A cat says, “You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, I must be God” – anonymous
You might have heard of the saying that cats have nine lives. This is in reference to their agility and quick-witted nature which makes it hard for them to die accidentally. For instance, if they fall, they always land on their feet. But like all living things, cats eventually die. If you are a cat parent, you may have wondered if your beloved kitty will go to heaven. There are many theories around this. Some believe that cats go to heaven while others say it is not possible. But what does the Bible say?
What Does the Bible Say About Cats Going to Heaven?
The Bible is silent on whether or not cats go to heaven. However, we can infer from the context that heaven was made for human beings. Furthermore, Christ came to die for man and not for animals. As such, there is no biblical evidence that cats go to heaven after they die.
Reasons Why Cats Do Not Go to Heaven
As disappointing as it may sound, evidence from the word of God suggests that cats do not go to heaven. Here are some biblical reasons why.
Heaven Is For Humans
The first reason why cats do not go to heaven is that heaven was made as an inheritance for humans who believe in God. Just before his ascension, Jesus made it clear that he was ascending to heaven so that he may prepare a place for his disciples.
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:2-3).
From this scripture, it is clear that heaven is prepared as a reward for those who believe in Him. There are many other scriptures that corroborate this but they all have one thing in common – they only reference humans as the recipients of the promise of heaven. Even scriptures like 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 that explain how Christ will come to take the church to heaven only speak about the resurrection of the humans that were dead in Christ. Cats, or any other animals, are conspicuously missing from eschatological references in the Bible.
Cats Have No Spirit
Another reason why cats do not go to heaven is the fact that they have no spirit. People often use the term soul and spirit interchangeably but they are not the same thing. For context, man is a spirit that has a soul and he lives in a body. When astronauts go to space, they need a special suit to help them survive in outer space. Similarly, when God placed man on earth, he put him in a special earth-suit otherwise called the body.
The main difference between human beings and cats is that humans have spirits while cats don’t. Like humans, cats have a body and a soul. The soul refers to the intellect and the emotions. We know cats are intelligent and this is demonstrated through play and also through tricks. Some cats have even been taught neat tricks like using the bathroom. Cats are also emotional beings and that is why they get aggravated or excited easily. But their souls cannot be confused for spirit
The Bible says God is spirit and those who worship him must do so in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). It is this same spirit that God breathed into the man he made after which man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). From the Genesis account of creation, it is clear that God did not put his spirit in animals – he only put it in mankind.
Now, the Bible makes it clear that the kingdom of heaven will not be inherited by the body or the soul. In the words of scripture;
I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
As such, cats cannot inherit God’s kingdom because they only have a soul and a body but lack a spirit.
You Must Be Born Again
In John 3, a member of the Jewish ruling council came to Jesus at night with a burning question. He wanted to know the secret of getting into heaven. Jesus did not beat around the bush. Instead, he told him;
Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. John 3:3
At first, Nicodemus was perplexed at this. It was the first time he was hearing the phrase born again and he couldn’t wrap his mind around the concept of reincarnation. But Jesus was not referring to reincarnation. On the contrary, he was referring to surrendering one’s life to him by repenting of your sins and committing to leave a new life in Christ. In the words of scripture, you become a new creature in Christ because all things are new (2 Corinthians 5:17 ). Since being born again is the most important qualification for going to heaven, cats can not go to heaven because they cannot get born again.
In conclusion, the question of whether cats go to heaven is a matter of theological debate, but there is no clear biblical evidence to support the notion that cats, or any other animals, go to heaven. The Bible is explicit in its focus on heaven as a reward and inheritance for human believers. It emphasizes the spiritual aspect of humanity and the requirement of being “born again” through faith in Christ as a condition for entering the kingdom of heaven. Cats, like other animals, lack the spirit that humans possess, and the Bible teaches that the kingdom of heaven is not inherited through the body or the soul alone but through the spirit. Furthermore, Jesus’ statement about being “born again” underscores the importance of a spiritual transformation and a personal relationship with Him, something that is not applicable to animals.