Why Cat Does Not Appear in Chinese Zodiac

Have you ever wonder why the graceful cat is not included among the Chinese Zodiac animals, while other seemingly less desirable creatures such as rat and snake are included? Isn’t that puzzling? Considering cat is greatly admire for its vermin eradication ability and its beauty, cat-scratches inducing aside?

According to fun Chinese folklore, in the process of finalizing the zodiac calendar, the venerable celestial Jade Emperor invited the entire animal kingdom to partake in a vigorous race! The first twelve animals managed to cross the race-decisive river, would have a zodiac year named after it in order of appearance.

Cat and Rat were very good friends who spent almost every waking hour together. Both were thrilled about the great race and immediately started to make plans how to finish the race among the top twelve. After discussion, they both agreed to take a little nap right before the race start to ensure they were in top form as the race was surely exhausting. On the day of the race, both have gone for a little nap as agreed. However, Rat was intent on winning the race and had no intention of napping. As soon as he found Cat in deep slumber, Rat quietly sneaked out and enlisted the help of Ox, another race participant, to cross the river.

When Cat finally woke up from his nap, he was shocked to discover the race was already over and Rat had won the race. Cat was devastated and furious at the same time and swore to hate the scheming Rat forever. That is why cat does not appear on the Chinese Zodiac and chased after rat all over the world until today.