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Cats Are Magic

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Did you think they got 9 lives without dark magic?

"For the cat is cryptic, and close to strange things which men cannot see. He is the soul of antique Aegyptus, and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroe and Ophir. He is the kin of the jungle’s lords, and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa. The Sphinx is his cousin, and he speaks her language; but he is more ancient than The Sphinx, and remembers that which she hath forgotten."

Throughout history, cats have gone paw-in-paw with the supernatural. In Ancient Egypt they were considered to be sacred to the goddess Bastet; in medieval Europe they were tied to witchcraft; in Japan and Russia they are heralds of good luck; in the Muslim world, they are regarded as Born Lucky, benevolent jinn, while in other places they are harbingers of misfortune. In Western culture, cats are purported to have nine lives, and black cats in particular carry associations with witchcraft and both bad and good luck.

Unsurprisingly, when people write about cats in works with magic, cats tend to have magic too.

Because All Witches Have Cats, cats are almost certain to make an appearance in a work with witches, and more often than not, these felines will possess unusual abilities. Even in media without witchcraft, cats alone will sometimes be able to perform supernatural feats while other animals will be extremely mundane. If any one animal has the ability to be understood by humans or to use human speech fluently, chances are that it's a cat. A person will often choose the form of a cat when using magic to disguise him or herself as an animal. Similarly, using transformation as a form of punishment often results in a feline transformation. Sometimes their magic might appear in a Follow the White Rabbit form.

Usually a magical cat will be intelligent, but even non-sapient cats can have magical powers, with some even having Evil-Detecting Dog capabilities. Wittingly or not, cats may even be using their abilities to keep up The Masquerade. Despite all this, cats are not often Bond Creatures, except maybe to witches in the fluffiest of works. This is perhaps due to their reputations for being aloof and independent. This trope may mean a cat is an Evil Sorcerer if used in a story where Cats Are Mean.

See also Cats Are Superior, Cats Have Nine Lives, Familiar, Chariot Pulled by Cats, Maneki Neko, Bakeneko and Nekomata, Asian Lion Dogs, and Rabbit Magician.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The cats in ARIA, especially the Mars variety. And then there's Cait Sith.
  • In Black Clover this is literal with Vanessa's Red Thread of Fate magic manifesting itself in the form of her cat Rouge, manipulating fate to favor Vanessa's companions.
  • Yoruichi from Bleach often opts to wear the guise of a black cat.
  • Gatomon from Digimon Adventure possesses the attack "cat's eye hypnotism" and is rather mystic in nature.
  • Happy, Carla, Panther Lily, and all the Exceed (a race of talking winged cats) from Fairy Tail apply. It turns out that they're actually all from Edolas, where they were the only creatures that naturally had magical ability.
  • Toyed with in Fate/Prototype's prequel Fragments of Pale and Silver: Ayaka's black cat is actually Servant Assassin under a false form.
  • In Final Fantasy: Lost Stranger, Sara's missing cat Lukahn is actually a new breed of magical cat known as a gaelicat. As a result, he's compelled to try to fly by creating hang gliders out of clothes hangers and T-shirts. Lukahn is also able to use the Levitate spell, which saves Sara's life when Shogo pushes her off the clock tower to get her away from the Magus Sisters.
  • Kirara of Inuyasha is a "nekomata", a cat that has lived for a very long time and has developed a split tail and magic powers. In Kirara's case, she can grow to a giant size (large and strong enough to easily carry three full-grown people), fly, and is often Wreathed in Flames in that form. She is also notably more intelligent than your average animal, though not quite sapient.
  • In the manga Leviathan, cats are mentioned in passing to be able to see spirits.
  • Cats in the Lyrical Nanoha verse are one of the two animals we've seen used as familiars, and are typically more magically oriented than the more physical oriented wolf familiars. In fact, all of the known cat familiars in the main continuity have served as magic tutors, with Rynith teaching Fate, and the Lieze twins teaching Chrono.
  • Queen Millennia: Yayoi repeatedly describes her pet cat as "very versatile". It somehow intimidates a low-ranking Millennial Thief from sniping Hajime, sending doing so would somehow be too dangerous.
  • My Roommate is a Cat is a mundane Slice of Life that is occasionally told from a cat's perspective. In one episode, the cat turns out to be able to see the ghosts of her owner's recently-deceased parents.
  • In Sailor Moon, the characters find out they are Sailor Soldiers/Senshi/Scouts with magic powers because two talking cats with crescent moons on their foreheads, Artemis and Luna, appear to inform them and guide them as they try to save the world. They can even make magical items appear by doing backflips.
  • Blair from Soul Eater is a cat with witch-level magical powers and the ability to transform into a busty Cat Girl. Soul and Maka mistake her for an actual witch in her introduction, and since witches are though of as inherently evil, they kill her and take her soul to turn Soul into a Death Scythe. Which fails because no matter how witch-like she is, Blair is not an actual witch. Fortunately, as a cat Blair has nine lives and nine souls, so being killed doesn't matter much to her.
    • It doesn't help Soul or Maka that Blair's human form happens to have the iconic pointy hat and flowing robe (though Blair's robe is only flowy in the sleeves. The rest resembles are very short miniskirt with tank-top.)
  • A strange spin on this trope is present in the Tokyo Mew Mew anime. It's about magical girls who get their powers from being injected with the DNA of endangered animals (after being chosen specially by the Earth) and they can all do magic. But their leader Ichigo, who was injected with DNA from an Iriomote Wildcat, is the most powerful: she's the only one who can use the Mew Aqua rod. Not even Zakuro (the wolf girl) is as strong as she is in the end.
  • Kuroneko-Sama from the anime Trigun, the black cat randomly appears across the desert planet Gunsmoke where our hero's show up. Fan Wank is that Kuroneko-Sama is God.
  • The cats in Windy Tales seem to have a natural talent for manipulating wind.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: Domestic cats very rarely appear, but are always strongly associated with religion and divine power. More often than not that are also associated with white mana.
    • In Innistrad, cats patrol the churches of Avacyn, on the hunt for devils.
    • In Amonkhet, based off Ancient Egypt, cats are associated with the Bast-analogue, Oketra (she represents solidarity, although they themselves usually lack it). They are frequently mummified and can show up as zombies. Also, they're the size of greyhounds.

