Freya and Her Feline Companions: The Cats of Norse Mythology

freya and cats

Freya, the Norse goddess of love and beauty, is often associated with felines in Norse mythology. These enigmatic creatures played a significant role in Freya’s tales and were believed to be her loyal companions and protectors throughout her journeys.

Key Takeaways:

  • The bond between Freya and cats in Norse mythology is a captivating and enduring one.
  • Cats held significant symbolic representation in Norse mythology and were associated with Freya due to her role as the goddess of love and beauty.
  • The Skogkatt and the Norwegian Forest Cat are two specific cat breeds that were closely connected to Freya.
  • Cats were believed to be Freya’s familiars and protectors, serving as her companions throughout her journeys.
  • Cats were an integral part of Norse folklore, with superstitions, beliefs, and rituals centered around these enigmatic creatures.

The Importance of Cats in Norse Mythology

Cats have played a significant role in Norse mythology, where they were worshipped and revered as sacred animals. In Norse culture, cats were associated with Freya, the goddess of love and fertility, and were believed to be her loyal companions.

The symbolism of cats varied in Norse mythology, where they were considered magical creatures who possessed the power of foresight and enhanced senses. According to legend, Odin, the god of war and wisdom, had two cats as his companions who would accompany him on his journeys.

The Norse also believed that cats were guardians of the afterlife, and that they had the power to see the spirits of the deceased. This belief was so entrenched in Norse culture that they would bury their dead with cats to guide their souls to the afterlife.

With their fierce and independent nature, cats were a symbol of female strength and empowerment in Norse mythology. This was embodied by Freya, who was revered as a powerful goddess that embodied love, fertility, and sexuality. She was often depicted with cats by her side and was said to have a particular affinity for them.

The Importance of Cats in Norse Mythology

The Norse considered cats to be magical animals that possessed the power of foresight and supernatural senses. They were often associated with the goddess Freya, who was believed to have two cats that pulled her chariot across the sky.

In Norse mythology, cats were associated with protection and good luck. They were often kept as pets in households, where they were believed to bring prosperity and good fortune to their owners. However, it was also believed that mistreating cats would bring bad luck and misfortune upon oneself.

Cats were also a prominent feature in Norse folk tales and legends, where they were known for their wit and cunning. According to legend, the god Thor was once tricked by a giant disguised as a cat, who convinced Thor to lift him up, only to reveal his true form and attack the god.

Overall, cats played a significant role in Norse mythology, where they were revered as magical animals with supernatural abilities and a close connection to the goddess Freya.

Freya, the Goddess of Love and Beauty

In Norse mythology, Freya is a beloved goddess of beauty, love, fertility, and war. She is one of the main figures in the Norse pantheon, renowned for her beauty and grace. Freya was worshipped and adored by many, and her charm was said to be irresistible to both gods and mortals alike.

As a goddess of love and beauty, Freya was often depicted as a radiant figure, adorned with gold jewelry and dressed in the finest silks. She is often associated with fertility and prosperity, and her presence was believed to bring good luck and fortune.

Freya’s association with cats is also a significant aspect of her identity. Cats were regarded as sacred animals in Norse mythology, and they were believed to be Freya’s companions and familiars. Her bond with these felines represented her connection to the natural world and her status as a protector of the environment.

The tale of how Freya acquired her beloved cats is one of the most popular stories in Norse mythology. According to legend, Freya was distraught over the loss of her husband, who was killed in battle. In her grief, she cried golden tears, which turned into cats. These cats became her faithful companions, and she cherished them deeply.

Overall, Freya’s role as a goddess of love, beauty, and fertility, as well as her affinity for cats, make her one of the most enchanting and captivating figures in Norse mythology.

Freya’s Feline Companions: The Skogkatt and the Norwegian Forest Cat

Among the several cats associated with Freya, two breeds stand out – the Skogkatt and the Norwegian Forest Cat. These large, fluffy cats were said to be Freya’s loyal companions, who dutifully kept her company and assisted her in her divine duties.

The Skogkatt, or the Norwegian Forest Cat, is a breed native to Norway, and is believed to have descended from the cats that traveled with Vikings on their expeditions. Skogkatts are known for their thick coats, tufted ears, and sturdy build. They were often depicted in Norse mythology as felines with magical powers, who could communicate with humans and other animals.

Similarly, the Norwegian Forest Cat is another breed from Norway, that shares many similarities with the Skogkatt. It is known for its thick, waterproof fur, and its muscular build. These cats were believed to be great hunters, and were often kept as pets by the Vikings. They have a calm and friendly demeanor, which makes them an ideal companion for humans.

The folklore surrounding these cats suggest that they had a special connection with Freya, and that the goddess held them in high regard. They were believed to be powerful protectors, who guarded Freya’s domains from evil spirits and other malevolent forces. They were also thought to have healing powers, which made them highly valued in Norse society.

