Good Fortune Cat

If you are wondering what is the right cat for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about purring and learning.


Purred: Tue Jan 29, '08 10:49pm PST 
After we found each other human was told I was a "good fortune cat". The speaker seemed to refer this to my tri-colouring. Human thinks she can be very lucky to have found ME. (Although - even here on catster - some people say tri-coloreds are "difficult"...)

What do you think / know? Are tri-colored cats "good fortune cats" because we're rare, special-minded or...?


Senorita Puffy- Pants
Purred: Wed Jan 30, '08 4:52pm PST 
Well calico cats, especially torties are known to be somewhat willful. I like to think you are a good fortune cat though.


Anything Goes
Purred: Wed Jan 30, '08 10:51pm PST 
Ishtar, in Japanese tradition, a maneki neko with one paw raised is considered a Lucky Cat and figures of these cats are often seen in merchants' windows or used for piggy banks. It is also called the three-color cat. The background is white with random black and orange patches. This coloring is considered especially lucky and is the most popular color for maneki neko. This belief may be related to the rarity of this coloring in the Japanese bobtail cats, after which the Maneki Neko is modeled.

Hope this helps!

be bop

Of course, you need no extra luck because you rule the house, but now you can tell the humans you are special indeed.


Purred: Fri Feb 1, '08 12:04am PST 
...i had no idea about this background...

but it makes it a bit clearer why human calls me waving cat - accidentally she found one explanation... thanks! wave


The 5lb Miracle- Cat
Purred: Wed Apr 16, '08 3:19pm PST 
Hello beautiful Ishtar!

I too am a tri-colored feline, I am brown, orange, and black. I don't have white. Mummy considers me a good fortune cat, if you read my diary entries and especially my bio you'll see why. We have a deeper connection than any other cat she has ever owned. Except she did own another medium hair, tortishell, female rescue in her childhood whom she absolutely adored. But one day- she mysteriously went missing. She believes her old, cruel neighbor abandoned her far away where she could not find her way home. God, mommy misses that cat. But she is ever so grateful to have me, who is also a medium hair, tortishell female rescue.

She is definitely partial to our type now.wink

Cheers to the tris,

Maus: DB- #53!

Good old- fashioned lover- boy
Purred: Wed Apr 16, '08 6:20pm PST 
Your color , a mixture of tabby stripes and tortoiseshell patches, is tecjnically called a Torbie, cheer You are beautiful!


Proud mother of- the Fab Four!
Purred: Wed Apr 16, '08 9:31pm PST 
Ishtar, you are BEAUTIFUL! Yes, technically you are a torbie (="tortoiseshell tabby"), but you can also be called a "patched tabby." Regarding tri-colored cats being lucky...I've never heard of that in the U.S., but in Japan, a MALE calico (white with separated spots of red and black) is considered lucky because it is so rare, and traditionally, sailors would keep a male calico on board ship to keep it safe from storms and sinking. Despite what one of the posters has said, calico cats are quite common among Japanese domestic short hairs (moggies)--along with red tabbies, white cats with black or red spots, black cats, and grey tabbies, they are what make up the general population of Japanese moggies. I've seen tortoiseshells, too, but calicos seem to be more common. By the way, when I visited Hong Kong, I found that the alley cat population had the same color variation as in Japan, which surprised me, although the cats were smaller in size. Obviously, there must be some genetic connection between the two groups of cats--we can imagine that Japanese and Chinese cats traveled the seas on ships between the two countries and influenced each other's gene pools.

Japanese domestic shorthairs look very much like American ones (I don't know about Europe), but traditionally tend to have larger ears and more slender bodies, as they are Asian cats and related to Siamese and other Orientals. Japanese cats not infrequently have short tails, although nowadays most have tails that are just sort of half-length, rather than a bobtail shape, and long-tailed cats may be in the majority (all but one of my Japanese moggies have been long-tailed).

