Cat Folklore: Cats Ruled Ancient Rome

According to cat folklore, in ancient Rome, cats were considered special creatures.  In fact, some Romans considered cats household gods, representing the warmth cat folkloreand security of the house.

Here are some other ways Romans showed their feline friends respect:

  • Cats were the only animals allowed in Roman temples
  • At Roman weddings, sacrifices were made to the cat in order to bless the couple with a prosperous future
  • Cats were also given sacrifices at Roman funerals to ensure protection for the deceased in the afterlife
  • One myth about the goddess Diana tells the story of her being transformed into a cat to escape a monster
  • Romans loved cats, but not as much as the Egyptians loved cats.  The death of a cat led to tensions between the two countries.  In 47 B.C., a Roman was stoned by the people of Alexandria after killing a cat.  From that point forward, cats were no longer allowed in Roman-occupied Egypt
  • Because of its free spirit, the cat is often associated with Libertas, the goddess of liberty and freedom.  Statues of Libertas often show her with a cat at her feet.  A Roman author, Pliny the Elder wrote the Romans appreciated cats because of their independent nature
For more fun feline facts, check out the book Cat-A-Logue : A Curiosity of Feline Facts available via


Source:  Cat-A-Logue : A Curiosity of Feline Facts by Deborah Robertson


Written by Karen


Karen is Publisher of Fully Feline. She also owns a pet care business in Overland Park, KS called Joy of Living.