[[caption-width-right:350:[[http://www.shoeboxblog.com/ "Why witches hang out with black cats."]]]]

->''"When he couldn't find any witches to burn, the king widened the definition to any ugly woman who owned a cat. When he couldn't even find any of those, he made the women of the village hold a beauty contest. First prize was a night with the king, last prize was a cat."''
-->-- ''Radio/JohnFinnemoresSouvenirProgramme''

In medieval European superstition, it was thought that one way to identify if someone was a [[WitchClassic witch]] was if they owned a cat. This cat was believed to be some form of [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demon]] or evil spirit in disguise, acting as the witch's {{Familiar}} and aiding her in her spells. These days witches and cats don't have such bad reputations, but their association with each other persists. If a show has a witch, there is an extremely good chance that witch has a cat. Sometimes simply owning a cat is used as a hint or foreshadowing that a woman living alone might have a secret magical nature.

And doesn't that make [[JustForPun purrfect]] sense? Everyone knows that CatsAreMagic, not to mention [[CatsAreSuperior the best]], so of ''course'' any witch worth her broomstick would be owned by one, if not a whole clowder of cats. In fact it's not uncommon for a witch to have a such a [[KindheartedCatLover soft spot for her feline friends]] that she doubles as a CrazyCatLady, owning a dozen or more. Such witches are usually considered quirky and tend to be of the good variety, the same if a witch owns cats with coat colors outside the stereotypical black. The cat is the most common {{Familiar}} for a witch by far, though sometimes the association is so strong that it's not that the witch ''owns'' a cat, but she ''is'' a cat!

The association is most concrete between female witches and cats, though occasionally if a work allows male witches, or warlocks and wizards are simply male witches, the association will spill over. In European folklore, black cats have been considered to be familiars of witches since the Middle Ages, so this trope is OlderThanPrint.

Compare RightHandCat, CatsAreMagic and {{Familiar}}. Sometimes the cat in question is a PantheraAwesome.


[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* In the first episode of ''Manga/SoulEater'', what Maka and Soul thought was a witch, turned out to actually be a cat that had a human form and magic and merely dressed like a witch. The actual witches however, have their own AnimalMotifs, none of which have been cats.
* The Sailor Soldiers, a MagicalGirlWarrior group, from ''Franchise/SailorMoon'', have three guardian cats Artemis (white), Luna (black - though sometimes appears dark blue) and their daughter Diana (grey). This is most likely a spill over from the fact that MGW trope descended from the CuteWitch.
* In the ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' franchise, cats are one of the most common animals used as {{Familiar}}s by mages in the setting, with wolves being the only other animal we've seen used. Specific examples include [[ParentalSubstitute Rynith]] and the [[TagTeamTwins Lieze Twins]].
* Honerva/Haggar of ''Anime/GoLion'' and ''Anime/{{Voltron}}'' has a blue cat, Jaga, whom she uses in various evil schemes.
* The eponymous Sakura of ''Manga/CardCaptorSakura'' has instead what appears to be a small yellow lion cub (or teddy bear, depending on whom you ask) with wings, that she calls "Kero-chan." It turns out that "Kero-chan"'s real name is Cerberus, and he's really a full-sized, armored ''lion'' with wings. Similarly, Eriol has what looks like a small, winged black kitten, but is really a panther with blue butterfly wings. Both of these animals are Sun Guardians.
* Kiki's cat Jiji in ''Anime/KikisDeliveryService''. Only she can talk to him and apparently every witch has one. Her inability to understand him is one of the sign that she lost her magick.
* In ''Manga/FlyingWitch'' witch sisters Makoto and Akane own very intelligent cat familiars, Chito and Kenny. Chito is able to cover for her mistress's [[NoSenseOfDirection tendency to get lost]], while Kenny is something of an anthropologist. However, it's not a universal trait: Inukai has a hamster familiar who is very frightened of Chito when they're introduced to each other.


[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Male example: ComicBook/KlarionTheWitchBoy in Creator/DCComics and his cat Teekl, who has the ability to take a [[CatFolk humanoid form]].
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agatha_Harkness Agatha Harkness]], governess to [[Comicbook/FantasticFour Franklin Richards]] and magical tutor to the Comicbook/ScarletWitch, has a black cat called [[http://www.comicvine.com/ebony/4005-4326/ Ebony]] that can transform into a black panther.
* In ''ComicBook/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'', Sabrina owns a black cat named Salem. The [[Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch live-action TV show]] portrayed him as a talking cat, who used to be a criminal warlock, and was turned into a cat as part of his sentence after being caught.
* In ''ComicBook/TarotWitchOfTheBlackRose'', Rowen's familiar Pooka is a black goblin-cat.

