What countries regard black cats as good luck cats?

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In both Great Britain and Ireland the sight of a black cat is considered to be a very favorable omen and an indication of good luck on the way. The popular perception of a black cat as an agent of evil or of bad times actually spread with the rise of Christianity over paganism in Europe.

The popularly held “wisdom” that witches take cats as their “familiar,” strengthened this prejudice against black cats during periods of witch hysteria. Many woman and many cats suffered horribly as a result.

In an odd juxtaposition of factors, however, during outbreaks of bubonic plague, cats began to be perceived more favorably thanks to their superior pest control abilities. By keeping down the rat population that spread the Black Death, cats also saved themselves.

Sailors believe that a black cat onboard ship will ensure the safety of the vessel, and fishermen’s wives believed the animals would bring the men home safely.

In more modern times, the prejudice against black cats has been generated again by the popularity of the Wiccan religion. Although a nature or earth religion that concentrates on the positive uses of “magic,” Wiccans are seen by many as devil worshippers.

Since Wiccans believe it is good luck to own a black cat or to wear black cat charms, felines once again suffer guilt by association. Many pet owners take extra care with their black cats around Halloween as a result.

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