Friday, 24 October 2014

Interpreting popular dream themes (6) - Cats

Cats are a very common dream theme - not only are they a popular domesticated household pet and tend to live wild in most temperate locations around the world, but they are also firmly entrenched in mythology and spiritualism.

Dreaming about cats symbolises independence, female sexuality, creativity and power, but may also represent negative associations such as bad luck and misfortune. Cats in dreams also represent esoteric knowledge and spirituality, as well as hidden talents or truths existing within the dreamer. Whereas wild cats are a sign that the dreamer needs to exercise greater will power and personal freedom, domesticated cats are symbolic of home comforts and safety.

The dream symbol of the cat should be interpreted according to whether you are a cat lover or not. If you dislike cats, the dream symbol of the cat can be interpreted as a sign that someone is being deceitful or treacherous towards you, whereas an aggressive cat may point towards issues with the feminine aspects of your self. A cat dream in which the dreamer is fearful or frightened of the cat hints at fear of the feminine (otherwise known as 'gynophobia') or feminine aspects of yourself. Dreaming of a cat that is biting you is a metaphor for the 'devouring female' and may be a sign that you are constantly taking from others without giving back. It may be an unconscious expression of some fear or frustration, especially if something in your waking life is not going quite as you planned. A cat dream may represent a lack of tenderness - cats are also symbols of individualism and loneliness.

Often cat dreams are interpreted as relating to sexual fantasies and masturbation. Dreams about kittens, however, reveal the nurturing nature of the dreamer - and perhaps a desire to have a baby. To dream of a cat giving birth to kittens tends to refer to fertility and the dreamer's feelings about babies or their own infancy. Kittens also relate to feelings of protectiveness and vulnerability. 

The dream symbol of the cat may represent 'cattiness' or someone you perceive to be malicious. If a cat scratches you in a dream it may be a sign that you feel threatened by something in your waking life. Your relationships may be disappointing and you may be aware of, or anxious about, unfaithful or untrustworthy persons in your waking life.

Cat dreams may be interpreted as a sign that the dreamer is feeling anxiety or irrational beliefs that they are incapable of achieving something to which they have not yet dedicated themselves fully. The dreamer may be lulling themselves into a false sense of security or molly coddling those they perceive as less fortunate as themselves. Alternatively, the symbol of the cat in a dream may represent the dreamer's delusions of grandeur. The dreamer may be lying to others to make them more cooperative. Therefore cats can represent those things the dreamer wrongly/falsely believes they need to make themselves feel good about  themselves. The dreamer may be labouring under a false sense of security, power or control.  

Dreaming of identical cats is a symbol of needing to balance your needs with the needs of others and ensure that you take care of yourself and not always worry about other people. A dream about a house full of cats is a sign that the dreamer is victim of a number of deluded thoughts and may be living in a self-constructed fantasy world where they are emotionally dependent on maintaining a lie or untruth rather than confront reality.

An aggressive cat can be interpreted as the dreamer's inability or failure to accept reality and maintain objectivity in a waking situation. Being afraid of a cat in a dream is a sign that the dreamer has irrational fears which are largely without basis - they are false assumptions. Dreaming of cat's claws is a sign that the dreamer is clinging onto something, displaying aggression or harbouring a viciousness or desire to hurt someone. A cat which can speak/communicate with the dreamer is a sign that the dreamer is able to express their femininity or sexuality - they are being made aware of their hunger for something, or acknowledging their intuition.

A cat without a body is a sign that you are also lacking independence and may be fooling yourself into thinking that you have the freedom to do whatever you want when this is not true in practice. A cat without a tail may be a metaphor for a loss of independence or autonomy. This is also true of dreams about a cat which is dead or hearing that a cat has been killed - you are lacking autonomy in some area of your waking life. It may also be a sign that you are refusing to recognise your feminine power or attributes. Dreaming of the 'nine lives' of a cat shows your inner tenacity and resourcefulness - or, alternatively, a number of obstacles you are facing in your waking life.

If you dream that you cannot find your cat this is representative of your independent spirit, your need to be free and not allow others or situations to hold you back. To dream that you are saving a cat is symbolic of you regaining your independence and power. An abused or neglected cat may be interpreted as a sign that the dreamer needs codependency or to be in a caring role, as well as being a potential clue to neglect or abuse the dreamer has themselves suffered or is suffering. The cat may represent a need for affection or companionship, but due to the fact that unlike dogs (scavenging pack animals) the cat is a lone predator, perhaps the dreamer needs to embrace their independence or are seeking company or love in the wrong people or groups. Maybe they are giving too much, but not receiving what is due to them in return.

To dream of a black cat is symbolic of your fear in listening to your intuition and can often be misunderstood as an emblem of back luck, evil or destruction. It may be that you have internalised feelings of unluckiness or negativity which are being presented to you in the form of the cat dream symbol. The dreamer may be feeling unlucky in love. A black cat which is scratching or biting you in the dream is a signal that you need to trust your intuition more and acknowledge what it is trying to tell you because you can no longer ignore it. Dreaming of a white cat is representative of problems you are experiencing, although in some cultures it suggests that the dreamer is happy in love or enjoying a calm, ordinary life at present. A spotted cat is said to represent passionate and confused feelings of the dreamer. Dreaming of a green cat is symbolic of selfish delusion. A cat with green spikes is a symbol that you are experiencing  jealousy which prevents you from forming meaningful or stable relationships or that you are keeping your distance from relationships or situations. Blue cats are symbolic of positivity and good/heroic intentions.

Dreaming of a cat killing a spider is a sign that you are using your femininity in a seductive, covert and cunning manner rather than overtly or in a destructive way and therefore can be interpreted as a somewhat positive dream symbol. Dreaming of a cats playing is indicative of your frisky character and a sign that you need to embrace and demonstrate your playful, carefree side more often. A dream about a cat chasing/catching a mouse can be interpreted as a cat-and-mouse situation in the dreamer's waking life or the dreamer's problem-solving capacities.

