Cats have been a common dream theme for thousands of years. Not only are they a beloved household pet around the world, they’re also firmly established in mythology and spiritualism.

Dreaming of cats is fairly common, but it’s not always easy to understand and interpret what those dreams mean. The meaning of a dream that involves cats usually depends on the way the dreamer perceives cats. Some people are delighted by cats while others are repulsed, so the cat can be perceived in either a positive or a negative context depending on the circumstances, as most other symbolic representations.

Cats are usually linked to the representation of commonly feminine traits like vulnerability and intuition in both male and female dreamers. How a cat is portrayed in a dream usually suggests how the dreamer experiences things, both consciously and unconsciously.

Themes That Cats May Represent In Dreams

  • The Self, the Shadow, and the Anima of Jungian psychology
  • Creativity, Curiosity, and Power
  • Vulnerability
  • Intuition
  • Independence, Self-reliance, and Confidence
  • Dynamics with the opposite sex
  • Esoteric knowledge and spirituality
  • Hidden talents or truths
  • Bad luck and misfortune

Dreaming of Cats in Different Cultures

sphinx cat in giza

When analyzing dreams that involve cats, it’s important to rely on your relationship with these animals because different people feel differently about them and few animals elicit more contrasting emotions.

For example, the ancient Egyptians worshiped the cat as it relates to Bastet, the Goddess of Cats, so they saw cats as a symbol of happiness and celebration. On the other hand, the Puritans condemned cats as demonic heralds.

In Islam, cats are admired for being clean, unlike dogs, so they’re allowed to enter homes and mosques.

In Arabic and Islamic interpretations, a cat is portrayed as a symbol of the thief. Fighting or killing a cat symbolizes the dreamer’s triumph and avoidance of getting cheated in his/her waking life. A skinned cat means that a thief or a cheat got what they deserved. Feeding a cat means that the dreamer is aware they’re owed something and that that they will get what they deserve.

In Thailand, Siamese Cats are usually kept as temple protectors, so dreaming of a Siamese Cat symbolizes spirituality and protection.

In Celtic and Japanese cultures, cats symbolize bad luck and devious craftiness. As with many other cultures, they believe black cats symbolize the occult, unknown, and mysterious.

In Hinduism, dreaming of cats is a warning that the dreamer needs to be more aware of bad people in their life. A cat which bites or scratches is a sign that the dreamer needs to protect themselves and their possessions from present danger.

Dreams and Jungian Psychology: The Self, the Shadow, and the Anima

carl-jung

Cats tend to be the center of attention whenever they appear in dreams, as they relate to the emotional side of the dreamer.

Aside from being symbolic of everyday concepts, cats can also represent some of the deeper concepts in Jungian psychology. Carl Jung considered the cat to be an archetypal image present in all of us. He used the term “archetype” in his theory of the human psyche. He believed that these universal mythic characters reside within human subconscious all over the world.

The Self

Jung proposed that the Self is comprised of all parts of the human psyche, including the ego, as well as the personal and the collective subconscious.

With healthy development, a person establishes an individual sense of Self, built upon the experiences and relationships they experience in their life.

In dreams, animals are often portrayed as an expression of the Self. They can reveal parts of ourselves that might be hidden, such as intuitive emotional responses or unconscious impulses, even if we’re unaware of their presence.

A traditional symbol of independence, femininity, intuition, and creativity, dreaming of cats can have many interpretations as to how you see your inner Self.

The Shadow

In Jungian psychology, the Shadow is the dark opposite of the Self, constructed from parts of ourselves that we hide, neglect, and ignore, usually on an unconscious level.

It is often made up of desires and urges that we were taught are unacceptable or negative, either by society, our loved ones or ourselves.

As symbols of our unconscious Shadow, cats can portray the parts of ourselves that we secretly prize and treasure, even if we feel guilty about it. A cat may also represent elements of yourself that you hide and condemn, depending on your view of cats in the real world.

The Anima

According to Jung, the Anima is the part of the male psyche that represents its feminine nature. In contrast to the Anima is the Animus, representing masculine nature in the female psyche.

In dreams, cats represent the Anima, symbolizing how well a man relates to women in his life, as well as his intuition.

Symbolic Representations of Your Intuition

Intuition is often perceived as a mysterious and indifferent feeling that comes and goes as it pleases, which sounds a lot like the animal we’re discussing here. Cats in dreams are often symbols of intuition, that instinctive “gut” feeling of knowing something.

You can figure out whether you’re paying attention to your intuition or ignoring it by checking the appearance and health of the cat, as well as circumstances in which it appears in your dream.

Dreaming of Healthy or Sick Cats

sick cat

Dreaming of healthy cats could be interpreted as a healthy intuitive nature of the dreamer, meaning that you should continue listening to your inner self and make decisions from your wise mind.

