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Do Animals Have a Soul or Spirit Like Humans?

Jackie shares her stories and knowledge of animals in her life. Is it their spirits that live on or simply all the memories of them?

Wikipedia Definitions of Soul and Spirit


In many religious, philosophical and mythological traditions, the soul is the incorporeal essence of a living being.

Soul or psyche (Greek: "psychē", of "psychein", "to breathe") is the mental abilities of a living being: reason, character, feeling, consciousness, memory, perception, thinking, etc.


The English word spirit, from Latin spiritus "breath", has many different meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance either contrasted with or given ontological priority over the material body. It can also refer to a "subtle" as opposed to "gross" material substance, as in the famous last paragraph of Sir Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica.

The word spirit is often used metaphysically to refer to consciousness or personality. The concepts of a person's spirit and soul often also overlap, as both contrasts with the body and both are believed to survive bodily death in some religions, and "spirit" can also have the sense of "ghost", i.e. a manifestation of the spirit of a deceased person.

Wild cats

These sisters never tamed down to actually become mine.

These sisters never tamed down to actually become mine.

No Two Alike?

Have any of the dogs or cats or any pet you have owned or known, been just like another? Aren't they all so individual?

Cat Sisters - Same Spirit.

As much as I always liked cats I did get rid of a pair of sisters. They were meaner than striped snakes as was a saying in my family from I don’t know where. I am beginning with these two because they are the only animals I knew with the same personality I could never make friends with. If I had, perhaps I could have seen a difference.

Someone dropped them off on me. I think they took for granted I would keep them. They were wild. I called the pound and told them to come to get them and they came and had their nets and those two gave those men a run around you would not believe, and they let me know they had never seen anything like them. They were past being kittens, but a very young adult, skinny and fast! I had tried to lure them with food or any way I could to catch them and take them to the pound with no luck. This was odd since I had never had a problem having animals like me and get close right away.

After the catchers caught them they told me how much that would cost. What? I said I wasn't paying them anything. They said did you feed them? I said well, of course, I had to leave food out all the day hours I was gone for my own. But they never were in my house as my cats are allowed to do. One reason I wanted them gone too was them eating up my cat's food, really. I couldn't be sure mine ever got any.

They said well if you feed them they are considered yours. I said well they are not mine and I am not paying you a cent. This is your job, you will get your money when someone takes them. They said well they would have to put them back out then. I said go ahead. They got in their truck and left...with the two wild cats. I guess they wanted to make sure they never had that chase again!

I stand my ground to that to this day. They were not my cats.

Tiger Ears


Do Cats Have Different DNA?

I had never seen cats act like that, other than the calico kitten that had kittens. It was really the same, just very odd, in a different way. She did not look to be more than a few weeks old herself. It was like a twelve-year-old getting pregnant. She played with her babies like they were toys and made me a nervous wreck. The nursing seemed to tickle and make her so rough! I was so glad they all lived to get big enough to get rid of them, especially the mother.

I wonder sometimes if animals aren’t much like humans, with an added good, bad and ugly, like us.

If you think about it, animals really and truly are so like adults and we know there will be animals in heaven. The bible tells us so. Who is to say they don’t have a soul? If real flesh humans are not in heaven then would it not be the same with animals? Well, they have to come from somewhere, not flesh and blood. I, of course, would not argue salvation for animals.

Have we ever seen two animals exactly alike? I have never heard science say so but I believe they all have their own DNA just like humans. Although I have not done a study on this just some basic searches suggest while most different types of cells in an animal have the same DNA there are some cells that are clearly different.

Well, you know, if even every snowflake is unique, surely animals are!

Miss Kitty

Miss Kitty loved to kneed my afghans on the backs of chairs and sofas but she knew to keep those claws tucked in.

Miss Kitty loved to kneed my afghans on the backs of chairs and sofas but she knew to keep those claws tucked in.

Animals Are Like Children

Even with their owners, they are like children. If the owner spoils them and allows them to bark and snip at people's ankles (I use to sell Avon long ago so I have seen many) then that is what they will do. The very same type of animal that has an owner who will not let the pet act that way will be friendly or simple go off out of the way. However, the owner has taught it, just as with a child.

I have taken cats with me from state to state with the worry they may run off from me and it upset me to imagine one ever would, but they never did. They feared the newness (some enjoyed it) and checked it out good. All my animals have been outside ones. No litter boxes and keeping them much out of the way of a husband that did not like cats. (Although that has changed in recent years.) But like a child would come to me often for reassurance I was still there for them. None ever tried going back to the house they came from which proves to me it is the humans that bring animals back many miles sometimes taking a very long time. Humans and their love for them.

