Since when are black cats a sign of bad luck? It wasn't until the 1500s in England that black cats were a token of bad luck. During this time in England everyone started believing in witchcraft. In scotland during this time they believed in a fairy that presented itself as a giant black cat that would steal the souls of dead bodies before the Gods could claim them. There was a wide belief that witches could shapshift themselves into cats and this is why: "a father and son, traveling home late one night, saw a black cat cross their path. The son threw a stone at the creature, fearing it was a witch’s familiar, and the stone hit the cat in the left leg. The injured animal gave forth an unholy shriek and fled under the stoop of a house belonging to a woman long suspected of being a witch. The next morning, the father and son met the old woman at the local marketplace and saw that she was limping on her left leg. From that day, the people in that town were sure that the woman was an evil witch that prowled their town at night in the shape of a black cat, looking to do mischief against anyone who crossed her."
Black cats were not always viewed as bad luck. In ancient Egypt cats were so highly regarded, thought to bring prosperity and protection, some cats would receive the same mummification process as humans after their death! Today, some cultures in Japan, Scotland and England (where the superstition started) don't associate black cats with bad luck anymore. So why do we still believe in this silly superstition?