Does meeting a Black Cat really bring bad luck?

Where do these strange rumors about black cats come from?

Even in our increasingly skeptical age, we've all heard legends and stories associating black cats with magic, occult forces, and even pagan holidays like Halloween.

Does coming across a black cat really bring bad luck? In any case, many Asians and Europeans are of the opposite opinion.

According to them, black cats bring wealth, bless marriages, protect homes and much more.

We will therefore try to clarify all this somewhat, and answer the question:

Does coming across a black cat really bring bad luck?

Contents :

The Bombay: a particular breed of black cat

Does coming across a black cat really bring bad luck?

Myths about black cat adoptions

Why not you !

A little anecdote

The black cat, seen in Asia

12 beliefs about lucky cats

Some unusual lucky cats!


Bombay breed cat with yellow eyes and black coat

The Bombay: a particular breed of black cat

Wherever they go, black cats add an air of mystery.

Among all cat breeds, there are a total of 22 that can have solid black as a possible coat color.

The most distinctive breed of lucky (or unlucky, depending on opinion) cat has to be the Bombay, a lineage originally developed to resemble a miniature black panther.

These felines are known for their distinctive coat, black nose and yellow eyes, and are considered intelligent, loving to play and always looking for attention.

It's actually a genetic malfunction, which gives black cats their solid color. This is why a black cat can eventually “rust”, and gradually turn dark brown.

This same genetic quirk may also make these cats more resistant to disease than their light-colored siblings.

Scientists are also trying to map the genome of black cats as part of the search for new potential treatments against HIV.

Adorable little black kitten on a paved road

Does coming across a black cat really bring bad luck?

Most people have heard that coming across a black cat brings bad luck.

Folklore varies from culture to culture, but also over time.

In medieval times in Europe, it was believed that black cats were the familiars (supernatural entities that aided in the practice of magic) of witches, or even that magicians could change their shape into that of a lucky cat..

This is actually a legend originating from a European custom, stating that a crossing black cat walking peacefully in the moonlight was a sign often announcing death by epidemic.

Another superstition, cited in various extracts and which is particularly widespread in Las Vegas, is that “if, while traveling to a casino, a black cat crosses your path, you should not play that evening… at all costs!” »

However, many people don't realize that these animals have also been associated with luck throughout the ages.

Examples of vintage postcards from the early 1900s clearly show that lucky black cats were valued and considered a happy sign in America.

If we go back to 3000 BC in the Egyptian kingdoms, black cats were held in very high esteem and harming one was considered a capital crime.

Sailors throughout history believed that having a lucky cat aboard their ship would bring them good luck, and some sailors' wives kept black cats at home to ensure their husbands returned home safely.

Several lucky cats waiting for adoption at an open shelter

Myths about black cat adoptions

So how does all this affect current adoption rates and shelter occupancy? Is a black cat less likely to be adopted?

There is a common myth that they are less likely to be adopted.

The data, however, does not support this at all.

It is true that black cats enter shelters more than any other color... but they are also the most adopted!

It seems that some people consider this kind of little ball of fur to be a real lucky cat.

Unfortunately, they are also the most euthanized type of cat... this is understandable given their impressive number in various animal protection structures.

Some people even adopt black cats just to use them as props for Halloween costumes… that can seem really cruel.

Moreover, some shelters and shelters do not offer black cats for adoption during the entire month of October. This kind of animal abuse, unfortunately, is one of the only true horrors of Halloween.

If we put aside the legends around the black cat, it is clear that they are animals that have the same needs for love, care and attention as all the others.

If you feel capable of providing a loving home, why not adopt one too !

Little black cat on a blanket encouraging adoption

Why not you !

Since black cats are the shelter animals most likely to be euthanized, consider these reasons for adopting one.

  • Black cats are intriguing creatures : esteemed or on the contrary rejected, they leave no culture indifferent.
  • They have their own special day. International Lucky Black Cat Day is August 17.
  • Black cats are more or less miniature panthers. Who wouldn't want one of these majestic felines in their home?
  • They are curious, elegant, fun and playful … just like cats of other colors in fact!
  • Black goes with everything. Did you know that some people abandon black cats just because they don't find them photogenic enough?
  • However, some cats can even look like little panthers which then move with grace and elegance.
  • Ultimately, whether they're a lucky cat or not, all animals deserve to live the same healthy, happy lives as everyone else.
  • Catwoman is an icon of pop culture, seduction and femininity. This heroine chose to identify with a black cat, and that can't be a coincidence.