Freya’s Feline Companions in Norse Art

Freya is often depicted in Norse art with her cat companions. In the early Viking Age, cats were shown as symbols of fertility, and were often depicted alongside female deities, including Freya. In many depictions, Freya is shown holding or caressing a cat, which is believed to signify her ability to control and manipulate the fertility of humans and animals alike.

Image Description
A depiction of Freya with her two cats
Freya and her cat companions in a Norse painting

The Skogkatt and the Norwegian Forest Cat also made appearances in Norse mythology in their own right. They were often depicted as independent and cunning creatures, who could outsmart their foes with their wit and agility. They were also believed to be clairvoyant, and could see into the future or detect danger ahead of time.

Overall, the Skogkatt and the Norwegian Forest Cat hold a special place in Norse mythology, and their connection with Freya only adds to their mystique. These majestic felines continue to captivate the imaginations of people around the world, and their popularity shows no signs of waning.

The Cat-Drawn Chariot: Freya’s Mode of Transport

One of the most fascinating myths surrounding Freya is that of her cat-drawn chariot. According to Norse mythology, Freya rode a chariot that was pulled by two cats – the Skogkatt and the Norwegian Forest Cat.

This unique mode of transportation speaks to the special bond between Freya and cats. The goddess was said to have a deep affinity for these feline creatures, and they were often depicted by her side.

While there are various tales of Freya’s cat-drawn chariot, one of the most famous is from the story of how she retrieved her lost husband, Od. In this tale, Freya rides across the sky in her chariot, pulled by her faithful cats, to search for Od in the land of giants.

This image of Freya riding her cat-drawn chariot across the sky has become an iconic symbol in Norse mythology, representing the goddess’s power and connection to the spirit world.

Cats as Magical Companions

The belief that cats were Freya’s companions speaks to their perceived magical qualities in Norse mythology. Cats were thought to have a deep connection to the spirit world and to possess special powers that could protect and guide their human counterparts.

As companions to Freya, cats were seen as protectors of the goddess and her domains. They were believed to be able to sense danger and to be able to ward off evil spirits and curses.

Today, the image of Freya’s cat-drawn chariot continues to captivate and inspire. It serves as a reminder of the enduring bond between humans and feline creatures and of the mystical power that cats have held in our collective imagination for centuries.

Cats as Freya’s Familiars and Protectors

According to Norse mythology, cats were not only pets but also served as familiars and protectors for Freya, the goddess of love and beauty. It was believed that these feline creatures possessed magical powers, including the ability to see the future and communicate with spirits.

The close relationship between Freya and her cats was symbolic of her intimate connection with nature and the natural world. The goddess was often depicted surrounded by cats, embracing them or holding them in her arms.

In Norse culture, cats were revered for their hunting skills and their ability to keep rodents away from grain stores and homes. As a result, they were considered valuable companions and protectors, especially for farmers and households.

Some legends even suggest that Freya’s cats had the power to shapeshift into humans and guide lost travelers back home. It was also said that they could heal illnesses and protect people from harm.

Cats as Familiars

Cats were believed to have a close spiritual connection with their owners, and as a result, they were often seen as familiars. This term refers to a supernatural entity that helps and supports a witch or sorcerer in their magical practices.

In Norse mythology, Freya was often associated with magic and sorcery. It was believed that she taught humans how to use spells and incantations to control the natural world, and her cats were said to be her helpers in these endeavors.

Cats as Protectors

As protectors, cats were believed to guard Freya’s domains and keep them safe from harm. This included her home in Folkvangr, where she led the souls of fallen warriors, as well as her hall Sessrumnir, where she welcomed guests and served them mead.

According to legend, the giant Thrym stole Freya’s magical necklace, Brisingamen, and demanded that she marry him in exchange for its return. To retrieve the necklace, the trickster god Loki sought the help of Thor, who disguised himself as Freya and accompanied Loki to Thrym’s castle.

During the wedding feast, Thor’s disguise was nearly exposed when he ate an entire ox and drank large amounts of mead. However, Freya’s cats were said to be watching over him and mewed loudly, distracting Thrym and his guests and allowing Thor to complete his mission.

Overall, cats played a significant role in Norse mythology as guardians, familiars, and companions to the goddess Freya. Their enduring connection has captured the imagination of people for centuries, and their legacy lives on in the folklore and traditions of many cultures around the world.

Legends and Tales: Freya and Cats

The rich tapestry of Norse mythology is filled with tales of Freya and her beloved feline companions. From clever tricksters to loyal protectors, cats play a prominent role in many of the goddess’s stories.

“Freya’s cats were her constant companions, following her wherever she went. One day, the mischievous felines decided to play a trick on her, hiding her precious necklace. The goddess searched high and low, but it was only when she enlisted the help of her clever cats that it was found.”