Dreaming of ill cats could mean that there’s an imbalance between your intellect and your intuition. The dreamer could be struggling to stay grounded in their authentic self, or they could even be unaware of what their true self is.

It’s risky to function from such space because you may be basing life decisions on what you believe everyone else thinks you should do, instead of listening to what your intuition suggests as the best option for you.

If you see a sick cat in your dreams, you would do well to start paying more attention to intuition. Just like a cat, intuition will come around the more it is valued.

Dreaming of Dead or Dying Cats

Since a cat symbolizes your intuition and feminine power, dreaming of a dead cat could be interpreted as being disconnected from this part of yourself.

It could also mean you’re refusing to recognize your feminine power or attributes. The cat’s health in your dream directly correlates with the health of your connection to the divine feminine.

On top of that, a dead or a dying cat can represent the lack of autonomy in your life, as denying attention to one’s intuition often leads a person to rely on others for direction and guidance.

As a result, a person may feel dependent on others and frustrated because of it. Dreaming of cat’s “nine lives” shows your inner determination and resourcefulness, or some obstacles you’re facing in your life.

Finally, a cat without a body is a sign that you’re lacking independence and might be fooling yourself into thinking you have the freedom to do whatever you want when it’s not true.

Dreaming of Wild or Aggressive Cats, Being Afraid of Cats, Talking Cats

feral cat

Seeing wild cats in your dreams may symbolize solitude or a lonely existence, along with ferocity, sexuality, and survival instinct.

Dreaming of an aggressive cat could be interpreted as the inability to accept reality and stay objective.

Dreaming of a cat attacking you could mean that you’re struggling with that part of yourself and you’re intimidated by your femininity in some way. Being afraid of a cat in a dream means that you have irrational fears without any basis.

Dreaming of a cat’s claws is a sign that you’re holding onto something, showing aggression or harboring a desire to hurt someone.

Dreaming of a cat that can speak or communicate with you is a sign that you’re able to express your femininity or sexuality, you’re being made aware of your hunger for something, or acknowledging your intuition.

Dreaming of Identical Cats, Missing Cats, Abused or Neglected Cats

Seeing identical cats in your dream is a symbol of the urge to balance your needs with the needs of others, making sure you take care of yourself and not always worry about everyone else.

If you’re dreaming of searching for your cat, it shows your independent spirit, the need to be free and prevent people or situations from holding you back.

Seeing a house filled with cats in your dreams is a sign you’re a victim of many deluded thoughts and you might be living in a self-made fantasy world where you’re emotionally dependent on maintaining a lie rather than confronting reality.

An abused cat may be interpreted as a sign that you need codependency or to be in a caring role, as well as a potential sign of neglect or abuse you have suffered or are suffering. A neglected cat may represent a need for affection or companionship.

Dreaming of Kittens

kittens

Although cats are usually associated with independence, resourcefulness, and self-sustainability, the image of a helpless kitten in a tree is also strongly ingrained in the collective unconsciousness. This allows it to manifest in our dreams as a representation of something amiss in our subconscious self.

Dreaming about newborn kittens or loudly meowing unseen cats could be an indication that you feel vulnerable and unable to get help. If you’re experiencing this type of dream, look to your waking life and figure out whether or not you’re being heard.

Take the time to identify if a part of the problem is your inability to ask for assistance. Often those who are most independent turn out to also be those who are completely unaccustomed to asking for aid.

Additionally, dreaming of a litter of kittens could mean you’re feeling swamped and need more fun, enjoyment, and relaxation in your life.

Dreaming of kittens could also mean that you’ve embarked on a new project or a chapter of your life that’s in a vulnerable state and requires nurturing. Nurturing yourself is just as important as nurturing others.

Color of Your Dream Cat

cats

Dreaming of a White Cat

The meaning of a white cat in your dream depends on your relationship with felines. A white cat often symbolizes difficult times ahead. It’s a representation of the problems you are experiencing, although in some cultures it suggests that you’re happily in love or enjoying a calm, simple life at the moment. If you love white cats, it could mean something wonderful is about to happen.

Dreaming of a Black Cat

It’s common knowledge that many cultures superstitiously link black cats to bad luck or bad omens. Because of this, many people are afraid of black cats. Even in this day and age, black cats are the least adopted pets worldwide for this very reason.

If you carry this negative association and you come across a black cat in your dreams, it could mean that you’re scared of listening to your intuition or connecting and owning your feminine power. However, if you have a positive association with black cats, this manifestation could have a less negative symbolic meaning. Dreaming of a black cat that’s biting or scratching you is a sign that you should stop ignoring your intuition.