    Comic Books 
  • In Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! the Animal Superhero team's magic-user is Alley-Kat-Abra. And in the next-door universe of the Justa Lotta Animals, one of their villains is Feline Faust.
  • In Hex Wives, Danali is almost always accompanied by her fat white cat. In #4, one of the Architects refers to her as possessing some kind of 'cat magic'. In the same issue, when Becky starts flying after her magical abilities activate, the Architects miss it, because a large number of cats swarm all of the cameras, blocking their view.
  • Klarion the Witch Boy's familiar is a cat named Teekl.
  • In the Marvel Universe, the first Cat People were two house cats named Flavius and Helene who were transformed into feline humanoids by Ebrok and taught the mystic arts. Flavius and Helene then used their own mystic knowledge to create more Cat People.
  • In early Sabrina the Teenage Witch stories, Sabrina's pet cat Salem could cast spells with his tail. Whether this was an inherent trait or the result of dipping his tail into Sabrina's magic potion depended on the writer. This was removed as later stories took a cue from the TV series mentioned below and made him a powerless warlock trapped in cat form.
  • In The Sandman (1989), as Clap Your Hands If You Believe means that All Myths Are True, the goddess Bast exists and governs the well-being of cats. Cats are also implied to have once ruled the world in an alternate timeline. They could rule again if they all got together and dreamed it into existence but given the difficulty in getting any number of cats to all do the same thing at once, that's not likely to ever happen.

    Fan Works 
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire fanfics that Jon Snow manages to end up in Kings' Landing and the Red Keep, Balerion the black cat of his murdered older half-sister Rhaenys tends to recognize him and take a shine to him immediately.
    • Lost Girl Jon Snow is Joanna Snow in this case.
    • Also in the fanfic 'A Bastard's Journey' [1] , Rhaenys' ghost is the one that leads Balerion to console her brother while he is being kept hostage in the Red Keep.
  • Yesterday Upon The Stair: All cats can see ghosts; as far as Izuku knows, they are the only living creatures besides himself that can do so. This causes confusion for Koji, Izuku's classmate who Speaks Fluent Animal. While he is well aware of the Blue-and-Orange Morality pervading the animal kingdom, cats are "Just Weird Like That" because they constantly refer to people that he can't see—and they aren't intelligent enough to properly explain it to him. Koji is very confused when Izuku's cat talks about Izuku's best friend, even though Koji can tell from context that she's not talking about any of his classmates.

    Film — Animation 
  • Coraline has a cat that can move between the real world and the Other Mother's world. At the end of the movie, he is shown vanishing into thin air.
  • The Last Unicorn has a talking cat that gives Molly the hint they need to save Amalthea and the unicorns. It was also the only creature that could see through the spell Schmendrick put on the unicorn. Bonus points for being the only cat on this list with an Eyepatch of Power.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Although it's more ambiguous, cats also seem to have a connection to Selina Kyle's rebirth as Catwoman in Batman Returns.
  • The three stories in Cat's Eye are tied together by a wandering street cat who is on a journey to save a little girl from a troll-like creature, after he received a psychic signal of some sort.
  • The cats from Catwoman (2004) resurrect the dead Catwoman and give her cat-like abilities.
  • Constantine (2005) has John use a cat to enter the underworld, because they're "half-in, half-out anyway".
  • Hocus Pocus: Binx, a teenager who was transformed into a black cat by a trio of vengeful witches. He has the ability to speak, and he is effectively immortal. No, he doesn't have nine lives, he just can't die until the witches who cursed him are resurrected and subsequently die themselves.
  • At one point in The Mummy, a normal cat that Evelyn brought with her on the adventure is able to ward off Imhotep because "cats are the guardians of the underworld". This is demonstrated once, and exploited only a single time following that, because Imhotep completes his regeneration soon after and becomes immune to whatever the cat would supposedly have done to him. It's still a Crowning Moment of Awesome, as Cleo gets in on the act.
    O'Connell: Hey! Look what I got! [holds up Cleo]
    Imhotep: [Oh, Crap!!]
    Cleo: [hiss!]
    Imhotep: [Villain: Exit, Stage Left]
  • Sleepwalkers: The titular monsters are humanoid, hairless catlike creatures. While cats themselves aren't magic, they are the Weaksauce Weakness of the sleepwalkers and attempt to swarm them at all times. We eventually see that cat scratches burst into flames on a sleepwalker.

