Do You Think That Cats Reincarnate?

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I’m pretty laid back when it comes to certain issues of spirituality, and I can see some things both ways (or many ways). I don’t get too riled up about differences in beliefs (unless harm is involved).

Along these lines, I have long wondered whether our pets can “come back” to us after they have passed on. Can they reincarnate? Is reincarnation possible? Is some force that we don’t understand at work here, allowing the essence of a beloved pet to come back in another body? Or is it simply my mind, longing for my beloved pet to return, and rationalizing any situation that comes along to fit what I wish for?

I don’t know. I think that either, or any scenario, might be possible. That is me. Some of you will have stronger opinions about this, one way or another.

I know that well-known psychics and mediums, for example, believe this is possible. Who am I to doubt them? And I don’t. At the same time, I am skeptical of my longing and grief when a cat passes on, and how this could bias and shape what I hope for.

Has it happened for me? Has a cat come back?

Maybe.

I’ve had two instances where I think cats may have come back. Of course, I can’t prove this beyond a doubt — who can? In brief, here are my stories:

Jamie

Medium-haired orange male Jamie lived to be almost 21. His last six months were some of the most amazing I have ever experienced with a cat. He bonded with us in amazing ways during those last six months, as if he was trying to make the best of his remaining time. The days and times I spent with him were achingly sweet. When he passed, it was a big, big deal, because he had been with us for all of those 21 years — the entire span of my relationship with my partner. We picked out Jamie as a kitten. Losing Jamie was in a way like seeing part of our relationship fall away, or change. Of course I hoped he would come back — even though a part of me questioned if it was possible.

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Jamie. Photo courtesy Deborah Sussex Photography.
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Jamie Bluebell.

Shortly after he passed, he came to me in a dream. He was white in the dream, in a sort of supernatural and unreal way, and he gave me the idea that he would be coming back and that I should begin looking for him. Eight weeks after that dream, an eight-week-old dilute calico kitten was taken in at my vet’s office. She’d been rescued and they really wanted to find her a good home because she had a sweet personality.

To make a long story short, some other signs flew up in my face: a flower that we called the Jamie flower (that hadn’t bloomed in years) suddenly bloomed, butterflies came up to me often, and I started seeing “Laredo” RVs everywhere (we had called Jamie by the nickname of “Jamie Laredo”).

What did I do? I acted, of course! Sweet Jamie Bluebell is a delight. Does she remind me of Jamie? Sometimes, in some ways, but not completely.

Kali

Fierce little Kali was a tender soul. She lived to be 18, was missing a rear leg, and had a number of health issues and an indomitable spirit. Losing her was tough, and her last three months were also achingly beautiful and profound and treasured by me. I considered her a powerful teacher. She had been through much in her life. Kali was a black and white tabby with a white bib and white paws and intense green eyes.

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Kali.
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Norton.

Again, about two weeks after she passed, I got a strong dream with a vision of an orange and white kitten. I could see that kitten clearly, and the kitty seemed to be meant for me. I had the feeling that the kitten was Kali, or associated with Kali somehow. Again, about six or eight weeks later, I walked into the vet’s office (for other cat business) and stopped in my tracks.

On the foyer entrance was posted a picture of three orange and white kittens that needed homes. One looked like the cat I’d dreamed of, with a white bib and white paws like Kali’s. Of course, you know the end to this story. I went to meet the kittens. Two of them were quite shy and were not interested in me — the foster mama wanted them to be adopted together. The third kitten fixed me with an intense and loving stare and climbed into my lap. We adopted him and named him Norton, though secretly, in my mind, I call him Kalil.

As I began to write about about my personal experiences for this article, Norton came up on the desk and looked at me — something he usually is too distracted to do. He got in my lap and stayed there for quite some time, staring at me and purring. Norton is quite passionate, and loving, as Kali was. Is he exactly like Kali? No.

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Cat looking out the window by Shutterstock.

What do the experts say?

