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Cats in ancient Egypt : What are cats called in ancient Egypt?

Last Updated on November 26, 2022 by Dogs Vets

Cats in ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt is famous for many interesting facts. One of them is the all-consuming worship of cats.

If you are interested in the golden british shorthair or another breed, then you should know that this animal was sacred to the famous ancient people.

Until now, archaeologists have found statues, various images of fluffy creatures created a huge number of years ago by the ancient Egyptians.

Cats in ancient Egypt

Cats lived in palaces. They were treated with great respect. If the animal died, then mourning lasted 70 days.

Even the pharaoh mourned for the cat that had gone to another world.

There was a tradition that suggested that the head of state had to cut off his eyebrows in connection with the tragedy. And if the pharaoh died, then cats were buried with him.

They were mummified, like the body of the pharaoh himself. Why did the ancient Egyptians do this? Because it was believed that fluffy creatures serve as a conductor of the ruler to the world of the dead.

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What are cats called in ancient Egypt?

Interestingly, although there were multiple cats in ancient Egypt, the Egyptians only had one term for a feline: “miu” or “miit,” which literally means “he or she who mews.” Pharaoh Pami, whose name means “Tomcat” or “one who belongs to the Cat” was named after a cat.


Were cats truly worshipped in ancient Egypt?

However, Egyptians did not worship cats. Instead, they believed that these “feline” deities shared certain features with the animals.

Bastet is likely the most well-known Egyptian feline deity. In the second millennium BCE, Bastet adopted the appearance of a cat or a lady with a feline’s head.


Why were cats so loved?

Yes, the ancient people considered cats sacred animals. Temples were erected in their honor, various religious events were held.

Why do people treat furry creatures like that? Because they admired their grace, gentleness, carefree behavior. But they were appreciated for their rather practical skill.

Cats saved people from annoying and dirty rodents that spoiled the stored crop. And fluffy pets successfully hunted rats. These rodents carried the plague. Thus, cats protected people from the spread of a terrible disease.

Cunning animals also preyed on snakes, saving people from the neighborhood with crawling poisonous reptiles.

Love for cats reached such a limit that the death penalty was due for the murder of at least one representative of furry creatures.

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One of the Greek historians wrote how a man driving a wagon ran over a cat and was killed by an Egyptian soldier. For the Egyptians, the cat was the bearer of the divine essence. She was even endowed with sacred qualities.

The graceful animal was not immediately made a deity. Around the dawn of the emergence of the New Egyptian Kingdom, this happened. This kingdom existed in 1550-1069 BC.

But in 390 BC the situation changed. The emperor issued an order in which the cat cult propagated by the people was banned.

The great attention shown to furry creatures began to subside. But people continued to love their pets because they helped get rid of the same rodents. It was from ancient Egypt that a person began to treat the cat with love.

This love has not dried up until modern times. That is why many people buy british short hair kitten or representatives of other breeds in order to have a beautiful, sweet, affectionate animal in the house.

Today, the cat has become a friend, someone people like to be next to. It’s quite normal.

Cats are simply impossible not to love. In addition, they are also useful animals, as they know how to do something that has a positive effect on human life.

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