. The fact that the Egyptians held cats in such high esteem encouraged the occupied population to despise them almost as much as they hated the occupiers, so this may be the reason why they are not mentioned in the Bible.

    Probably as good a reason as any that cats were not mentioned.

      • Because the bible is irrelevant to me the men who wrote the bible were not historians they were fanatics that demanded everyone cave to their ‘right’ way of thinking. The actual history of cats and mankind are much more interesting. The vast majority of species on the planet were not mentioned because these men lived on a very small patch of the earth. If they were so all knowing and guided by their sky fairy they would have addressed all the animals especially those that were wiped out by their masters mass homicide called the great flood.
        Interestingly they did mention man’s other companion the dog usually in very derogatory terms which is twisted by dog lovers to say that dogs are a gift from god. Modern canines are not a product of natural evolution but man’s creations. The common domestic cat is a product of it’s own natural selection and adaptation to living in co-existence with us.
        A work of fiction can contain many actual facts to make it a better story but it’s still fiction in the end and not a reliable source for information. So it’s failing to mention cats is irrelevant as a source of information Micheal. And I’m quite sure if they were mentioned cat haters would have found a way to twist the words so that cats were a source of evil in the world today.

        • I get it ME and I agree. The bible is full of holes. Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason picked holes in it. It was published in the late 18th century so it was brave work.

          “I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit…..”

          I endeavoured to answer the question in the title in a straight way without digressing and criticising the bible although it needs to be criticised.

          • That is sort of hard to do. It appears the authors hated the Egyptians and therefore the cats they worshiped.
            There was also little to no animal welfare at the time. Animals worked or were eaten for food and used for clothing.
            Animals seem , to me at least to be mentioned when trying to define a good or bad human proclivity.
            I’m not trying to be nasty or offend simply offer my explanation of why cats aren’t in the bible.
            Thomas Paine got it right.

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