"Manekineko" (beckoning cat) figurines are always either calico or black, although I'm not sure why. Obviously, one reason is that these colors are ones which are traditional to Japan. Another reason could be that the red color in the calico suggests gold (money), but I'm too lazy to look it up on the Internet. I'm not sure why there are black cat manekineko, but assume that this color is also considered lucky (as Japan doesn't have a superstition about black cats being witches' familiars!). Furthermore, there may a simple aesthetic reason as well--calicos and black cats are lovely to look at, and look sensational in pairs (I had a calico and black sister and brother duo for many years, and they were lovely to look at when sitting or lying next to each other).

If I can find out why manekineko are usually calico, I'll write another post. I'm still curious as to why your cat is considered lucky in your country. But I think YOU'RE lucky to have such a pretty cat, and she's lucky to have you!


Proud mother of- the Fab Four!
Purred: Sat Apr 19, '08 6:10am PST 
Still doing research on the "lucky cat" question. Looking at Japanese-language Internet sites, the only information I've gotten so far is that mike neko ("three furs"="three colors" + "cat"--that is, a calico cats; "maneki neko" means "beckoning cat" and does not refer to the cat color) are lucky because males are so rare; this makes one want to think that the maneki neko cats are meant to be male calicos. Black maneki neko are lucky in a slightly different way--they're thought to ward off ill fortune (as opposed to attracting it). So, black cats are considered lucky in Japan.

As for the upraised paw, although in theory it means "We welcome you!", the origin of this seems to be the movement of a cat's forepaw when it washes behind its ear, which the Japanese mistakenly thought to be a gesture made by the cat when it is nervous, such as when a customer enters a shop. (True, cats will give themselves a quick lick on the side when embarrassed or in an awkward/dangerous situation, but behind-the-ear washing usually means, in my observation, "Dinner's over! My, that was tasty!")

BTW, my theory in my previous post that perhaps mike neko cats were considered lucky because the red suggested gold was just a theory, and I'm pretty sure it's not true. Sorry. What IS true that odd-eyed cats--with one yellow and one blue eye (such cats are usually, but not always, white) ARE considered lucky, because the yellow eye means gold, and the blue eye, silver. Someone with such a cat is supposed to be able to get rich.

Finally, regarding the poster who said that calico Japanese bobtails are rare: quite the opposite, they're quite representative of the breed, probably since calicos are so common in the Japanese cat gene pool. But keep in mind that the breed called "Japanese Bobtail" bears about as much resemblance to the traditional Japanese house cat as the American Shorthair does to the American mixed breed cat. Oddly enough, Japanese Bobtails are not very popular in Japan, nor are any of the Oriental breeds except perhaps the Siamese. Japanese tend to go for American breeds, such as the American Shorthair and the Maine Coon, which, along with Persians, are the most represented cat breeds at cat shows.

If I learn anything more on the question of why tri-colored cats are considered lucky, I'll let you know.

Serenata (in loving memory)

A sweet angel- kitty
Purred: Sat Apr 19, '08 6:40am PST 
Serenata, and her grandcat were tri colored and I must admit they were beautiful cats, just like you!happy dance


Purred: Fri May 2, '08 8:26am PST 
i just thought to have a question. now i get compliments red face but you're right: why should a cat be content with less than three colors big grin ?

[sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry – every CAT is beautiful! but…]

it made us (me and human) quite curios that this seems to be more complicated than we thought at first. human had an idea it could be connected with genetics that tri-colors are "good fortune" – but she wasn't sure if and how this would be related. now we know a bit more about biology and culture. thank you!

but this became a challenge. human posted this question in a german forum and now there are two more hints on the association of us tri-colors with good fortune in europe:
there must be kind of a popular belief that says we could protect houses from fires.
it sounds to me like same category as the black cats that have witchcraft, but: it is an explanation that fits fantastically to our european history (assuming both believes aroused in the same medieval times)
during colonialism [the early version when a genuese guy under spanish flag found what today is known as north america wink ] tri-colors should have been the preferred cats on the ships that were sailing to find ground and wealth because it was said they could prevent the ships from disaster.
this completes what leila said about the male calicos in asia and could be more than a rumour as for sure the captains took cats on board to protect their water and food from rats and mice. additionally human found a website that said we're also called "spanish cats" what we had never heard before but it matches this second idea, too…