* In ''Film/BedknobsAndBroomsticks'', Miss Price and Cosmic Creepers. As [[http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi2153513497/ seen here]].
** Furthermore, Miss Price doesn't believe in giving names to animals, but calls her cat Cosmic Creepers "because that's the name he came with." One presumes she got a black cat because witches are expected to have one. That said, she never shows cruelty or resentment to the animal, and makes sure he's fed (but not on houseguests that she's turned into rabbits, of course!).
* In ''Film/BellBookAndCandle'', HotWitch Gillain Holroyd has Pyewacket, a Siamese cat that she uses as her {{Familiar}}. [[spoiler:When she gives up her powers at the end, Pyewacket runs away.]]
* In ''Anime/KikisDeliveryService'', all witches have a cat as a guide and mentor. Kiki's personal cat is the usual black variety.
* In the film ''Film/DoubleDoubleToilAndTrouble'', aunt Agatha is an evil witch that owns a cat.
* Inverted in ''Film/HocusPocus''. The witch sisters transform one of the protagonists, Binx, into a black cat ForTheEvulz. By the time of the main narrative, he's their sworn enemy.
* Also inverted in ''WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}}'' where the witch like antagonist actively dislikes cats especially the local black stray who due to the CatsAreMagic trope being in play can come and go as he pleases between our world and hers which she see as subverting her power.
* ''Film/TheUncanny'': In "Quebec province, 1975", Lucy turns out to be a young witch in the making, and her cat Wellington is implicitly her familiar. As her mean cousin Angela will soon learn, attempt to deprive a witch of her cat is a very bad idea.
* During Elaine's monologue about reincarnation in ''Film/TheLoveWitch'', she claims that she would like to be reincarnated as a cat, having felt depressed when her own cat died.

* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** A cat is one of the animals which wizarding students can bring as a pet to Hogwarts. In this case the cats are merely pets, not familiars. In book three, Hermione gets a very perceptive (part-Kneazle) cat named Crookshanks.
** A witch and teacher, Professor [=McGonagall=], can ''turn into'' a cat.
** [[EvilTeacher Umbridge]] has a CatsAreMean motif whenever she's not being compared to a toad, but doesn't actually own one. Instead, she has a cat Patronus and a collection of rather tacky cutlery with enchanted pictures of cats on them.
** There's also Mrs Figg, a CrazyCatLady who lived near the Dursleys who turned out to be [[MuggleBornOfMages a Squib]].
** The caretaker Argus Filch has a rather intelligent cat, Mrs. Norris, who patrols Hogwarts looking for troublemakers with her master.
* In ''Literature/EnchantedForestChronicles'' Morwen, a famous witch, owns a large number of cats of many different colors as her {{familiar}}s. Other witches think she's strange for numerous reasons, but one of those is that she owns a dozen cats, none of them black.
-->''Deep in the Enchanted Forest, in a neat grey house with a wide porch and a red roof, lived the witch Morwen and her nine cats. The cats were named Murgatroyd, Fiddlesticks, Miss Eliza Tudor, Scorn, Jasmine, Trouble, Jasper Darlington Higgins IV, Chaos, and Aunt Ophelia, and not one of them looked like a witch's cat. They were tabby, grey, white, tortoiseshell, ginger, seal brown, and every other cat color in the world than a proper and "witchy" black.''
* In ''Literature/DarkLordOfDerkholm'', Querida, the most powerful witch on the continent, owns three cats.
* ''Literature/ADiscoveryOfWitches'' features a precognitive cat named Tabitha, who is owned by the main character's witchy aunts.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' has Nanny Ogg and her tomcat Greebo, and, later, Granny Weatherwax's kitten, You. Magrat, on the other hand, is mentioned in ''Discworld/WyrdSisters'' as not liking cats much.
* In the novel ''Literature/OperationChaos'' by Creator/PoulAnderson, the witch Virginia "Ginny" Matuchek has a cat named Svartalf as a familiar.
* In the ''Literature/ArciaChronicles'', Gerika keeps pet lynxes before and after she gains powers, but switches to ordinary cats when she pretends to be a swamp witch while healing Alexander in book five. She can also [[DemonicPossession possess]] her cats and use them as conduits for her power.
* In ''Literature/TheHollows'' Rachel lives with a cat, though the cat doesn't seem to like her very much.
%% * ''Literature/TheHouseOfNight'' may also count if you think the vampires in that series are more like witches.
* In ''Literature/TheWorstWitch'' all witches receive a black cat. Except the loser protagonist, who gets a striped cat that can't balance on a broom (she then settles for carrying it in a bag).
* In the short story ''The Incredible Elopement of Literature/LordPeterWimsey'', Wimsey poses as a wizard in a remote and backwards village. Nine white cats form part of his disguise.
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' series, it is noted that female channelers known as Aes Sedai tend to attract cats. They're not familiars or magical in any way (although some promote the myth to increase their air of mystery), it's just one of those odd things that happens. Once male channelers start showing up, the same thing happens with dogs. Also, a channeler tends to drive away the animal of the other gender (men repulse cats, women repulse dogs).
* Blackmalkin and Greymalkin in ''Literature/TheMidnightFolk'' by Creator/JohnMasefield. Nibbins also used to be a familiar, but is now a household cat who sides with Kay.
* Most witches mentioned by name in ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'' own cats.
* In ''Time Cat'', one of the adventures the boy goes on with the time-traveling cat leads to the boy and the cat being accused of witchcraft. The accusers ''may'' have had a point, because again, ''it's a time-traveling cat''.
* ''Literature/DorrieTheLittleWitch'' has a cat named Gink.
* ''Gobbolino The Witches Cat'' centres around this trope, obviously enough. The eponymous Gobbolino has [[IJustWantToBeNormal no interest in being a witch's familiar, and would prefer the life of a humble house cat.]]
* Cas' mother in ''Literature/AnnaDressedInBlood'' has a cat named Tybalt.
* Eleanor Estes' 1960 novel ''The Witch Family'' has real, right, regular witches -- Old Witch, six-year-old Hannah and six-month-old Beebee, who dress in black, ride broomsticks and have cats. Beebee has a tiny kitten who clings upside down to his mistress' broomstick. Fans of Harry will like the scenes where Hannah goes to witch school.
* In ''Literature/RosemarysBaby'', Mrs. Sabatini is the ''only'' coven member mentioned as having a cat. There is a Persian cat breeder in the building but he's not involved with the coven.
* In ''Tituba Of Salem Village'' by Ann Petrie, Tituba is suspected for a number of reasons, including her skill at spinning and her male calico cat. This kind of cat is called a money cat and is usually regarded as attracting good luck, similar to ManekiNeko. She has to drive him away when the serious hysteria starts.
* The titular characters of the ''Meg and Mog'' series of children's books are a classic witch and her black and white-striped cat.
* In ''Witch-Cat'' by Joan Carris, cats from the Order of Greymalkins act as witches' teachers, showing them how to use their magic responsibly. In the case of the protagonist Rosetta, her initial job is just trying to show twentieth-century witch Gwen that magic ''exists'' in the first place, but all of her attempts keep getting [[HandWave hand waved]] away with practical explanations.
* ''Literature/TheWitchesOfWorm'' has Worm, who Jessica believes to be a witch's familiar.
* Averted in the Dutch children's book series ''Foeksia de miniheks'' (Foeksia the little witch). In one story Foeksia wants to adopt a stray cat she found, but can't since her father is [[PlotAllergy allergic to cats]] and quickly reminds her that only evil witches own cats.
* In the children's story ''Literature/RoomOnTheBroom'', the ginger-haired witch has a ginger-haired cat. She picks up a few other animal friends over the course of the story.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'': Sabrina has Salem Saberhagen, a warlock punished for trying to take over the world with a sentence of one hundred years as a black cat. Technically, he belongs to her Aunt Hilda, who was punished with having to care for him for being one of his followers.
* In ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' the main characters are three witch sisters, and they inherited a cat along with their powers.
** The cat later becomes human as a reward for being such a successful familiar.
* Witches Tara and Willow of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' get [[FormallyNamedPet Miss Kitty Fantastico]], but she rarely shows up and dies offscreen.
** Miss Kitty Fantastico is an inversion of the normal trope. When Tara suggests to Willow they get a cat, Willow assumes that she wants one because she is a witch (Willow is still pretty much a novice). Tara replies [[KindheartedCatLover she just likes cats]].
* A few witch/warlock characters in ''Series/{{Bewitched}}'' have cat familiars, which can assume human form (usually attractive and female). One episode indicates that transformed familiars automatically revert to their feline forms at midnight, but this isn't touched upon in other episodes.
* Subverted: In ''Series/{{Switch2012}}'' Stella puts her boss's cat in the microwave.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': Some witches have familiars, though at least one of them is a dog rather than a cat and the familiars have a human form.
* In episode "En la casa de la bruja" (In the house of the witch) of ''Series/ElChavoDelOcho'', Chavo, Chilindrina and Kiko enter Doña Clotilde's house and see the typical HauntedHouse with her as a crone in a cauldron. In that episode her pet ''Satanás'' (Satan in Spanish) is a white cat. Of course at the end is AllJustADream.
** Subverted in all other episodes as Doña Clotilde's pet Satanás is always a dog. Of course, Doña Clotilde herself is not a real witch (unless you count her spiritualist activities).
* Adalind in ''Series/{{Grimm}}'' is a [[WickedWitch Hexenbiest]] and has a pet cat, which comes handy when she wants to curse Juliette, as she's a vet.
* The witch in ''Series/SimonAndTheWitch'' has a cat called George, known for eating wooden items such as furniture when the witch forgets to feed him. In the first series he runs away from home and goes on a spree of destruction of wooden items across the country. Averted with the witch's sister Tombola, who lives somewhere in Africa, thinks cats are old-fashioned and instead has a gorilla called Banana and several snakes.