To dream that you have cats eyes is a sign that you are able to find your way through darkness (figuratively) - you will navigate dark and troubling times and can see the bright side of a negative situation. Alternatively, it may signal that you are being slick or sly in some way. To dream of a cat with glowing eyes is a warning that you should look at a waking situation from a different perspective. It may also represent the fact that you have reached some form of enlightenment or truth which causes you fear and anxiety.

To see or clean a cat litterbox in your dream is representative of your shameful or shame-inducing thoughts. 

A bob-cat is a symbol of the survival instinct and adaptability of the dreamer, whereas an alley cat is symbolic of promiscuity and casual relationships, particularly those of a sexual nature. Wild cats may symbolise loneliness or a solitary existence - also ferocity, sexuality, survival instinct and cunning.

Psychoanalytical interpretations of cat dreams links the symbol of the cat to the female genitalia ('pussy'). It also represents the false and fake - illusion, delusion and good feelings about something which cannot be ascertained or proven. The dreamer may be ignoring facts or reality - lying to themselves or others. Theory suggests that cat dreams have different meanings for men and women. If a man dreams of a wild cat, it is thought to symbolise his sexual desires and need to have sex with someone. For women, dreaming of cats is often a sign of falsification or lying. Jungian interpretations suggest that cat dreams refer to a psychological secret or a hidden side of the dreamer's nature.

Other gender-based interpretations suggest that when you dream of a group of cats, it represents a group of females. When a female dreams of a cat it is a sign of how the female dreamer views themself - not only their physical attributes, but also their intuition and emotions; creativity; independence and relationships with men. When males dream of cats, this tends to represent the dreamer's views of women or how he thinks women perceive him in his waking life. A purring cat is indicative that the male dreamer is attractive to, and comfortable around, women. A hissing cat represents his feelings of rejection by women, or problems in his relationship.

In Egyptian culture, cats relate to Bastet - the Goddess of Cats. They are a symbol of happiness and celebration. Historically, those who dreamed of cats were thought to be leading fulfilling lives as the cat represents divinity and spirituality. 

In Judeo-Christian and European traditions, fighting with a cat represents a failure in love and relationships - particularly if the dreamer is struggling with the cat and cannot kill it. Fighting with a cat is a metaphor for something being taken from you or the dreamer being cheated in some way, although if the dreamer wins the fight with the dream cat it is  a sign that he will avoid negative consequences. Wild cats may symbolise neighbourly disputes or trouble in close proximity to your home. Being scratched or bitten by a dream cat is representative of loss or bad actions by friends, family or those close to the dreamer. Chasing away a cat can be interpreted as the dreamer breaking down barriers and the gaining of material wealth. If the cat has a sneaky or aggressive-looking face it is a sign that the dreamer has recently received bad news of some kind. Dreaming of cuddling a cat is a sign that you are a risk-taker who likes danger and can tame those around you, particularly your enemies. Dreams about small kittens may mean that in your waking life you are experiencing the ill health of children around you, although cute kittens are symbolic of recovery. Dreams of feeding s cat are a sign that the dreamer feels ingratitude or condemnation from those close to him/her. Eating a cat is a sign of infidelity and unfaithfulness. If the dreamer sees many cats it is a sign that they are experiencing betrayal from their friends; a cat meowing is a symbol that the dreamer is aware that others are talking negatively about him/her behind his/her back. Beating or killing a cat in a dream symbolises overcoming negativity and an end of a hostile or difficult situation. A pregnant woman who dreams of a cat needs to dedicate more care and attention to herself and her baby.

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

Arabic and Islamic interpretations of cat dreams point towards the cat as a symbol of the thief. Fighting or killing the cat represents the dreamer's triumph and avoidance of getting cheated in his/her waking life. A skinned cat means that a thief or cheat has received their comeuppance. Dreaming that a cat is fighting a dog is a sign that the dreamer is in ill health - similarly, the dreamer's health is being pointed at when he/she dreams of a cat biting him/her. A cat meowing in a dream is a symbol of fraud or fraudulent behaviours. A sleeping cat should be interpreted as a sign of danger which is so far dormant - it is a sign that the dreamer is aware of the smartness and cunning of others who are waiting to take action of some kind, likely with negative consequences for the dreamer. Feeding a cat is perceived in Islamic interpretation as a sign that the dreamer is aware that something is owed to them and that they will get what they deserve - what goes around, comes around. 


  1. Mine felt more like a nightmare. My house was filled with family and we were having so much fun. Then for some reason I opened the door and a vicious angry cat, tried to get in, I tried so hard to keep it out. It got in and tried to hide, I alerted my mom, we went searching for it. My little cousin found it, it scratched her, I finally caught it as it was getting ready to attack my little girl, it tried to bite me, Very aggressive cat, ( the cats eyes were so evil looking as it was looking directly in my eyes) it tried to scratch me, bite me, it was so strong, I wrestled with it, hitting its head against the wall, but then I awoke screaming, " YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO HARM MY FAMILY!" Then I made a struggling growl noise. SMH, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

  2. i had a dream that my own cat who is black, brown and white was scratching my black and brown couch in the lounge and i was reprimanding him for doing so... whjat does this mean?

  3. I dreamt wen i was chasing the bus on a boda boda ride and a kitten came from nowhere,jumped on my finger and bit me real deep i had to fight with it,it kept hitting deeper and deeper n broke my bone. I tried fighting with it,pulled it off my fingure,the other half fell off but the head n teeth remained stuck in my finger..then i woke up..

  4. Nice article.. dreamt of fighting cat for so long during my chilhood

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