Strangely, when I searched under high profile psychics like Sylvia Browne and James Van Praagh, I found more about where pets might go after they pass, rather than any speculation or elaboration about whether they can come back. I didn’t find much that looked like compelling writing about animal reincarnation. However, I may check out this book on animals and the afterlife, on my Kindle, based on its reviews. Another book, called Forever Faithful: Dogs that Return, also discusses pet reincarnation and looks like it could be interesting.

I personally, would hate for the hope of a cat “coming back” to steer me away from adopting a cat in need, but that is just one of many scenarios. It occurs to me that a person, longing hard for a cat who has passed on, might look so hard for a new cat with some (any) tie to the old cat, that many cats in need might be passed over. If I am looking for a cat that might seem like my beloved cat who has just passed on, for example, might I look too hard and fail to give some other deserving cat a chance at a good home? Maybe I’m the only person in the world who thinks about this stuff!

Please keep any discussion about this respectful! It’s not my intent to stir up arguments — I am simply interested in people’s thoughts, or perhaps, any experiences, that relate to this topic. Have you had a cat come back? Do you believe it’s possible? Share your stories, please.

More by Catherine Holm:

About Catherine Holm: Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of The Great Purr, the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of two short story collections. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.

23 thoughts on “Do You Think That Cats Reincarnate?”

  1. Just lost my precious Isaboo. Got sick all of sudden. Went to vet died 2 days later. Loves him more than life itself. Can’t believe he’s gone. Been a Month and a half. My heart is broken. Thought it would get easier not so. He slept with me cant hardly sleep now. Want to adopt but my hearts not ready. I know I will be looking for him. Will he come to me in another cat? Was my heart and soul. Had him cremated. Hold him all the time and tell how much I LOVE and MISS him. I’m so lost without him. HELP

    1. Please watch the three lives of thomasina. It is about what you are going through. Take heart. Jesus knows your pain and is going to heal it. Open your heart while embracing the grief but do not let the grief be stronger than the hope. I know what I am talking about. I lost one of my companions of 15 years Tuesday. For some reason a calm came over me and I could not grieve if I tried. Saturday my daughter called me from an isolated place where she was photographing a property. Long story short, there was a tiny, tiny kitten in the bushes where there were no other houses around screaming very loudly. we spent the next hour and a half trying to get it out of the bushes. Finally trapped it in a carrier. All claws and tiny teeth bouncing off the walls. Within 20 minutes it went from wild to mild and now cries if not being held. I feel that it is a combo of others I have lost in the past come to comfort me though the Grace of God. Please try to look forward to the future happiness He has for you, too. So sorry for your loss. May God bless you soon.

  2. I am a firm believer that when a bond is very strong an animal will sometimes manage to make it’s way back to it’s person after it dies. I have had quite a few but one stands out so strongly I cannot ignore it.
    Skiddy. My first cat after beginning my new unmarried life, in a new state, with a new job and no family. He came to me from my boyfriend whom I lived with and worked with. The way it started was even a miracle.
    One night when we were loading newspapers at the building where they were printed a truck pulled up next to mine and the man got out to start loading his night work. I heard someone scream and just then a little tiny kitten darted out from under his truck. I tried to catch it but was too slow. It ran under another truck parked next to mine on the other side and then I heard someone say ‘I got him’. I ran around and the little thing was so scared and I was afraid it would get away again. I grabbed a box sitting up by the wall and put him in it. I had no room left in my truck. By the time I was done though and went back the box was empty. I so hoped whoever got him gave him a good home.
    Almost two weeks later I got a call from my boyfriend that I needed to get ready for company. When he got home he had the very same little kitten in his arms. He was so sick, dirty and scared. I spent the next week trying to heal his little eyes that were matted shut. (the reason my boyfriend caught him was because he was running across the street and could not see he was almost hit by a truck. It was raining and he just knew he was dry all of a sudden. He was standing just in front of the front tire but under the truck.)
    He did finally heal and he was my best friend for almost 20 years. He and I spent every moment we could in the same room unless I was working or out of town. No other cat I’ve ever had walked like him or acted like him.
    Almost two months after he died my boyfriend walked into the dining room carrying a little tiny kitten at looked just like him. I berated him for getting me another kitten , especially one that was so similar. He said ‘ I didn’t go looking for him. He jumped out of the tire well of the neighbors truck.’ The similarities did not end there. He had a bad back leg that made him walk slowly , almost sloth-like, just like my Skiddy. And he had the same demeanor of the Dalai Lama. To this day my boyfriend and I believe in reincarnation completely. I won’t go further but I will say this is not the only story like this I have. I’ve learned to never ignore any animal that finds me. You never know who it might be.

