Why Were Ancient Egyptians Obsessed With Cats?


Cat lovers, this one’s for you. Perhaps the most asked question among the cat people is why were cats almost worshiped by the ancient Egyptians. What was the reason behind this over-the-top obsession? Were they better than all of us? Did they realize the real value of those furry beauties? Or were they also simply just in love with cats like all the present cat people are.

Why Were Ancient Egyptians Obsessed With Cats?
Case for animal mummy surmounted by a cat; Metropolitan Museum of Art

Only, now that we are a bit more developed, we are not exactly crossing the line of this cat obsession, don’t you think so?.Besides their obvious charm, what else was there that attracted these people so much?

Why did ancient Egyptians worship cats like Gods?

We all know that ancient Egypt was definitely in love with cats. It even had a pet cemetery that mostly was used to bury cats. Not only that, these buried cats were then found with beautiful collars like some royal pets. Only they were not some royals’ pets, but were regular cats.

Why Were Ancient Egyptians Obsessed With Cats?
Sarcophagus of Prince Thutmose’s cat, exhibited in the Museum of Fine Arts of Valenciennes, France via Wikipedia

The respect was so high that people during that time even used to shave their eyebrows to mourn for a family cat! Not that there’s anything wrong with being sad about the loss of your pet but this practice was quite common. So what was the reason? Well, to begin with, ancient Egyptians surely admired the qualities of our cute felines. They believed that their gods and rulers were somewhat similar to these cats. From being loyal, protective, caring to being fierce, independent, and pugnacious. They believed that felines shared this beautiful similarity where most of the qualities of a cat were also present in Egyptian gods. Their representation of the gods they followed was also close to felines in more than one way. From a goddess named Sakhmet, who was depicted with a body of a woman and the head of a lion, to worshiping a goddess named Bastet, who was known for her protectiveness and strong nature. Every god they worshiped were in one way or another, linked to how felines either acted or looked. This also explains the respect and effort to build the

Why Were Ancient Egyptians Obsessed With Cats?
Cat statue of Bastet in the Louvre

Great Sphinx of Giza, a 40-foot long monument with a body of a lion and the face of a man. They sure were into these furballs for many reasons.

The crossed line of obsession!

Of course, cats were almost next to gods in Ancient Egypt. But there was a dark side to this whole story as well. Yes, people did even name their kids after cats, but the obsession was a bit over the top.

Why Were Ancient Egyptians Obsessed With Cats?
Cat mummy from Beni Hasan in the Fitchburg Art Museum via Wikipedia

According to scientific reports, there were findings of 200,000 cats getting mummified. Again, there was nothing wrong with mummifying dead cats. But what if the cat was deliberately killed to be buried with people? And this does not stop there! It also revealed that there was almost an industry practice type of a thing where people used to breed these cats, and then the kittens were later killed to be mummified and buried together. Which only raises the question about how this obsession reached a level that it became so dark and downright scary.

So, on the one hand, ancient Egypt surely loved felines, but on the other hand, their love was a bit too much! A clear example of why obsession of any kind is not good!

Do you, too, find the obsession a little unreasonable? Well, stuff about cats often is, like these 7 cat habits that make no sense!


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