Why Did Egyptians Worship Cats?

Egyptians believed cats played key roles in safeguarding critical food supplies by feeding on mice and rodents that ate precious grains and crops, and cats also protected humans from large and dangerous predators, which made cats worship worthy. Egyptians worshiped wild and domestic cats alike. They associated felines with gods and demi-gods, and built shrines, statues and temples in honor of favorite felines.

Egyptians’ admiration for cats infiltrated all aspects of life. Ordinary citizens and esteemed professionals alike noted the importance of cats in Egyptian culture. The ancient Egyptian society relied heavily on agricultural activities. Egyptians harvested plants and crops to sustain the lives of family members and community members. They relied on surplus crops to sell at markets for economic revenue as well. Without cats, which consumed destructive pests, Egyptians faced constant threats of crop loss from attacks by rodents and insects. Egyptians, in response for cats’ protection, offered wild and domesticated felines food and shelter. Even wild cats eventually lived closer to human settlements, knowing food and safety abounded.

As with modern humans, Egyptians kept cats as pets. They considered cats loyal companions, much like dogs. Egyptians took trained cats wherever they went, including on hunting expeditions. Egyptians considered cats loyal and intelligent creatures, and believed seeing cats in dreams a sign of good harvest for the coming year.