Saturday, 11 June 2011

Buddhism and cats - Cute Kitten and its mother in Thai Buddhist temple

The kitten in the Thai Buddhist temple has proved very popular so in this post I’ll try to explain a bit more about Buddhism and cats.

In some Buddhist cultures cats can be regarded as holy creatures particularly so as they are perceived to be one of the more ‘mindful’ animals and have traditionally been useful in keeping down pests such as mice and rats that feed on food stores. The Birman cat - also known as the sacred cat of Burma descends from cats that were raised in Buddhist temples in Burma and the monks regarded that the souls of the departed returned to earth as a cat. Traditional folklore posited that on the death of a person if he had reached the highest level of enlightenment then their soul would return to earth for one last time as a cat and when it dies would be freed to reach nirvana. Furthermore the cat is believed to speak with Buddha in favour of its owner that is still alive. Thailand has similar beliefs and so the cat is respected highly amongst Buddhist monks and many temples will have cats that live amongst the monks and Buddha statues and images.

In this temple just outside Hat Yai the mother cat seems to be particularly friendly with one particular monk who stroked and feeds it and is allowed to eat the alms food that has been prepared by the laity for the monk. Strict Buddhism practice teaches non-attachment and the keeping of pets would be discouraged but in many temples in eastern cultures the dominance of Buddhism leads to many variances and it should also be noted that many monks may just be ordinary citizens that are serving their time as a monk so as bring merit to their families. These periods can be short as a month and so they often bring outside habits and practices into the temple.

To view all the eleven videos of the cat and her kitten in the Thai Buddhist Temple visit the playlist on our You Tube channel beautifulthailand99.

“Because he has pity on every living creature, therefore is a man called ‘holy’” Buddhism Dhammapada

The Buddha's Face


  1. 15) The Fifteenth Minor Precept: The Precept against
    Keeping Cats andOther Predatory Animals
    If anUpasaka/Upasika who hasreceived and should be upholding this Precept keeps
    cats or other predatory animals, he/she thereby commits an offense through
    negligence. Failure to repent and reformwill lead to a fall, caused by such impure

  2. Dear everyone,
    We would like to inform everyone about Ven. Ashin Indaka who monk from Myanmar, now he is in Samnak Sambodhi Buddhist Temple, No. 19 Jalan 38 Taman Desa Jaya, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and he asked some money from devotees with who want to become monks in every Chinese New year, for who want to be a monk need to pay RM400 in seven day but now he changed idea to decrease of pay about Rm250 because so many devotees complaint to Temple committee members

    In internet, many people comments and complaints but Ven. Ashin Indaka still do same things, why he is not shaming to Buddha and Buddha’s disciples, anyone able researching on name “VEN. ASHIN INDAKA” and president of Temple also done same “YIP KUM FOOK (MCA GOMBAK)”, this MCA man cheating Temple money and playboy

    Hope everyone be careful about both of them (Ven. Ashin Indaka and Yip Kum Fook) and we love and save of Buddhist in Malaysia

    Malaysia Buddhist Organisation

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