[[folder: Myth And Legend ]]

* Averted (and depending on how you define it, ''inverted'') with Hecate, the [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Greek goddess]] of witchcraft. Her sacred animal was, among other things, black ''dogs''.
* Averted in African mythology, where witches rode dogs, or [[DependingOnTheWriter in some cases]], ''[[CoolPet hyenas]]''.
* Played straight with Myth/NorseMythology: Freyja is the goddess of seidr, a form of magic considered exclusively feminine, and her cart is drawn by two cats. Since Norse religion was often considered tantamount to witchcraft by medieval Christians, this makes Freyja the indirect {{TropeMaker}}.


[[folder: Puppetry]]
* In South African puppet-based childrens' TV show ''Series/DieLieweHeksie'', Livinia the witch has ''two''. There is Mattewis, the kitten/cat whose function is to be a timid little kittie who miouws a lot and is the indespensible companion to a working witch. Then there is Karel Kat, her sophisticated friend, a sort of NonHumanSidekick, who is essentially an anthropomorphic cat who dresses smartly, drives a smart car, and flies a helicopter. Karel and Mattewis are never really seen interacting.

[[folder: Radio]]
* ''Radio/OurMissBrooks'': In "Halloween Party", Mr. Boynton observes that the two figures most associated with Halloween are witches and black cats. Miss Brooks is offended when Mr. Boynton, Stretch Snodgrass and Walter Denton all think that she'd be perfect dressed as a witch for the party. Miss Brooks eventually gives in . . . .
-->'''Miss Brooks''': Connie Brooks rides tonight!

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]

* Both played straight with one sisterhood of witches and handily subverted with all other sisterhoods in ''TabletopGame/TheDarkEye''. Most witches do have some type of {{Familiar}} though.
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', Player Characters who can cast Arcane Spells (like Wizards) can summon familiars, and cats are one of the of the available choices. (Not the only choice, however, and in some editions, the caster had no control over what animal he got.)
** ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' Extends this with a catfolk race, who can take levels in Witch. Witch is also the only class to ''have'' to have a familiar (ignoring a few scattered archetypes), even if it doesn't have to be a cat (witches renew their magic spells by communing with their familiar, and other classes either don't get the ability by default or can choose to bind themselves to an item instead).


