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Is having a cat sunnah?

Is having a cat sunnah?

September 16, 2023

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Is having a cat sunnah? This question, often asked within the Muslim community, refers to whether keeping a cat as a pet is a practice (sunnah) that was followed by the Prophet Muhammad and is therefore encouraged within Islam. While the term “sunnah” has broad interpretations, in this context, it primarily relates to behavior or actions that are seen as an example set by the Prophet. In exploring this topic, we’ll delve into Islamic teachings, historical contexts, and scientific insights related to cats.

The Prophet Muhammad and Cats

Is having a cat sunnah?

The Prophet Muhammad is known to have had a great fondness for cats. Numerous Hadiths (sayings and actions of the Prophet) mention his interactions with cats, demonstrating kindness and respect towards them. One well-known story involves his cat Muezza, who once fell asleep on the sleeve of his robe. Rather than disturbing her sleep when he needed to leave, he chose to cut off the sleeve of his robe.

Symbolism of Cats in Islam

In Islamic tradition, cats are seen as clean animals. They are allowed to enter homes and mosques and can even participate in prayer activities. This is quite different from some other religions where cats may be associated with superstition or considered unclean.

Scientific Findings on Cats

Science backs up the benefits of owning a cat as well. According to studies from Mayo Clinic, owning a cat can reduce stress and anxiety levels, lowering the risk of heart disease. Cats also offer companionship which can help combat feelings of loneliness.

Caring for Cats: An Islamic Perspective

Islam places great emphasis on the kind treatment of animals. Owners are required to provide their pets with proper food, water, and shelter. They must also ensure their pets are healthy, safe, and well cared for. This extends to cats as well, so owning a cat comes with significant responsibility.

Is Having a Cat Sunnah?

While it’s clear that the Prophet Muhammad had a fondness for cats and treated them with kindness, does this make keeping a cat sunnah? Scholars have different views on this. Some argue that because the Prophet kept a cat, it is sunnah. Others suggest that while it’s not necessarily sunnah, it is still in line with Islamic principles of kindness towards animals.

Taking a Broader View

Perhaps the question should not be solely whether having a cat is sunnah, but rather whether we can apply the general principles demonstrated by the Prophet’s treatment of cats. These principles include showing kindness to all creatures, treating animals with respect and care, and considering the welfare of animals in our charge.


To sum up, while there may not be consensus on whether having a cat is strictly sunnah, there’s no doubt that cats hold a special place in Islamic tradition. The Prophet Muhammad’s interactions with cats provide valuable lessons in compassion and kindness towards animals. Whether or not one chooses to keep a cat as a pet, these lessons can inspire us to treat all creatures with respect and care.

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