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: The Cheshire cat can disappear and reappear at will, and appears to be particularly unusual even by Wonderland's rather permissive standards.
  • Cats in The Bartimaeus Trilogy are the only animal naturally able to see more than one plane.
  • Perhaps the most famous literary example is H. P. Lovecraft's Short Story "The Cats of Ulthar", in which a Gypsy Curse causes a town's pet cats to team up and exact vengeance on an old couple that killed a kitten for fun.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, a kitten appears in places it should be impossible to do so, apparently because it can shrug off the laws of physics.
  • A black cat in Neil Gaiman's Coraline can talk in the Other Mother's universe, and acts as a sort of Mentor towards the heroine.
  • In Michael Moorcock's Corum series his sidekick, Jhary-a-Conel has a sidekick of his own, a winged cat with whom he has a telepathic link.
  • In the Discworld books, cats are one of the few things that can see through Death's Weirdness Censor. For this part Death is a Kindhearted Cat Lover who keeps a ton of them at his manor and gives them all nine lives.
    • Greebo, Nanny Ogg's pet tomcat, is normally the epitome of Cats Are Mean, but after being transformed into a human form (that is sex on legs) in Witches Abroad, he retains the ability to shapeshift back into that form during times of danger.
    • The titular character of The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents is a cat who gained sapience and speech by eating a rat who had, in turn, also eaten some magical garbage.
    • Granny Weatherwax's cat You shows some signs of being magic in The Shepherd's Crown, always turning up where Tiffany is, despite the fact Tiffany is shuttling between Lancre and The Chalk as fast as her broom can take her. It's very vaguely hinted (and would apparently have been confirmed in Sir Terry had managed another rewrite) that Granny's spirit is keeping an eye on things through the cat.
  • And in H. P. Lovecraft's novel The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, the cats of the Dreamlands can travel to the Moon on their own power and have a secret language. They worship Bast and aid the hero in his quest. The only thing the Earth-cats fear are the cats from Saturn, who are even more powerful than they, but are in league with the Eldritch Abominations.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In Ghost Story, Harry Dresden's cat Mister proves able not only to see ghosts, but to physically shoulder-check and be stopped midair by them. It's explained that all cats are able to see ghosts, they just don't usually find it interesting. Mister also looks exactly the same under a wizard's True Sight as he does otherwise, and is the only being in the whole series to do so.
    • Cats are also one of the few things from the mortal world that fairies are genuinely terrified of, largely due to being very good and eager hunters of small prey and most fairies falling neatly within the size range of creatures that cats consider food. At one point, Harry gets out of an ambush laid for him by a band of fairy warriors when Molly conjures an illusion of dozens of cats coming out of every alley, shadow and corner, sending the fairies into a hasty retreat.
    • Harry also remarks at one point that cats tend to be the preferred choice of pets by wizards because they are one of, if not the only, mortal creatures that can pass through the barrier of a magic circle without breaking it.
  • Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Morwen's cats are clearly able to do magical cattish things (like casually pass through barriers) and can aid in managing spells like any familiar. Their full affinity with magic is really only clear in the book told from Morwen's perspective, when we can hear what all of them are saying. In the same book we meet a couple of other magic users' familiar cats.
  • Also in Patricia A. McKillip's The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Sybel has a magical menagerie which includes the huge black cat Moriah, who is legendary for her knowledge of spells and secret charms.
  • The Ghatti's Tale books feature cats with psychic powers who bond with humans. Humans partnered with them act as judicial arbiters because of the felines' ability to "mindwalk", which makes them Living Lie Detectors. The ghatti, however, are noted as being natives of their planet and distinct from "normal" Earth-origin cats despite sharing many similarities. (They're similar enough to hybridize, and for young ghatti to be mistaken for [fully grown] domestic cats. Hint: if your moggy tops 40 pounds and starts to talk, maybe it isn't what you think it is.)
  • Guardian Cats and the Lost Books of Alexandria stars a cat named Marco who is granted the ability to read. After being accidentally abandoned by his owners, Marco is chosen to be a book Guardian. Over sixteen centuries ago, all the books in the Library of Alexandria were burned by anti-intellectual extremists. Only a few prized books survived. These books have been guarded by cats ever since.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Filch's cat Mrs. Norris may be this. She seems to have some kind of psychic link to her master (which is odd because he himself has no magic). Or him showing up a few minutes after she catches children being mischievous is a complete coincidence. Harry also has cause to wonder if she can see through invisibility cloaks, although she may have sensed him some other way.
    • Hermione's cat Crookshanks is half-cat/half-Kneazle. As a result he is able to see through Sirius Black's and Peter Pettigrew's Animagus forms and is much more intelligent than a regular cat.
    • Besides Kneazles, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them also describes Wampus Cats, magical cats native to North America who can walk on their hind legs, outrun arrows, and are reputed to have hypnotic eyes. Their hairs can be used as wand cores.
    • Minerva McGonagall, the Professor of Transfiguration at Hogwarts and one of the most powerful witches of her age, has the Animagus form of a tabby cat.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya has Shamisen, the calico cat. He (male calico cats being extremely rare) was originally an ordinary cat, but was briefly given the ability of speech. This was because Haruhi believes witches need magical cats, and this belief altered reality and made Shamisen magical. She never finds out that Shamisen could talk, but was originally a little disappointed that he wasn't a black cat.
  • Diana Wynne Jones:
    • In Dark Lord of Derkholm, Dirk's cats, which he bred to be invisible, are also inexplicably unable to be trapped for long. They always find their way out, even from magical barriers.
    • She's fond of this trope, as it also appears in several of her short stories "What the Cat Told Me" and "Little Dot", as well as the Chrestomanci chronicles with the Asheth Temple Cats in The Lives of Christopher Chant, the powerful tomcat in The Magicians of Caprona, and the Pinhoes' family cat in The Pinhoe Egg.
      "Did you know your cat can walk through walls?"
  • Nakata from Kafka on the Shore has the ability to talk to cats. Siamese cats are said to be very easy to communicate with.
    • Jonnie Walker, another character from the same book, kills cats and uses their souls to make a magic flute.
  • Mercedes Lackey's works:
    • Subverted in the Diana Tregarde story "Arcanum 101". When Di is observing the house of someone she believes may be involved in black magic, she sees a cat wander past the house with no reaction... and thinks to herself that this doesn't mean anything because, superstitions notwithstanding, cats are too self-absorbed to notice magic that isn't affecting them directly.
    • Mercedes Lackey loves cats, though, so wise, talkative, and mystically-inclined felines tend to wind up in her stories. The Mage Storms trilogy and her Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms provide examples.
  • Cats in the Liaden Universe tend to be at the least uncanny if not outright magical. Merlin, however, is a cat owned by Clan Korval, who appears to somehow be responsible for an unrealizing dramliza (space wizard) teleporting lightyears, puts his palm print in the house files, and finds and invades the headquarters of the big bads.
  • The cat in The Last Unicorn knew exactly what was going on. It could have saved everyone a lot of time by telling Molly how to save the unicorns without incorporating a riddle, but "no cat anywhere ever gave anyone a straight answer."
  • Sofie Kelly's The Magical Cat Mysteries is a mystery series featuring two cats, Owen and Hercules, that can turn invisible and walk through solid objects like doors and walls. They can also understand human speech and contribute to solving murder mysteries.
  • Robert Asprin lampshaded this in one of the Myth Adventures books: "Cats and computers can work through dimensions."
  • The Obernewtyn Chronicles: Maruman, an ordinary sized old cat, but fully capable of fighting off Ariel and Lidge on the dreamtrails.
  • In the October Daye series. all cats are loyal to the local King of Cats, aware of magic, and much smarter than they let on. And this is the ordinary non-magical cats. There are also the Cait Sith, who are cat fae and outside the normal fae laws for being cats.
  • In Garth Nix's Old Kingdom trilogy, there is Mogget, the sarcastic, fish-demanding, white feline servant of the Abhorsens who is actually Yrael, one of the Nine Bright Shiners, and a free magic creature, bound by a ring. Kerrigor, a powerful necromancer, is bound along with Mogget by the same ring and becomes a sleeping black cat.
  • In the Polish short story "Ponieważ kot (Because the cat)" by Jacek Dukaj, a company designs brain implants that are supposed to allow children to learn at a fantastic rate by making connections between information much more quickly. Unfortunately, several of the devices seem to have faulty logic systems, coming up with bizarre explanations for events and imprinting them in the children's brains. The worst case is that of a boy whose implant seems to be reasoning from the premise that every event the boy witnesses is being caused by his pet cat. The characters consider the child a hopeless case and consider euthanizing him - until he gets bored, picks up the cat, and Reality Warps himself out of the hospital.
  • Neil Gaiman's short story The Price is about an otherwise ordinary black cat who, on a daily basis, protects the narrator's home from a demonic entity. The black cat gets more and more beat up with every fight, and when he fails to fight the demon, the narrator's household is afflicted by numerous misfortunes.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, Trixie the Halloween Fairy and Lara the Black Cat Fairy have magic cats that help them out.
  • Bastet herself appears in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel and can command an army of cats that transform into humanoid soldiers.
  • In another Peter S. Beagle example, Mister Cat from Tamsin is the one to find the ghosts in the first place, and leads Jenny to them.
  • In the Thursday Next Series, the Cheshire Cat is the Librarian of the Great Library of all books ever written and not written. He can appear anywhere, in any world, fictional or real. He also has the ability to say how many and who is reading any of his books at any time. He is watching you!
  • In Lloyd Alexander's Time Cat, all cats have the ability to travel to any place they choose, in any point of time they choose. This is said to be the reason why they can vanish mysteriously in small rooms.
  • In Saki's short story "Tobermory", Tobermory magically becomes able to talk, and horrifies a group of party guests by tattling on all the sins that he's been spying on over the years.
  • Tamora Pierce's Tortall Universe: The Cat constellation occasionally descends from the heavens and attaches himself to a mortal as a kitten with purple eyes who assists them in various ways. He appears first in Song of the Lioness when the Goddess gives him to Alanna, but we learn in Beka Cooper that he previously gave himself to Beka Cooper. (Word of God says he does this out of boredom. Cats.)
  • Yil's pet alafin in Tough Magic, Holois, is a large, intelligent, purple cat with wings.
  • In George R. R. Martin's Tuf Voyaging stories Haviland Tuf maintains that all felines, including alien feline analogues, have a measure of psi ability. And in several stories he's constantly accompanied by a genetically engineered black cat named Dax who is definitely telepathic.
  • In The Tygrine Cat, the first cat ever to exist was half-spirit, half-mortal and some have the ability to use Astral Projection to traverse the spirit world and cast spells. Those with powers live ordinary lives alongside those who don't.
  • Un Lun Dun, by China Miéville, subverts this by making cats the most stupid and least magical of all animals. Dogs, foxes, various birds, and even fish are shown to be sapient and able to cross the boundaries between worlds, but cats are too concerned with looking cool to learn anything of value.
  • The Unadulterated Cat posits that the Schrödinger's Cat experiment has bred the ability to travel through space and time into cats.
  • Varjak from Varjak Paw is one of the few cats who knows "the Way", a special supernatural art which only cats possess.
  • Warrior Cats. When cats die, they go to StarClan, where they can enter living cats' dreams, influence real-world events by creating omens, and even enter the physical world from time to time.
  • Robert Westall's fiction was often built on this trope. The Cats of Seroster is all about magical cats and short stories, The Creatures In The House and Fred, Alice and Aunty Lou involve cats having powers to perceive things beyond what humans can.
  • In Andrzej Sapkowski's The Witcher novels cats are mentioned to be the only species of animal apart from dragons to actively seek out magical Intersections which radiate Power, and rest in them, although no-one knows what they do with the Power they gather by doing so.
  • Cats in the Young Wizards universe are the only Earth species which can naturally see the string structures out of which wizardly Cool Gates are made, so the maintenance teams for Cool Gate clusters are all made of cat wizards. Also, even non-wizard cats can sometimes spontaneously walk through walls.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Charmed:
    • The sisters have their own feline familiar. She became a human as a reward for her service to the forces of good.
    • In one episode, a witch's Familiar turned on her and became a Warlock. Sorta the reverse of what happened on Sabrina with Salem.
  • My Cat from Hell: Played with in the case of Pump, an elderly orange tom whom Jackson suggested was drawn to the healing properties of the room where his owner practiced her energy medicine. A large part of Jackson's solution for the owner was helping her realize that his presence in the room while she was doing it not only didn't bother her customers, but might actually help them. He accomplished this in part by persuading her to give Pump a session himself and see how much the cat clearly enjoyed it.
  • Salem, from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. He was originally a warlock, but was transformed into a cat as punishment for trying to take over the world.
  • In episode "Fresh Bones" of The X-Files, Chester Bonaparte, a young Haitian boy, disappears very suddenly near a pier as Mulder is chasing him, and only a black kitten is seen meowing at the end of the pier. The black kitten appears at the climax of the episode, implying the kitten is Chester who has been Dead All Along.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Ancient Egyptians worshiped the goddess Bast, who was cat-headed and held cats to be sacred. At some points in ancient Egypt, harming cats carried the death penalty.
  • In Japan cats are said to give good fortune, which is why you see welcome/lucky/beckoning cats (white ceramic cats with a gold coin and one raised paw) in some establishments. The lower paw (which is often holding a coin) is to protect money, and the raised paw draws money in.
  • A black cat crossing your path is said to be bad luck in most of continental Western Europe
  • In the British Isles, cats are highly linked to magic and luck. They were sacred to the Celts, being emissaries of the gods, communicators with the ancestors and otherworldly beings. This survived in a wide variety of folklore about cats, including that cats are organised by a King or Queen of Cats (who is typically tortoiseshell or black) that can bring blessings or curses to people based on how people treat cats in general. In the middle ages, their magical associations led to them being regarded as the familiars of witches, or shapechanged witches, and capable of practising witchcraft in their own right. During the mediaeval witch hunts, it wasn't just witches that were persecuted, criminalised and sentenced to death — cats were, too; although this was less common than in other parts of Europe. These day, most of the folklore gets directed at black or white cats, but traditionally, the folklore applied to all cats and the Celts regarded the tortoiseshell as by far the most blessed and powerful of all. Some specific examples include:
    • In the Celtic regions of the country (Cornwall, Scotland and Wales), there is a type of fairy cat that is typically portrayed as a black cat with a white spot on the chest. These are dangerous, troublemaking cats that are monstrous in size, with transformative powers based on their nine lives, and can commune with the dead, foretell death and steal the souls of the dead. As with all British fairy folklore, they can also dry up cows and sour milk. The Scottish version is called the Cat Sith and the Welsh version is called the Cath Palug.
    • Black cats are a symbol of good luck and considered highly magical, which is how they became associated with being witches familiars in modern folklore. Other folklore includes the superstition that a woman with a cat, especially a black one, will have more suitors, while it was considered a good idea for sailors to own a black cat; as long as their black cat was kept happy and healthy at home, they would have fair voyages and always return home safely. In celtic regions, black cats brought prosperity (Scotland) or health (Wales) to the households they visited or lived with. A black cat given as a wedding present was believed to bless the marriage, making it a long and happy one.
    • White cats are associated with bad luck, evil and death. This is because white cats are associated with ghosts, which tend to have darker reputations in the UK. They hold grudges and become a vessel of vengeance, especially if they themselves have been wronged, and white cats turning up at someone's door foretells death in that household at best, otherwise it destroys the entire household's fortunes — wealth, prosperity, reputation, everything. Folklore warns that, if a white cat enters your life, you must not abuse it, always treat it kindly, and always leave it food and milk. As long as you treat it with respect, it will permit you to receive good luck. The moment you do something to offend it, you will be cursed forever after. Prior to these beliefs, white cats originally had a better reputation in celtic regions such as Wales as the emissaries of the gods, certain goddesses in particular, and therefore were believed to carry blessings of health and fertility to the people they visited and lived with.
  • The urban legend that shelters won't allow black cats to be adopted around Halloween in case they're killed and tortured ritualistically (the former is true, the latter is unsubstantiated).
  • Ship's cats (especially black ones) were said to be lucky by sailors, although pirates often believed that a ship which had a black cat walk on then off was doomed to sink. The ascribed good luck, at least, is probably more attributable to the fact that ships traditionally have rat problems than any magic, however.
  • In Norse Mythology, Frejya is associated with cats. The real life breed that inspired the legends, the Norwegian Forest Cat, is sometimes called the "Norwegian Fairy Cat".
  • Many modern Pagans, including Wiccans, hold cats in high esteem. In Wiccan rituals, it is believed a cat can walk through a magic circle without breaking it, since cats can walk through spiritual/magical borders. Another animal, like say a dog, would break the circle and thus dispel any magic.
  • Cats are believed in some cultures and traditions to be able to see spirits and ghosts. For example, in certain areas in Russia, they let a cat run through a house before its new owner moves in as to get rid of the spirits and ghosts first. By doing this, the new owner likely won't be having mice either since the mere smell of a cat is enough to chase them away as well.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Anima: Beyond Fantasy, where cats have supernatural vision meaning they can see spirits and the like.
  • Call of Cthulhu draws from Lovecraft canon:
    • Bast is an Elder God and the basis for the Egyptian pantheon's version.
    • According to the Dreamlands supplement, cats can travel to the Moon on their own power and have a secret language. They worship Bast.
  • GURPS Thaumatology: Alchemical Baroque: In the fairytale-flavored world of the game, the trope is played with but, strictly speaking, averted. Cats are mostly much like the natural creatures of our world, apart from being perhaps a little more intelligent and longer lived, and often having a limited sense for the supernatural. However, some are significantly smarter, may well even be able to talk, and may have luck-based advantages; on the other hand, these are still entirely natural creatures — just odd ones.
  • Monarchies of Mau: Uplifted cats have an innate ability to absorb new powers from human relics they've studied and broken, despite magic canonically being a case of Clarke's Third Law. On rare occasions a cat who's absorbed a lot of magic can pass on some of it to their kittens.
  • The Secrets Of Cats: The Player Characters are magical cats who defend humanity from ghosts, monsters, and sometimes other humans.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Gyrinx are alien felines with minor psychic powers and the innate ability to form Familiar bonds with psykers.
  • The Witcher: Game of Imagination: Cats can't be fooled by illusions, and their favourite spots to lie on are Places of Power. This allows to use them in different creative ways and novice mages often have their pet cats.