This is just one of many legends of Freya and her cats. In another tale, the goddess is said to have received her chariot from Thor, which was pulled by two majestic Norwegian Forest Cats. And whenever Freya needed protection, her faithful felines were there to defend her honor.

The most famous cat tale in Norse mythology is perhaps the story of how the Skogkatt, or Norwegian Forest Cat, became Freya’s chosen companion. As the legend goes, the goddess was walking through the woods when she came across a beautiful cat with thick, lush fur. She was so enchanted by the creature that she decided to take it home with her, where it became her loyal familiar.

  • The Skogkatt also appears in other myths, such as the story of the giantess who sought to take Freya’s beloved necklace. The goddess turned to her trusted companion to help her recover the priceless treasure.
  • Another story tells of how the Skogkatt was able to outwit a group of trolls who attempted to steal Freya’s magical boar, which was said to have the power to bring the dead back to life. The quick-witted cat was able to outmaneuver the trolls and return the prized boar to its rightful owner.

These tales of Freya and her cats have endured for centuries, captivating generations with their magic and wonder. They serve as a reminder of the special bond that exists between humans and felines, a bond that has been woven into the fabric of mythology, legend, and lore.

Cats in Norse Folklore and Superstitions

Throughout Norse mythology, cats were not only revered but also feared. In Norse folklore, cats were seen as magical creatures with supernatural abilities. Many believed that they were capable of communicating with humans and even possessed the power to see the future.

However, despite their perceived magical qualities, cats were also associated with misfortune and witchcraft. Many Norse superstitions warned against crossing paths with a black cat, as it was believed to bring bad luck. Some even believed that witches could transform into cats to carry out their evil deeds under the cover of darkness.

Yet, despite these negative associations, cats were still regarded as valuable creatures in Norse culture. They were often kept as pets and were even worshiped in some instances, particularly in relation to their association with the goddess Freya.

One superstition suggested that if a cat was killed, it would bring misfortune upon whoever had committed the act. In addition, it was believed that cats had the ability to sense ghosts and other supernatural entities, making them valuable protectors in Norse households.

Overall, cats played a significant role in Norse folklore and superstitions. While some viewed them with fear and suspicion, many others recognized their value and even worshiped them as powerful and magical creatures.


In Norse mythology, cats played a significant role, and none more so than in the stories of Freya, the goddess of love and beauty. As we have explored, the bond between Freya and her feline companions was a deeply meaningful and enduring one.

We have discussed how cats were associated with the goddess, from the symbolism they represented to their role as her familiar and protectors. We have also delved into the specific cat breeds linked to Freya: the unique and majestic Skogkatt and the Norwegian Forest Cat.

Freya’s cat-drawn chariot was another fascinating myth that highlights the close relationship between the goddess and these creatures. The tales we explored showcased the mischievous and magical qualities of cats in Norse folklore, adding to their already rich and fascinating history.

As our journey comes to a close, we see that the connection between Freya and cats remains as captivating today as it was in ancient times. The lore and superstitions surrounding cats in Norse culture continue to be celebrated and explored, ensuring that their tales and legends will endure for centuries to come.

Freya and Cats Conclusion


Q: What is the significance of cats in Norse mythology?

A: Cats hold symbolic importance in Norse mythology and are closely associated with the goddess Freya. They are believed to represent fertility, beauty, and guardianship.

Q: Who is Freya and what is her role in Norse mythology?

A: Freya is a prominent Norse goddess known for her association with love, beauty, and fertility. She holds a significant role in the pantheon of Norse gods and is often depicted as a powerful and benevolent figure.

Q: Which cat breeds are associated with Freya?

A: The Skogkatt and the Norwegian Forest Cat are the cat breeds commonly associated with Freya. These majestic feline companions are believed to have been her loyal allies and protectors.

Q: Can you tell me more about Freya’s cat-drawn chariot?

A: According to Norse mythology, Freya had a chariot that was said to be pulled by two large cats. This mode of transportation allowed her to travel between realms and served as a testament to her power and connection to cats.

Q: Were cats considered familiars and protectors for Freya?

A: Yes, cats were believed to serve as familiars and protectors for Freya. They were thought to possess magical qualities and played a crucial role in safeguarding the goddess and her domains.

Q: Are there any legends or tales involving Freya and cats?

A: There are numerous captivating tales and legends featuring Freya and cats. These stories depict the adventures, mischievous encounters, and the bond between the goddess and these beloved feline creatures.

Q: What are some superstitions and beliefs about cats in Norse folklore?

A: In Norse folklore, cats were often associated with luck, fertility, and protection against evil spirits. However, they were also believed to have the ability to steal souls or carry bad omens, leading to various superstitions and rituals surrounding these magnificent creatures.