5 Things That Made Cats Regarded as Royalty in Ancient Egypt

Just like any other ancient civilization, Egypt also had its favorite animals. It was cats who were domesticated in ancient Egypt.  The Egyptians worshiped many animal species, but cats were on the top. Even though dogs were valued for the ability to be loyal and protective, cats were thought to be a kind of demi-gods.

Here are some facts why cats were royal animals in ancient Egypt.

View Article in List View

There Were Feline Deities in the Ancient Egypt

An Egyptian goddess Mafdet was a feline deity Credits: pinterest.com

The Egyptian goddess Mafdet was a feline deity. Credits: pinterest.com

Since the foundation of ancient Egypt, cats had played an important role in the tradition and history of this magnificent civilization. Just like agriculture, architecture or wars, religion was of great importance, especially to Egyptians. One of their primary gods was Mafdet. She had one standardized form of woman-cat deity, but also combinations of several different cat species. She had the head of a lion, house-cat, or cheetah.

This deity was revered and respected by the Egyptian people because she was a protector of the home and the kingdom itself. Due to her feline characteristics, she was capable of fighting back venomous animals such as snakes and scorpions.

Cats Could Be Seen on Many Objects in Entire Ancient Egypt

Objects containing cat motifs was a common scene in Ancient Egypt Credits: goddessgift.net

Objects containing cat motifs were a typical thing to see in ancient Egypt. Credits: goddessgift.net

As the popularity of cats was increasing, they began to appear on more objects with each passing day. By reason of the feline deities, the statues inlaid with cat motifs had to be made. The motifs such as pierced ears and silver or gold earrings were the most common. Eyes were either crystallized or made of some other opaque material.

The Egyptians made these statues for funerary and shine purposes. However, not only did the Egyptians made statues in honor to cats, but also many other items and objects related to this worshiped animal. Cats were very popular in terms of jewelry.

Trinkets like intricate bracelets, soapstone cat amulets and rings, golden cat pendants or necklaces could be seen on a daily basis. Moreover, cats were part of people’s everyday life. Women would have their cats standing on the wooden handles while they were making up their faces. It is also claimed that if a cat appears in one’s dreams, it means there will be a good harvest.

There Were Cults and Celebrations in Honor to Cats

These are the remains of the temple in the city of Bubastis where the festivity was held Credits: theimagefile.co.uk

These are the temple remains in the city of Bubastis where the festivity was held. Credits: theimagefile.co.uk

In northern Egypt, there was a city called Bubastis. Around 3200 BC, the city was found just to become the place where the Egyptians would celebrate and worship Bastet. Bastet, also a feline deity, was a warfare goddess in Lower Egypt. This annual festivity held on October 31 would take place with hundreds of thousands of people.

The festivity would turn into a pilgrimage where pilgrims would even visit other ancient Egypt cities including Memphis. The festivity was all about drinking wine, singing and enjoying life. In the end, as the festivity was about the end, pilgrims would pray to Bastet to remain in good health and joy, which would often be accompanied by music.

Cats Were Mummified

Like humans, cats were mummified and buried Credits: strangehistory.net

Like humans, cats were mummified and buried. Credits: strangehistory.net

Being revered by people, some cats underwent the process of mummification after death just like humans. The cat would be buried with provisions like milk and mice. The reasons for their mummification were different, but mostly it was for religious reasons. Humans wanted to return the favor to cats in the form of a royal offering.

The very process of mummifying a cat was not much different than the human one. The deceased cat would be wrapped in fine linen, treated with cedar oil in order to preserve both the body and a pleasant odor for a long time. In addition, about 80,000 feline burials were registered in 1888 in a tomb in Beni Hassan.

Cats Were Beloved and Helpful Pets

Apart from being royal, cats were very useful and helpful for humans. Credits: egyptraveluxe.blogspot.rs

Apart from being royal, cats were very useful and helpful for humans. Credits: egyptraveluxe.blogspot.rs

People in ancient Egypt adored cats, but not only for their royal nature. They were also a very helpful human companion. Cats were taken to hunting excursions, where they would be trained to retrieve fish and fowl. When staying in town, cats would also protect people from venomous animals such as snakes. They also killed mice and rats. By protecting them, they earned their place in the human’s family life.

Related Posts

7 Most Amazing Board Games of the Ancient World People played games since the dawn of time. For some nations, it was just a way to have fun, whereas others viewed them as a way to strategise and even assigned religious significance to som...
10 Ancient Empires That Had Tremendous Military Power Learn more about the 10 ancient empires who commanded the fiercest and largest armies around the world. Ancient Egypt During the reign of Ramesses II in 1250 BCE, Egypt had what wa...
Ancient Mayans: Unusual Facts About Their Political Structure Mayan political structure was just as fascinating as it was complex. It is, of course, impossible to list all the amazing facts about a civilisation in an article, but I hope that you find t...

What do you think?

Pin It on Pinterest