  • The fact that some people are afraid of black cats (even if for the wrong reasons) will give you great leverage over them.

If you have a black cat, you already know how lucky you are.

If you are looking to adopt, think about what you have just read!

Cat in front of the sea in Hawaii

A little anecdote

A friend in Hawaii told me a very strange story at dinner a few years ago.

A black cat had crossed his path the day before while he was on his way to a very important exam. (He wanted to get his master's degree in mathematics, anyway).

When he clarified that, according to him, it was a lucky cat, our small group had three very different reactions...

For my part, I was touched. I love animals, and therefore obviously cats, whether they are black or not.

My English friend for his part had a contented “Mmmh”, while the Japanese in the group let out an “Oh!”, while giving a hint of a smile.

At the time, I didn't really understand this situation.

If you don't either, read this article until the end and you will see more clearly!

Black cat in the middle of a poppy garden

The black cat, seen in Asia

Unlike much of the Western world, where coming across a black cat brings bad luck, Japanese culture sees this event as a good omen.

In fact, in Japan, as in much of Asia, they are considered true lucky cats.

My mother's Chinese Feng Shui master specifically had our cat's litter box (which, you will have understood, is black) placed in the northernmost room of the house, in order to ward off evil.

“Petit Pied is a real lucky cat,” she said. “Luck follows him everywhere!! »

I think, for my part, that Little Foot just likes his bed to be close to the central boiler of our house...

A crystal ball, elements of magic and palmistry as well as a witches' owl pendant

Occult powers?

The esoteric secrets of witchcraft


12 beliefs about lucky cats

It is obvious to all cat owners that they have a “ sixth sense ”.

They seem to understand much more than we are willing to show them...

For example, when we come home, after being outside for several hours, the cat is most likely sitting in front of the door as if it knows that you will come home precisely at that time.

So, does coming across a black cat bring bad luck? Or should we rather consider our beloved little ball of fur as a real lucky cat ?

Let's take a closer look at some legends and superstitions.

1) The lucky cat of English weddings!

If a black cat walks past a newly married couple, it is considered a happy omen for their future.

Another belief was that a cat sneezing near the bride on the wedding day meant that it would go well... In particular, a black cat was a sign that the parents would not have to worry for their daughter's future.

An English superstition also tells us that giving a bride a black cat will bring her luck in her marriage... and that if the couple decides to keep her, their home will experience happiness.

The cat is actually considered a lucky charm in much of the UK.

Although I'm not necessarily for the idea of ​​giving an animal as a gift, I understand that sharing your home with a lucky cat can really improve your mood!

Also know that, if you are still looking for that special someone, there is a Japanese legend which says that a black cat will bring a single woman a number of suitors.

2) Wave to the lucky cat

In Chinese and Japanese homes, the figure of Maneki Neko is a very popular good luck charm.

These little cat figurines with raised paws are intended to attract luck, wealth and prosperity for their owners.

Although the gesture of an outstretched arm raised in the air reminds us of the darkest hours of our history, our lucky cat is actually making a welcoming gesture.

Often they are white, but these lucky cats can be any color.

As you will see, the story around Maneki Neko is astonishing to say the least.

Legend has it that a man caught in a sudden storm took shelter under a tree. He noticed a cat nearby that seemed to be beckoning him into a temple.

He accepted the invitation and moments later the tree he was previously standing under was struck by lightning. Because the cat had saved the man's life, it was considered a symbol of exceptional luck.

3) Black cats are good for crops

Europeans, in many countries, believed that cats were essential to a good harvest. They were therefore treated with great respect and attention.

It's a safe bet that this idea comes from the fact that our beloved little felines used to hunt rodents and other pests, thus protecting the grain.

Additionally, in Norse mythology, the goddess of love, fertility and beauty, Freya, rides on a chariot pulled by two black cats.