  • Cats: Among the types of cat said to exist by the Jellicle tribe, mystical cats are mentioned.
    • The villain of the production is Macavity, a ginger tom who is implied to be magical: he can disappear from sight and defy the laws of gravity. He kidnaps Old Deuteronomy right in front of the other cats by mass hypnotising them, is able to appear as Old Deuteronomy, fooling everyone except Demeter, and when cornered by the cats, disappears in a crack of lightning.
    • The twins Tantomile and Coricopat are highly mystical. They show signs of being able to sense things just before they happen and have a sense of things that have happened. They're among the first cats to notice when new cats are approaching, especially when Old Deuteronomy is first arriving. They also appear to have an ability to tap into the spot where Grizabella first sings her solo, unseen by everyone except Old Deuteronomy. They make a bridge between the spot where she stood and Jemima, who sings part of Grizabella's song as if in a trance.
    • Mistoffelees is a young adolescent tom who is coming into magical powers, but lacks confidence with his ability and isn't sure what he's capable of with them. He spends the production doing minor acts of magic, such as changing the stage lighting with a gesture or opening the car boot with telekinesis to reveal Jennyanydots. He can sense the arrival of other cats as fast, and sometimes faster, than the twins can; although he's the first to sense Old Deuteronomy's arrival, he and the other cats don't trust his instinct and wait for the twins to confirm it. When Old Deuteronomy is kidnapped, they don't know what to do until Rum Tum Tigger suggests Mistoffelees uses his magic to counter Macavity's. With the help of Rum Tum Tugger, Mistoffelees builds up his confidence with using magic during his performance: he's revealed as being able to project his voice, teleport objects, make kittens appear out of hats and rainbows from mugs. It takes him a couple of attempts to teleport Old Deuteronomy back home, but he becomes the hero of the hour when he succeeds.