    1. True lost my companion Meow on the 12/2-21 2 days ago I will never – never heal from his going away he was my child my life in many ways yes loved him more than my own children worry I g about him all the time as he has heart condition but I wanted to hold onto my belief that my love will cure him but now that he’s gone my eyes are searching it’s like a vast emptiness that I am standing in and whenever I look I see him I still keep his food bowl and water in case his soul comes back waiting for his ashes to come home and I have told my children because I am Hindu after I die I will need to be cremated and they should mix and Meows ashes together and scatter them so that I can be with him forever the pain the heartache is beyond don’t think I will ever recover but I will look out for signs in case my Meow comes back in any form I want him back so badly wish I could go to the other world and pet him one last time hold him one last time his bed his belt smells like him I just don’t know what to do I am so lost without my son I miss you Meow a child doesn’t go before his Ma I was meant to wait for you not the other way round

  3. I’m quite sure that it’s happened for me. Before I say any of this I want to mention that I am atheist and not really all that magically inclined. I don’t put much stock in dreams either, normally speaking, though I do think reincarnation is likely. That said…

    We lost our dear calico last year in July, after a nasty battle with lymphoma. She was only 13. We had an incredibly special bond and on her last day she kept reaching out to me and making these heartbreaking little squeaks as if she knew she was going soon and couldn’t bear to leave me. My heart was torn in two and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done to bring her to the vet, but she was suffering and cure attempts had failed. Within moments of putting her to sleep, I felt a cool wind blow through me that made my hair stand on end. I think it was her spirit.

    A lot of pain followed and I missed her intensely. Very occasionally I’d see her or dream of her. She was healthy looking when I saw her, but transparent, and it was something of a comfort.

    Some months later I learned that my coworker’s cat had gotten pregnant. Long story short, I had several dreams about my friend returning to me. The dreams were very specific, for example that she would have such and such a marking, and would be much lighter in color, with shorter fur, things like that. Hope against hope I managed to convince the spouse to adopt two kittens from the litter. Sure enough there was a calico.

    Here’s the thing: From eight weeks of age, when we first met, the little calico was comfortable with us. On her very first day she did MULTIPLE things that I’ve only ever seen my first cat do. She also had the markings the dreams had mentioned and the right appearance. She’s been very close with us since that point. She plays the same games, behaves in similar ways, does odd things like eat lettuce that our first calico did, and more. When I hold her and hear her purring my once broken heart overflows with joy. She is the truest miracle I have ever known and we are so happy to be together again. Both spouse and I, though typically skeptical in a rational way, are sure that our friend has come back to us.

    1. I lost my Marco yesterday. Not even 2 months old. Died from feline panleukopenia. I love your story. It is beautiful. There are flowers in my heart.

  4. Hi there the same is the case when my darling kitty Techy was abandoned by my husband because of my land lady. i believe he is with me again because my another kitty is acting in many ways just like Techs.

  5. Thank you for this! I lost my two babies last year to dog attacks. My poly.boy Chance would have been 9 in 3/7/2020 he was russian blue siamese, so was grey/white tuxedo. My other boy Shylo would be 10 on 4/20/2020. He was all black. Mourning them to sudden deaths has been super tough! I’ve had dreams about them both shortly after them leaving, they were both healthy and I dont quite remeber the details of each dream, but it was as though they were both coveting they weren’t saying goodbye, but I’ll see you again soon. I lost Chance 3/28/2019, and Shylo 6/6/2019.
    Sept. 28 2019 I’m at my mother in laws house, and a stay momma cat who noone was able to catch came up to me meowing and rubbing between my legs as if to say help me!? I took her home, not even 30 min after getting home and setting up a nesting box she was delivering! I helped her birth 5, one did not make it. I contacted a lady who does kitty rescues in town and she said she would take them. What are the odds that the only male.of the bunch was grey and white tuxedo! We’ve since decided to keep all the kittens including the momma! I cant help but get the feeling that part of my 2 lost boys have returned to me in the form of 2 of the kittens in the bunch, even down to the grey tuxedo! Mom is a calico. The other that reminds me of Shylo is all black except for a patch of diamond shaped white fur on her head, we call her Diamond fittingly so. Weather reincarnated back to me or not. I cant help but wonder!

