Small Animals

Do cats really have nine lives?


Cats are well known for being able to escape tricky situations. If you've ever seen Mr. Whiskers or Kelly the Kitty fall down without a scratch or escape by a hair, then you already know their reputation!

Because they're often quite tough, many people refer to the saying that "cats have nine lives." In truth, cats don't really "have nine lives," but most people agree that the saying comes from their resilience; when cats walk away from something that that might have hurt another animal much more, people say they must be surviving the odds thanks to their "extra" lives!

It's not just luck that makes cats so wily. Cats have good eyesight (particularly in the dark) and the pretty unique ability to "always land on their feet" thanks to a special part of their inner-ear which tips off a cat when he or she is upside down, many cats who fall can roll around to be right-side up when they land on the ground, helping them to get hurt less often!

No one knows when or where the saying that cats have so many lives came about, but lots of people think the number nine was chosen because has been considered very lucky in many cultures throughout history. Either way about it, cats don't have any extra lives but they do at least have some good luck! Meow!


Cat walk!

Next time you're in a home with a cat, look closely at the way the cat walks! Because they move with such lightness, caution, and stealth, their walk is often referred to as a "prowl."

Practice your best impression of a cat's walk. What are the hardest and easiest parts of walking so quietly and delicately??

Further Information

Even though cats are good at getting themselves out of bad situations, you should always treat cats with as much care, caution, and love as other animals. And remember: A cat might be good at climbing or landing right-side up, but these special skills apply to cats only and you should never try to imitate their abilities! Be safe and have fun!


Commings, Karen. Cat Myths. Catwatch In the News. The Cat Doctor.Hamrick, Renae RVT. Does Your Cat Have Nine Lives? Pet Place.