    Video Games 
  • The Cheshire cat from Alice Is Dead, an unholy amalgamation of a little girl and a dimensionally unstable cat.
  • The magic store in Dokapon Kingdom is run by a cat dressed up in wizard robes named Crysta. Granted, he's never actually shown to have magical powers...
  • Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening: Ser Pounce-A-Lot, a cat that can be given as a gift to Anders and when used as an item in combat can revive fallen party members.
  • Dragon Quest games have the Meowgician class of enemies.
  • The Alfiq is a sub-breed ('furstock') of Khajiit in The Elder Scrolls that looks exactly like a housecat. But they are as intelligent as any Khajiit, and their physical deficiency is compensated with terrifying magical prowess.
  • The cats of Fallen London can talk and know many secrets. Then there's the mysterious Starveling Cat, which is mostly referenced in cautionary rhymes and seems to be a sort of bogeyman (bogeycat?). They are also one of the species most apt at manipulating Parabola and at war with it's general rulers the Fingerkings. Yes they see themselves as the heroes of this conflict... which is not wrong per see, just probably more compicated.
  • In Final Fantasy VIII you can find a cat in Winhill that can talk, despite this not jiving with the rest of the setting.
  • Sissel from Ghost Trick can avert people's deaths via time-travelling, set inanimate objects in motion and by the end of the game gets an unlimited lifespan.
  • Grimalkins in GrimGrimoire, cat familiar units that act as the Squishy Wizard in your army.
  • League of Legends: That's pretty much a given when your name is "Yuumi, The Magical Cat".
  • In Lonesome Village, Sabrina, one of the witches who live in the forest, is a black cat.
  • Hermeowne from Neko Atsume is a little black cat named after Hermione Granger and sports a little witch hat and cape. Her memento is a bottle of magic powder, that when tapped, summons cats to an empty yard.* Pokémon:
    • Both Mew and Mewtwo are capable of powerful psychic attacks. Mewtwo itself is also capable of speaking telepathically to humans. Both are cat-like creatures with Mew resembling some sort of pink fetus-like kitten and Mewtwo resembling a mutant humanoid feline.
    • Espeon is loosely based off of a Nekomata, a two-tailed cat of Japanese folklore that had psychic powers.
    • Landorus's "Therian Forme" is that of a feline-like creature.
    • Generation VI introduces Espurr and its evolution, Meowstic, which is also based on the Nekomata.
    • The final evolutionary form of the Generation IX starter Sprigatito plays with this trope, in that Meowscarada is based on a Stage Magician. Its high speed stat and its partial Dark typing accentuates its use of sleight of hand to trick and misdirect opponents.
  • Shin Megami Tensei features this trope in a semi-frequent basis. Subverted in that none of them are actually cats.
    • Persona 2 Eternal Punishment has Wang Long Chizuru's pet cat, who is spying the party. It turns out to be a pet Shiki and you have to face it in a Boss Fight.
    • The PSP remake of the above game has General Lieutenant Zula in Tatsuya's Scenario as a blatantly obvious reference to The Cats of Ulthar.
    • In Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army, Gouto is a talking cat that accompanies and tutors Raidou. It is later revealed that the cat is actually possessed by the ghost of one of Raidou's ancestors.
    • Digital Devil Saga has a black cat that keeps following the characters all over the place, even in the battlefield, and appears to be aware and emote over the events that happen around it. The sequel reveals that the cat calls itself Schroedinger and it is an ascended being who has escaped the cycle of reincarnation. It is also heavily implied to be a future form of the protagonist.
    • Persona 5 has Morgana, an amnesiac party member who looks like a cat but insists is human. He was actually created by the Big Good to help the heroes.
  • Felineko of Solatorobo are stated to have a gift with magic, possessing both interest and talent.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Blaze the Cat has the ability to control fire and can harness the mystical Sol Emeralds of her dimension to become Burning Blaze.
  • A fan-added race for Starbound is the Tiknass'uut, which look exactly like normal cats but are described as thus:
    "As a telepathic, telekinetic, and ancient species with a highly advanced society, they are viewed as sages and their technology is often mistaken for magic"
  • Submachine: The game's backstory reveals that Murtagh discovered a cat with the apparent power to move between the layers of reality that he named Einstein, and wondered later if perhaps all cats can do this.