Dreaming of a Grey, Spotted, Green, or Blue Cat

Seeing a grey cat in a dream is less symbolically volatile as grey is a neutral, calming color. Dreaming of a grey cat means that you should try to take stock of what’s going on in the dream and try to figure out whether or not there’s a message arising from your subconscious that you should pay attention to. If so, you should follow the guidance within the dream as your intuition is speaking to you.

A spotted cat represents your passionate and confused feelings, while a green cat is symbolic of selfishness and delusion. A cat with green spikes indicates you’re experiencing jealousy which is preventing you from forming significant or stable relationships. It could also mean you’re keeping a distance from relationships or situations. Finally, dreaming of blue cats indicates positivity and good, heroic intentions.

Dreaming of Multiple Cats, Cats Giving Birth, Harming a Cat

If multiple cats visit your dream at once, it might mean you’re confused about a certain aspect of your life, as they represent some form of chaos that can lead to feelings of overwhelm and anxiety. If you’re feeling stressed and pressured in your life, this dream could be your subconscious trying to help you pace yourself.

Dreaming about a cat giving birth usually refers to fertility and your feelings about babies or infancy. As we already mentioned, kittens relate to feelings of vulnerability and protectiveness. On the other hand, dreaming of beating or killing a cat symbolizes overcoming or ending a negative, hostile or difficult situation.

Cats in Women’s Dreams

Self-Perception

Cats in women’s dreams usually represent the way a woman sees herself. This perception not only includes the way a woman thinks of herself physically, but also the way she relates to her intuition and creativity, along with demonstrating how she sees herself relating to men.

For example, dreaming of healthy cats could indicate that a woman has high self-confidence, which is different from arrogance. Self-confidence provides a sense of comfort with one’s self, allowing you to feel more comfortable in your skin.

Dreaming of healthy cats could also indicate that a woman is comfortable with her power, trusts her intuition and the decisions she makes based on it.

For women, dreaming of cats could also be a sign of falsification or lying. Jungian interpretations suggest that dreams involving cats refer to a psychological secret or a hidden side of the dreamer’s nature.

On the other hand, dreaming of sick or unhealthy cats could mean that a woman struggles with her self-esteem and is uncertain regarding her sense of self-worth and validation. A woman seeing a sick cat in her dreams may subconsciously know that she’s ignoring her intuition, which is in some way leading her away from the path that would enable her to fulfill her purpose.

Power

Dreaming of cats could also represent a woman’s connection to her inner sense of power, which is not the same thing as control. Controlling people try to control everything and everyone around them in a precise way because they feel like they have no power.

Power comes from believing in yourself and being confident that you can achieve results and produce change. As a woman, embracing and manifesting one’s power may seem challenging and frightening in today’s world, but a cat visiting your dreams bodes well and could imply you’re getting closer to recognizing and celebrating your inner power.

Cats in Men’s Dreams

Cats in men’s dream often relate to the feminine side of their psyche (the Anima), or they reveal how the man believes the opposite sex perceives him. Additionally, it can show what his attitude towards the opposite sex is, whether that attitude is grounded in consciousness or unconsciousness.

If a man dreams of a cat purring or climbing on him, it could mean that he thinks women find him attractive. It could also be an indication that he feels comfortable in his relationships with women.

Dreaming of a wild cat is thought to symbolize a man’s sexual desires and urges. If a man dreams of hissing, hostile cats, this could indicate that he feels rejected by women or that his current relationships are tense. He might also feel that the women in his life are hard to please, overbearing, or not trustworthy. In that case, it might be time to for the man to reevaluate his relationships.

Litter Box

cat litterbox

Dreaming of a litter box can have some symbolism. Since the cat represents various aspects of our subconsciousness, dreaming of the area where cats eliminate waste could be representative of our shameful or shame-inducing thoughts.

It could mean you’re experiencing shame about a certain aspect of your life, whether it’s an external situation or circumstance, or a subliminal thought or a feeling.

At the same time, the litter box can also represent an underlying feeling that you’re putting up with too much and getting burned out.

Conclusion

Cats that visit your dreams are just as complex as their real-life counterparts and can symbolize a wide variety of things, from a strong connection with your subconscious to your subconscious perception of the opposite sex.

Every time you dream of a symbol with a rich mythological history, it’s a clear sign that it likely has a higher meaning and could present an important source of useful information.

Finally, the information that cats bring to the dream world can assist you in various aspects of your life. For this very reason, cats demand and deserve attention whenever they show up in your dreams.

References

Bridget Rader
Written By
Bridget Rader
Bridget first started with dream interpretation in college. After studying the works of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, she wanted to interpret her own dreams. Bridget believes dreams are a centered experience. Her dream interpretations are meant to help decipher their potential meaning.

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