To gain his divine favor, farmers offered the cats bowls of milk. This was supposed to prompt Freya to bless the crops.

In addition, as certain Eastern philosophers teach us, such as Feng Shui, black cats have powerful powers to do good.

If you have such a lucky cat, and you manage to keep it happy and safe, it will do the same for you.

If you are not lucky enough to have a real feline to guard your home, know that a figurine facing north will keep bad energies away from your home.

4) Black cats lead to fortune

Another legend about these animals explains that they bring with them luck in business.

Plus, if you find a black cat with a white coat, and you manage to snatch it without getting scratched. .. well, you'll probably make a lot of money in the near future.

Another superstition, this time French, goes in this direction of a lucky cat helping to make fortune.

Farmers have long believed that, if a black cat were released at a crossroads where five roads intersect, the path it would take first would be the direction of a hidden treasure.

In the south of France, black cats, also called “matagot”, are considered real lucky charms.

Just by sleeping in a room, the inhabitants of the house will reward them with wealth, and even power... provided you show them enough respect!

Children are even told that it has links to witchcraft and other occult forces.

5) Black cats allow sailors to travel safely

Sailors in the United Kingdom between the 17th and 18th centuries also had preconceptions about black cats.

Sailors considered it very beneficial to have a lucky cat on board, especially a black cat. Although for some strange reason, saying the word "cat" would bring great misfortune according to them.

In the past, black cats were considered so lucky that most of them were so expensive that no sailor could afford one.

It was often an investment that the whole crew made together.

Be careful though, legend has it that if the cat died during the trip, the ship would almost certainly sink.

However, let's qualify this statement: while the custom of keeping a ship's cat is well documented, cases of ships sinking due to the death of a lucky cat are not.

6) Look him in the eyes

Until the beginning of the 20th century in China, people believed they could tell the time in the eyes of a lucky cat.

The ancient Romans believed that changing eye color in a cat had something to do with the changing phases of the moon.

In ancient Egypt, the people believed that a cat's eyes reflected the sun's rays and protected humanity from the forces of darkness.

It is surprising to say the least that such distant cultures agree that the eyes of a lucky cat can transmit messages and information to us... don't you think?

7) The cat: symbol of purity

An Italian legend about the birth of Christ often mentions a pregnant cat, who became a mother at the same time as Mary. Basically, it is a symbol of purity and the immaculate conception of Christ.

8) Listen!

In Italy, if you hear a black cat sneeze, you will have great luck throughout your day.

Although occasional sneezing is okay, if your cat does it a lot, it would be best to have it checked out by a veterinarian.

If you're the one sneezing... well maybe you're unfortunately allergic. You will probably have to deprive yourself of the powers of lucky cats.

9) Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptians actually kept black cats in their homes and as pets

They believed that the goddess Bastet, also known as Bast, had a deep connection with these animals, and that caring for them would help them curry favor with the goddess.

Bastet, is often represented as a human with the head of a black cat.

Truly celebrated, lucky cats were treated as well, or even better, than certain human beings, and notably benefited from meticulous funeral rites.

(Even today, some believe that having a black cat, or several, in the home could attract the attention of this ancient Egyptian goddess).

In a slightly less poetic section, we know that Egyptian civilization was largely based on the cultivation of cereals around the Nile.

So cats also had a practical purpose: to protect grain from vermin.

10) Witches' favorite animal

Here, not a lucky cat, but rather a disastrous symbol: black cats have been associated with witches for centuries.

Most of us know the old superstition that seeing a black cat brings bad luck.

Although this myth is not based on any evidence, it persists, at least in the United States and Europe.

This is likely due to their association with ancient pagan gods.

We have already talked about Bastet, the Egyptian goddess of cats, but we could also mention and Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt.

The worshipers of Diana adopted the symbol of the black cat, and wore this color during their ceremonies. Later, Diana was associated with witchcraft.

Some myths and legends arise directly from this connection. Some explain to us, for example, how magicians were able to use black cats as spies and messengers, or even to cast spells through their simple presence.

As witches are associated with evil and wickedness, these faults have also been attributed to black cats.