  • In Distillum they recognize the anomalies and act hostile.
    Sidney: Maybe your kitty-cat doesn't like you anymore?
  • Dominic Deegan: Spark is a cat who can talk, which causes some people to believe that he's possessed.
  • Errant Story has the flying black cat, Ellis. He's extremely resilient to offensive magic and can also talk... which is not necessarily a good thing.
  • Freaking Romance: Played with in. While Zelan can't see Zylith, for whatever reason, he can see her cat, Mr. Purrfect, and has even "adopted" him. Subverted, since it's revealed Zelan has been able to see Zylith all along.
  • Homestuck:
    • Rose, who out of the four kids is the most associated with magic and the occult, prototyped her dead cat Jasper to her kernelsprite, and also made a genetic sequence using the letters MEOW (instead of the typical GCAT) which can be spliced with other DNA to create godlike entities.
    • After the universe is rebooted, we meet an actual GCat. The G, of course, stands for God, since, as a First Guardian, GodCat is pretty much omnipotent.
  • Neko: The Cat: The stepmother reveals that her cats are what allowed her to live on after her own suicide, and are what allow her to get vengeance on those she blames for it. The art implies that this connection exists between them because the cats ate her.
  • Neko the Kitty Comics: Poe can speak English, levitate, and has minor telekinetic powers. Explained in this strip: Poe was accidentally sucked into an ethereal conduit when the witch Julia was attempting to summon a lesser demons. Demons are unable to possess cats, so when they manifested together in the summoning circle the demon died, leaving Poe with his magical abilities.
  • Precocious: Downplayed. Yvette makes dolls of her classmates and occasionally attempts to collect locks of hair, but there's no indication that her voodoo works.
  • Spare Keys for Strange Doors: The two specialists own a cat (called "Fat Cat") who can see the ghost of Andrew Cole in the storyline "After Death Hang-Ups". And be aggrieved that he can't sit in Andrew's lap.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: All cats are magical. They are the only mammals who are 100% immune to the Plague, and moreover, they can sense if somebody caught it or if there's a troll, beast or giant in the vicinity. In the After the End setting of webcomic, this makes them probably the most valuable element of society. They are sorted into three grades: Grade C cats are untrained, but still invaluable in catching vermin beasts that could kill an entire town if left unchecked. Grade B cats have the training necessary to not only hunt vermin beasts but also to dispose of the corpses properly and alert humans to the problem. Finally, Grade A cats are bred for their jobs and trained from birth; they have more authority than most soldiers, and are able to both identify trolls at long distances and communicate this to humans quite effectively. The main cat featured in this story, Kitty, was a stray found in the Silent World, who provided some comfort and troll detection to the party. Him becoming scared of, and subsequently attacking, Tuuri was the second sign that she had gotten infected with the Rash. In between adventures he received sufficient enough training to be given a Grade B.
  • Downplayed Trope in Swords and Sausages. Kiela is an anthropomorphic cat who studies magic and lives in a World of Funny Animals with a Heroic Fantasy atmosphere. Her city has a Ban on Magic (partially because of her own actions), which forces her to hide the true extent of her sorcerous powers.
  • Too Much Information (2005): The kittens, though the majority of the human cast isn't aware of it. They can see ghosts, angels, and demons, and Shinobi is responsible in part for rescuing Ace from an African goddess.
  • Undead Friend: Cats can see ghosts.