  6. Yesterday, our cat died and is part our family. From school, I went him home immediately to see if the condition of our cat have improved. I am suddenly depressed as I can’t bear such pain losing non-human friend and family. I’m in freshmen college with an intensed school teaching method. Our cat “Felina” is my motivation to keep studying in this school. Everyday I need to wake up to go to school far from home so I have to set the alarm as early morning as possible. But I’m not a type of morning person so an alarm clock is not enough to wake up. But until then, we adopted a shy kind of rare japanese bobtail cat. She serves us an alarm clock to our family and her attitude what makes us relieved from our stresses. Everytime I came from school, just turning the doorknob, she will immediately say “Welcome Home”. When she’s hungry, she will jump up to my bed to say “I’m hungry”. For her, she changed my life. I am not emotional type when with her, she changed my wellness. Yesterday, she died of difficult pregnancy and I was shocked. Everything just appear in my mind: her face when she was baby up to when she’s about to become a mother. I am very depressed as in I lost my appetite and my motivation to study. I am worried how she died like, did she died happy or not? Will she blame us for ignoring her? No one said breeded cats needs to be admit to vet when pregnant. Everything was so sudden that I can’t just describe with word. But I have faith in these “animal reincarnation” and give her back to me again for I want her my part of success in life and make her see my achievement of becoming a scientist.

    1. Good morning Di,

      I read your post. I truly hope you feel better. I lost my kitten 2 days ago. From feline panleukopenia. I cried terribly. He was very human-like. I also blamed myself for his death. I hope he forgives me if ever it was my fault. Di, don’t blame yourself. You cat was happy with you, she knew you loved and still love her. Give yourself some time.

      Ash

  7. I lost my black cat, Emmitt, on October 22, 2018. He was 21 years old. I was completely devastated as I had also lost my father 3 weeks earlier. A couple of months later I had a dream about Emmitt and I got to hold him (in the dream) for what felt like hours. It was very comforting. I had the same dream at least one other time. We had a week long out of town vacation planned for May 2019 and I knew I wanted to wait until after that trip to begin looking for a new cat. We have a couple of good cat rescue organizations in my area. Long story short, I found a black, 3 month old kitten on the rescue website. I was approved and brought her home this weekend. It was like she already knew me and our home. Even though this one is female. I feel like she has part of Emmitt with her.

  8. I lost Boo Boo three weeks ago due to natural causes. She was a beautiful black cat somewhat larger than the average domestic cat and to me she resembled a miniature puma. Her illness began about six months earlier and I was determined to do everything I possibly could to help her. She was losing weight and showed signs of being in pain. When I took her to the vet she had a kidney infection. The vet perscribed some medication that seemed to work quite well. She began gaining weight and was her old self again but later she began losing weight and her belly swelled up as if she were pregnant. She was extremely weak but determined to stay close to me. The vet set up a time for exploritory surgery. Later when he called me back and told me what he found, he said that her small intestines were twisted and ruptured and all of her vital organs are infected. I had to make the decision to have her put down. Later I was told that Boo Boo never woke up from surgery and was put down shortly after. Since that time I have in countered Boo Boo’ s spirit on several occasions. Once I caught a glimpse of her at my feet while I was working at my computer, twice I encountered her in my dreams and last night I heard her meow at me from the top the stairs leading into the basement. I truely believe that she is telling me she wants to come back and I will be waiting.

    1. Omg omg I’m experiencing the same things with my cat. Her physic body is dead for two weeks now but it’s like I can feel her everywere.Last night I heared her from nowhere and while I was dreaming I open my eyes and I saw her standing next to me.I got scared because I wasnt expecting to see anyone near me, but now I’m sure that she is coming back.I’m waiting for her to be reincarnated and come back to me.

