Why do they say that cats have nine lives?

@Jenaisle (3803)
Philippines
September 25, 2008 9:53am CST
We often hear this cliche', "cats have nine lives", why do you think was the origin of this phrase? I know I can google this , but I wanted your personal thoughts on this, because it would be more personal and interactive. Can you give me a valid reason? Perhaps they do have nine lives because it's a gift? lol...I can't think of a good reason. Thanks for any input.
4 responses
@nilzerous1 (2435)
• India
25 Sep 08
Barring their fall from a great height I have found that cats are efficient to jump freely from one place to other without injuring themselves. They must have a soft and flexible bone structure, I guess. Besides, we get to see cats sniffing and searching for foodstuff in our kitchen. Obviously, at times they are successful in stealing delicious foods. And if so happens, we try to punish them, and lol, it is so difficult to punish a cat! They are very much efficient in walking into the kitchen silently and disappearing within minutes after forcefully claiming their share! This may be the reason for such proverb. Personally, I do not punish a stray cat when it claims its share, might be unlawfully.
• United States
25 Sep 08
I think they say cats have nine lives because they can fall from high places and get back up again when most animals wouldn't survive the fall. It's just a guess though.
• Singapore
25 Sep 08
Well, they seem to have supreme agility. There are many news about cats stuck on high grounds and just jump of, without any injuries. The distance ranges from a big tree to a few story tall! In a sense, it is a super human feat for its size! As for nine lives, I don't really have much idea. I was thinking about folk legends of nine-tail fox, but fox is not a cat... But it could be a possible origin of the phrase. Cheers!
• United States
25 Sep 08
I imagine there are a lot of superstitions that originally created this saying way back in the day. But currently I think it has more to do with how lucky they seem to get on occasion - examples like living through getting hit by a car or narrowly missing getting hit by a car or attacked by a dog. I have cats and so many times when they do something crazy like bolt out the door and up to the tip top of the tree where I know if it was me I'd break my neck but it is no big deal for them.