    Web Original 
  • Chuchu from Kittisaurus is occasionally cast this way. In Stranger Cat she uses her psychic powers to shut the monster (DD wearing a headdress) in the closet. In Welcome to Kitty Tarot Shop she is cast as the fortune teller, complete with a wizard's hat.
    • Kittisaurus Villains outright states cats have special powers such as super duper roars, megaton punches and waterproof barriers. However, in one episode it is revealed using them comes at a price. (In the case of TT, it comes at the cost of her voice- at least until the finale.)
  • Google: this 2016 Halloween game and its sequel from 2020, both starring a black cat wizard.
  • The Legend Of Luo Xiao Hei's titular character is an Elfin that takes the form of either a small black cat or a Little Bit Beastly child with cat ears. Xiao Hei can communicate telepathically, fly, split his tail into Animal Eye Spies, and teleport using them. Other Elfin take on Beast Folk proportions, with the recurring feline ones being Polao, Niepa, and the movie's Feng Xi and Tian Hu.
  • Basement Cat, and Ceiling Cat! To elaborate: LOLCats, over the years, have accrued a small mythology. Ceiling Cat, based off a picture of a cat that was stuck in between the walls of an apartment that was rescued when a hole was cut in the ceiling, is considered the God of Lolcats. Basement Cat is just any random black cat, and is considered the Devil. There are others, such as Longcat, who can stretch to any length and is sometimes depicted in an epic battle with its Evil Twin, Tacgnol.
  • Moonflowers has this. Cats have their own type of magic, and can learn human magic as well. Moreover, all three feline characters have instantly seen through Ned Song's fairy-curse and found out that he's not a wolf.
  • Sailor Nothing: The titular protagonist is a Magical Girl whose pet kitten was also transformed. He has some magical abilities and can talk.