* One of the witches in Shakespeare's ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' has a cat named Graymalkin.In some versions one of the witches is called Graymalkin, instead.
* A line in the "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" from Lloyd-Webber's ''Theatre/{{Cats}}'' goes "Can you ride on a broomstick, to places far distant?" referring to cats being associated with witches.
* In the original play of ''Bell Book And Candle'' (and [[Film/BellBookAndCandle the film adaptation]] mentioned above), Gillian Holroyd's familiar is a cat named Pyewacket [[note]]The name was taken from an actual list of common names for witches' familiars compiled by witch finder Matthew Hopkins in the 1600s. The cat in the list is Holt, a white kitten, while Pyewacket is just listed as an imp. Some modern witches really do name their cats from the list, almost as a TakeThat.[[/note]], though at least one other witch has a non-feline familiar.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Bomamba in ''[[VideoGame/NiGHTSIntoDreams NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams]]'' has a whole swarm of black cats. They're the source of her magic power.
* The [[InsistentTerminology sorcerologist]] Tessa from ''VideoGame/RedEarth'' owns four cats, two of whom (Al and Ivan) actually aid her in battle from time to time. [[SubvertedTrope The catch is that]] Tessa owns several other pets, such as a bird (Hato), a frog (Kaeru), and a dragon spirit [[AttackAnimal which doubles as]] [[BadassCape her cape]] (Manot).
* The [[PaletteSwap twin]] {{wi|ckedWitch}}tches of ''VideoGame/BrainDead13'' each have a black cat in their room, which is very obvious.
* The Student Witch enemy in the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series will turn into a cat and run away when defeated. In ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaDawnOfSorrow'', [[PowerCopying absorbing her soul]] even lets you throw a cat of your own.
** The full-grown Witch enemies in the same games often also has a cat that rides on her broomstick. She also turns into a cat, still wearing her hat, with her own cat now riding on her hindquarters as a kitten.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSims3'', witches (which can be male) get bonuses from having a familiar nearby. Nearly any small animal can be a familiar, but the only major animals that can be familiars are cats, not dogs or horses.
** Witches in ''VideoGame/TheSims2'' also have cat {{familiar}}s they can summon.
* In ''VideoGame/TheWitchsHouse'', a black cat guides the protagonist and helps her escape. [[spoiler: Though it is revealed in the third ending to be the BigBad in a sense, as it is currently possessed by the demon who gave the witch her powers in the first place.]]
* In ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonVsAceAttorney'', Espella Cantabella owns a black cat named Eve, adding weight to the claims that she is a witch[[spoiler:, specifically the Great Witch Bezella.]]
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', players can purchase a [[http://www.wowhead.com/item=70908/feline-familiar Feline Familiar]] during Hallow's End events in October. The Feline Familiar wears its own witch hat, has green glowing eyes, and rides a broomstick whenever the player mounts up.
* Natsume, the resident fortune-teller and most prominent magician of ''VideoGame/EnsembleStars'', has two pet cats.
* In ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'', Wizards and Sorcerers can choose to have a cat as {{Familiar}}. Though in this case, it's more a PantheraAwesome, complementing the master's magical powers with brute force.

[[folder: Webcomics]]
* Rose and Roxy Lalonde of Webcomic/{{Homestuck}} both love cats and are wizard {{Fangirl}}s.

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Literature/WhateleyUniverse
** Elyzia Grimes is a powerful witch and a member of Whateley Academy's Magical Arts Department. She even looks like a witch, since she's described as looking uncomfortably like what Morticia Addams would look like in real life. Her familiar is a solid black cat named Merlin. Fortunately, she has a sense of humor about the whole thing. (Not all familiars in this world are cats: Foxfire has a fox kit for a familiar.)
** Likewise, Gateway's friend Rythax may not be technically her familiar for all that he was the first creature she ever managed to summon, but he's definitely a cat. Of the occasionally-giant-winged-black-panther variety.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'': The witch in "Home Sweet Homer' has a black cat.
* In one ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' short, Tom answers an ad to be a companion for what turns out to be a witch.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}}'' dealt with a neighborhood witch taking Lydia's black cat, forcing Lydia and Beetlejuice to crash a witchs' Halloween party to retrieve the animal.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'', the Ghostbusters discovered a cat familiar that had been seperated from its witch. Before they could find its owner, Slimer started to unintentionally make good use of its powers, causing them a LOT of trouble.
* ''WesternAnimation/SabrinaTheAnimatedSeries''. Like [[Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch the live action series]], the younger Sabrina and her family own a wise-talking black cat who was once a powerful wizard. In the spin-off, ''Sabrina's Secret Life'', Sabrina's AlphaBitch witch rival, Cassandra, owns a white rabbit who may also have once been human. This is inverted in the Filmation series. As in the comics, Salem is an orange marmalade.
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'', the two witches Chlorhydris and Hogatha have birds; a toucan and a vulture respectively. Played straight with the warlock Gargamel and his cat Azrael. Also averted with Gargamel's mother, a witch that actually hates cats.
* Episode "Halloweek!" of ''WesternAnimation/EekTheCat'' shows an incredibly HotWitch with a pet Jamaican cat.
* Headmistress Crone in ''WesternAnimation/GravedaleHigh'' has an undead green cat named Clawford. Crone is never shown using magic but her name and looks imply that she is a witch-monster creature.

[[folder: Real Life]]

* Practitioners of Wicca and other forms of Neo-Paganism do seem to favor cats above all other pets. Of course, this trope might be partially responsible--if you grow up associating witches with cats due to media, then when you become a witch, it might seem only natural to get a cat yourself.