Nowadays, many magic practitioners like to wear this type of black cat collar.

11) …see witches themselves!

It may seem like we're in the 21st century, but for a long time, people believed that a black cat could actually be a witch who changed shape to deceive them.

The habit that some elderly women living alone have of surrounding themselves with pets, and especially cats, is not new.

It did not take much for some to make a direct link between the supposed witches and the cats wandering at night was established.

This idea according to which occult forces allow certain people to take the form of animals is in reality also very old.

The ancient Celtic Druids already believed that certain black cats were human beings punished for having committed bad deeds.

This fear that village farmers could feel when they came across a black cat therefore dates back several centuries at least. However, the idea really spread following a very specific event…

One moonless night, two men came across a black cat. Probably out of stupidity, they decided to throw stones at him that they had found on their way.

The animal then took refuge in the house of an old woman who lived on the outskirts of the village. The next day, the two men came across the old woman… covered in bruises and bruises!

True or false it doesn't matter, the fact is that this legend had a lasting impact on the collective European imagination.

12) With lucky cats, everything is relative

In some myths, the effect the black cat will have on you depends on the context.

In Germany, a lucky black cat crossing your path from the left is a sign of bad luck, while if it has passed you from the left, better times are likely ahead for you.

In Scotland, for example, coming across a stray black cat is a sign of a bright future in business, provided it comes towards you.

However, stay on your guard: a feline moving away is a sign of bad omen that should not be ignored.

If you come across one, and you fall under their spell, you would probably do better to calm your ardor. Before you think about adopting him, don't forget to check if he doesn't have an owner before inviting them!

Some unusual lucky cats!

As we've seen, black cats are proportionally less likely to be adopted than those of other colors.

We therefore wanted to put the lucky black cat in the spotlight, and found some quality animals to present to you!

Lucky Jim, the first cat to fly,

Some humans believe that black cats bring bad luck, while others are convinced otherwise.

Jack Alcock was a famous Manchester aviator.

He took his furry friend with him as a good luck charm when he flew across the Atlantic in 1919, making Lucky Jim the first cat to travel through the air.

Lucky Jim may just be a stuffed toy, but we think Jack made the right choice not to bring a live cat with him. This could have been dangerous for the animal.

Lucky cat amulets from the First World War

During World War I, many soldiers were afraid of being injured or not being able to return home, so they equipped themselves with various lucky charms, including depictions of black cats.

We don't know if they helped protect them, but at least they could provide moral comfort during battle.

Schrödinger's Cat

A human named Erwin Schrödinger became famous for wondering whether a cat is alive or dead.

But don't worry, it's not a real cat. He invented this " thought experiment " to help humans imagine how things cannot truly be fully real until they have been observed, especially in the strange world of quantum physics.

Experience says that a cat in a box may be dead, but we won't know until the box is opened, so the cat can technically be both alive and dead until it be seen.

The Black Cat Cabaret

All of Belle-Époque Paris gathered in cabarets to drink, discuss and establish their political networks. Among the different places that the Parisian bourgeoisie liked to frequent, there was the Moulin-Rouge, the Montmartre and Pigalle districts... and the Cabaret du Chat Noir.

Yes, to attract a good omen or rub shoulders with pretty girls, all of Paris' bohemians and poets attended French cancan shows and other grand theater performances.

Little lucky black cat lying on its back and placed next to a multicolored toy


Although the myth that coming across a black cat brings bad luck is the most widespread, there are many traditions around the world calling black cats a good luck charm.

Either way, like most other pets, these little balls of fur are probably more motivated by a belly rub than by the desire to bring misfortune on us.

Although not all of these stories are necessarily true, they can have real-world consequences for black cats: superstitions persist, even if they are false.

Black cats have lower adoption rates than other colors and often stay longer in shelters.

To the question “Does coming across a black cat bring bad luck?” ”, so the answer is no, and you would do well to tell those around you.

This is something important that could improve the lives of many felines around the world.

And after all, why not adopt one yourself ?

Lucky charms featured in this article

Classic Maneki Neko Statue

Classic Maneki Neko Statue

See more
Egyptian cat statuette

Egyptian cat statuette

See more
author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.