    Western Animation 
  • Mirage, an anthropomorphic leopardess from Aladdin: The Series, exemplifies both this trope and Cats Are Mean; she's an Evil Sorceress and one of the series' most dangerous villains.
  • In all of his incarnations, Felix the Cat navigates a surreal, near-magical animated world with no problem, aided by his smartness, his status as an Invincible Hero, and his nigh-unquenchable stock of Applied Phlebotinum.
  • The ending of Over the Garden Wall implies that while—as revealed earlier—most of the Pumpkin People that inhabit Pottsfield are actually skeletons, their enormous leader, Enoch, may be a tiny black cat that's puppeting the pumpkin head and vine body.
  • In The Smurfs (1981) special "My Smurfy Valentine", Azrael has the power to lead Chlorhydris through the Forest of Poison Thorns in order to get to a special magical wishing well because he was born with royal blood in his veins. Surprisingly, this turns out to be true, as in Season 9's "Mummy Dearest", the time-lost Smurfs meet his distant ancestor, the cat pharaoh Azra.
  • In Thunder Cats 2011, the Catfolk of The Empire of Thundera owe their dominance in a World of Funny Animals to possession of the magical Sword of Omens containing the Amulet of Concentrated Awesome, the Eye of Thundera, and their Church Militant order of Clerics are also Kung-Fu Wizard/Magic Knights that possesses magical Super-Speed and Super-Reflexes.
  • Fireball Cat from Wishfart is an anthropomorphic cat with near-omnipotent magical knowledge and powers who virtually all the other characters (who themselves are all different types of magical beings) look to for advice.
  • In the second season of W.I.T.C.H., Lillian's cat Napoleon becomes her familiar after her Heart of Earth powers manifest, the most prominent effect on him being his ability to speak after she wishes they could a have a conversation together. Before this he was just a regular cat given to Cornelia by Will, so he wasn't inherently magical. Later, he gets the ability to change into a seven-foot tall cat monster after becoming a Regent of Earth.
  • Young Justice: Klarion the Witch Boy has a cat named Teekl who serves as his familiar and anchors him to the Earthly plane. If Teekl is harmed or killed in any way, Klarion will lose his anchor and will be shunted back to his home dimension.


Video Example(s):


The Cheshire Cat

The ever-smiling Cheshire Cat is quite the odd character, able to disappear and reappear at will and even bend his body as he pleases.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / CatsAreMagic

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