Ancient Egypt for Kids
Cats with Magical Powers
The ancient Egyptians had many pets. Some homes kept crocodiles as pets. But most people preferred birds or dogs as pets.
Nearly all homes had a cat. Cats caught rats and snakes and mice. But that was just a bonus. The ancient Egyptians did not worship cats, but they did believe that cats had magical powers. They believed cats guarded their children and their homes. It was against the law in ancient Egypt to harm a cat. If you killed a cat, the punishment could be death.
The ancient Egyptians used cats in their art and sculptures. When they did, cats were always pictured or positioned with respect.
The ancient Egyptian goddess Bastet had the head of a cat and the body of a woman. To the ancient Egyptians, Bastet was a protective, gentle goddess.