  9. We lost our beloved Moogie suddenly 10yrs old last June. She was an amazingly beautiful fluffy orange tabby female. Her 10yr old sister still lives. When I thought about her hummingbirds (and other birds) would hover in front of me and chirp but we were distraught. I said I wouldn’t get another cat unless it was 2 girl kittens that needed to be together and one will be orange. Before that I almost adopted a black kitten named Cricket, when I thought about her a tv commercial dialogue said, cat . . . not cricket! My husband wasn’t ready so I put off adopting it. One day I was driving by the petco, I stopped in. Only one employee there. In a cage were 2 underweight orange tabby sisters that needed to stay together because one was very skittish. The social one was named Pumpkin, I used to call Moogie pumpkin. Anyway I brought them home. Pumpkin is in love with Muffie and snuggles with her. . . . . they are not fluffy but Moogie didn’t like her long hair. These cats will grow big and athletic just like Moogie would like. No Pumpkin doesn’t give Daddy kisses like Moogie but they both cuddle and are adorable and it’s an interesting story! Alot of other little coincidences happened along the way but the story is already too long.

  10. I want to believe I’ll see my baby again. 14 years, I grew up with him, but I had to put him down yesterday. It’s absolutely the most painful thing I’ve ever had done. I miss him.

    I’m not religious at all, but I cannot bare the thought of him just ceasing to exist. I want to believe that he has moved on into a new life.

    This pain is unbearable and I miss him. I hope I’ll see him again. I really do.

  11. I am pretty sure Jacx is my beloved Charlie, here’s why! 1 ) both kittens came to me from trees in forests 2 ) both have golden eyes & 3) both think they are dogs & can’t tolerate cats (dominant males) 4) both love me to pieces! 5) Big Males – white with dark grey spots & white with black spots ! 6) can get up a tree – to a roof , can’t get down !
    Long story short -Charlie lived to go outdoors & desperately tried to keep him in…tough ! Anyway Charlie came in one day and was walking sideways ? Off to vet – they diagnosed him straight away anti-freeze poisoning, his kidneys almost shut down … we gave him a chance & when I went to vet to see how he was doing after overnight stay, they said be prepared … for? Anyway as son as he say me Meowing , getting up , vet said “He’s living for you”, we’ll keep him one more night to see how he does ! Next day they said he made a 360 turn & could go home ! Charlie never put back on his weight – but he was fine …until the night before he left (to die I believe) he slept on my pillow right beside my head ? We let him go (to do his biz) the next morning & he never came back ….I knew !
    Years later around 20 years , a kitten fell out of a tree in a forest, he was fine, just a scrape on his nose , luckily was Fall and the piles of leaves broke his fall! He loved the dogs straight away, as did Charlie & so 4 years later Jacx is every bit Charlie, his middle name & JC for short, which he answers to ! Jacx is not allowed to go outside, he like Charlie, is WILD outside when he has escapes the few times! So do I beleive they can come back ? YEP & in Charlie’s case, he was no where ready to die or leave me! Aren’t we all lucky to find such unconditional L-O-V-E ! As I type he is lying right beaide me , belly-up! Cheers

