Black Cats Around the World

The iconic Halloween symbol you may be familiar with is a black cat. In certain countries, people believe superstitions that black cats bring bad luck but in other countries like Japan, these felines are thought to bring good luck. 

According to The Spruce Pets, stigma around black cats stems from the Middle Ages, where black cats were believed to have connections to Satan and witchcraft practice, bringing curses to humans. That’s why it’s common to see clipart of witches having a black cat on their broom. In some legends, it was believed that black cats were the animal form of a witch while other stories assumed that black cats were just helpers of performing evil tasks with the witches.  

The world has different opinions on how they feel about black cats so let’s look into these four countries that have different beliefs and superstitions to these felines.  

The United States

Black cats get adopted at a slower rate compared to other cats, which means many of them get put down. Two out of the three cats I had were black. Black cats are one of my favorites, they have beautiful fur and love to cuddle with you. Despite their reputation as frightening, they are actually a very sweet cat. My cat Kuro is very affectionate and loves to cuddle with me and my family. He tends to be shy around our guests but he will come around once he gets to know you.  I would 100% suggest them if you are looking to adopt a pet. 


In Germany, a black cat can either mean good luck or bad luck depending which way the cat might walk. If a black cat crosses your path from right to left, it is considered good luck but if a black cat starts from left, then walks to right it is considered bad luck.  


In Ancient Egypt, cats in general were looked at as sacred.  If you kill a cat, even by accident your consequence would be sentenced to death. Cats started to get high amounts of respect in Ancient Egyptian culture from the Goddess Bastet. She took the form of being a black cat. So to the Egyptians, they believed black cats had descended from Bastet, making them positive in the Ancient Egyptian society.  


Black cats are symbols of good luck in Japan. The Maneki Neko or “the beckoning cat” originated in Japanese culture comes in many colors. Among the most popular are black, white, or gold. The decorative cats have one paw raised indicating their friendliness and granting you good fortune. According to, the black Maneki Neko cat specifically wards off evil and keeps people safe—and depending on which paw is raised, the cat tells different fortunes. For example, both paws raised protects your home or business; right paw raised means that it will bring money and good fortune; and the left paw raised means that it will invite customers or people coming into your life.