  12. I USED TO HAVE A BLACK AND WHITE CAT IT WAS CONSIDERED A TUXEDO BECAUSE OF HER COLOR PATTERNS, I GOT HER WHEN SHE WAS A 3 TO 4 WEEK OLD KITTEN AND WE HAD HER FOR 18 YEARS, I THINK GOD MUST HAVE SENT HER TO US BECAUSE I ALWAYS WANTED ONE LIKE HER, I HAVE A POSTCARD I’VE HAD FOR YEARS BEFORE WE EVEN GOT HER. AND MY YOUNGEST DAUGHTER WAS ONLY FIVE YEARS OLD AT THE TIME WE GOT HER AND SHE SAID SHE WANTED A GIRL AND SURE ENOUGH THAT IS WHAT SHE WAS. SHE WAS THE BEST THING THAT WE EVER HAD. WHEN SHE DIED WE WERE UPSET,BUT WE WAITED AT LEAST THREE YEARS BEFORE WE DECIDED TO ADOPT ANOTHER CAT. WE WENT TO THE ACCT IN PHILADELPHIA AND FOUND MARY SHE IS A THREE YEAR OLD TABBY, WITH THE MARK OF MARY ON HER FOREHEAD, INDICATED BY THE LETTER M ON HER FOREHEAD. I DON’T KNOW IF ANYONE KNOWS OF THE STORY OF THAT MARK ON THEIR FOREHEAD, BUT I’LL TELL YOU, IT ALL STARTED WHEN BABY JESUS WAS BORN AND HE WAS IN A MANGER, APPERENTLY HE WOULDN’T STOP CRYING AND HIS MOTHER MARY COULDN’T GET HIM TO SETTLE DOWN SO SHE ASKED ALL THE ANIMALS THERE IF THEY CAN HELP BUT THEY COULDN’T DO IT, SO A STRAY CAT JUMPED IN THE MANGER AND LULLED THE BABY JESUS TO SLEEP BY PURRING. AND EVER SINCE THEN ALL OF THAT CAT’S ANCESTORS WERE MARKED WITH THE LETTER M ON THEIR FOREHEADS AS THANKS FROM MARY. AND WHEN WE GOT THE CAT WE HAVE NOW WE FOUND OUT THAT NOT ONLY DOES SHE HAVE THAT MARK BUT HER NAME IS MARY. I THINK SOMEONE UPSTAIRS(WAY UPSTAIRS) IS HELPING US AGAIN BECAUSE SHE HAS TURNED OUT TO BE JUST LIKE THE OTHER CAT WE LOST SO YES I DO BELIEVE IN ANIMALS BEING RESURECTED, SHE IS PROOF.

  13. I lost my beloved Leo in December 2016. After I’d said goodbye to him at the vets’, a sudden thought came into my head that I must seek a kitten born near his birthday. A few weeks later, a friend told me her cats was having kittens. They were born three days after what would have been Leo’s 20th birthday in March 2017. I said I wanted a ginger and white boy, but the only boys were all ginger like Leo and I felt especially drawn to one kitten. My friend brought him to visit me and he stayed on my lap for most of the visit. I named him “Thomas Leo”. When he finally came to live with me, he showed no inclination to explore the house, preferring to stay in my bedroom like old Leo. He also sat on my arm for a while like old Leo used to. Apart from liking to climb, he acted like an older cat rather than a kitten. Now he is fully grown he is a small cat like Leo,and has retained kitten soft fur like Leo. Leo was an expert in solicitation purring for food and Thomas Leo has started to do this too and wake me for food by jumping on me and chattering and purring just like old Leo did. None of my other 3 cats do this. It is all very strange and uncanny, and I don’t know what to think but I do know I’m blessed with a sweet and loving little cat.

  14. Hello,
    I believe they do return. When I lost kitty for the first time , she came back to me after 7 months. And surprisingly same body , same looks and same habit. But this time she used to be more possessive about me . Always used to be with me only. I loved her so much and still doo. Alas, she died and I miss my little baby so much. However, I know she will come back to me and I am waiting for her .

  15. I am looking forward to my cat Tiger coming back in a new cat body.
    You see, he died 3 days ago at age 15 years old of kidney failure .
    I really think he will come back for a visit or to stay another 15 years.
    Many years ago my cat named Spooky died. Seven months later he came back in a new cat body. I didn’t go searching for him but HE came to find ME. We all know that our cats have a personality and habits unique only to each cat.
    I guess i could explain in more detail why I KNOW Spooky was reincarnated, but, I just know it was my Spooky.

  16. Hello. I believe they do come back. Since I was little,I had a cat called Mirri. She was calm and very kind and loving cat. She died when I was on my 20s. I dont know if reincarnations happen very shortly after death,but this one didnt. 2 years ago I noticed Its time to see if any cat would come to my life. And it did. Her name is Kitt. When she was smaller I called her Mirri sometimes. Every time I would do that she made a loud meow. She is very much alike. I do feel like I got her back.

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