Two of a Kind



Tom and Jerry - Brothers and Friends

I only had one kitten with claws sharp enough to hurt and even as a tiny kitten he sliced me good just playing. Being a tomcat with another tomcat from a previous litter (half brothers) I never had them inside. They were barn cats and great friends to each other. He would need his claws to protect himself and I could never play with him but I loved him and would pet him when he got older not wanting to play. The older one was gray I called Tom. He and this younger one, because I loved the cartoon so much, I called Jerry. He was a beautiful golden striped color. Regrettably, Jerry was killed when he was a couple years old or so and left Tom all alone.

My sister put a small dog off on me and Tom left and never came back. I got rid of the dog that chewed all my small trees down but still never saw Tom. About a year later a huge gray cat showed up behind our house and he looked like Tom only bigger and wild. He had something like a veil over his eyes; it was the strangest thing I had ever seen. He was scary looking. Had he come home to us?

Tom kitty


Did Tom Have a New Spirit? - Veil over His Eyes.

I talked softly to him awhile and got him to come in to eat but I was afraid to touch him and I don’t think he would have let me, but before he left it was like that veil slid away, at least to some degree. It was him we were sure after a while. We all talked kindly to him. He left and maybe came back one more time but it was not long after this we moved to South Carolina to do some missionary work, so I never saw him again.

I assume he had lived in the wild and caught his own food and had become wild and those eyes I will never forget. I wondered what brought him back though and why he didn’t stay. Maybe he had his own family. He sure looked healthy and not hungry though he did eat. I don’t know but it was certainly a very mysterious thing. I thank God though I got to know he was alright. He was a very gentle, kind cat, all the time I had him. Even being older he was still a real brother to Jerry. They always were together before Jerry was killed. I saw love there between these two and never once saw them fight.

Would Jerry have gone with Tom had he lived? Would they both have gone wild or would having each other prevented it? I will never know of course, nor how long Tom lived on his own in the wild. My guess would be a very long time.

Christmas Moon


There Will be No End to Man or Animals

This was not intended as a religious article but as the bible and God Almighty are a huge part of my life many things can often lead there.

Soul or spirit...which would you call it? In discussions I have had with others about it, some very much think the spirits of our good animals will be in Heaven. Others think animals will be there that we love (which the bible does say) but not those that have passed from here.

Personally, I would not commit totally to either but know the bible says there will be animals. Of course, no flesh will be there so it must be spirit animals. If then there are spirit people there from earth why not spirit animals? God made us all and gave out all the good spirits, so why not? He has promised us unimaginable happiness. Besides our loved ones, what could make us any happier than seeing our dear departed pets?

God is so good, I think He just might do that and why not?

What do you think?

Funny! Acting Like Humans.

© 2017 Jackie Lynnley


Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington, DC USA on May 19, 2019:

Jackie, being a reincarnationist who believes since Genesis 1's creation of man gave us dominion - the ability to exceed - earth and everything hereon and the overall creation follows a short form of evolution, I believe everything from atoms to man are triune physical manifested being with an energy or life-force and conscious mind. If that be so it means man are an early form of God who evolves through every attribute of god via reincarnation and once we are born again all of our incarnations' memories are returned to our conscious minds (John 14:26). From that perspective, what we call heaven will only contain forms of a multitude of humanoid types with the ability to transform to every form to repopulate them should they become extinct.

So in answer to your question, no, those cats were previous incarnations of you, as you are or shall be your husband for paying off your karma or reaping what was/shall be sown to the other.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on August 28, 2018:

Thank you Suhail. I see animals like that too. I also see good and bad in animals as we have in people. I suppose they have a choice as we do to choose good from evil. It appears so anyway.

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on August 28, 2018:

Hi Jackie,

From the religion I was born in (Islam), all animals have communities and rules to follow like humans do.

The Qur'an, holy book of Muslims, says that God created animals from water. God cares for all his creatures and provides for them. All creation praises God, even if this praise is not expressed in human language. God has prescribed laws for each species (laws of nature). Since animals follow the laws God has ordained for them, they are to be regarded as "Muslim", just as a human who obeys the laws prescribed for humans. Just like humans, animals form "communities". In a verse, Quran says the following:

"There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but forms part of communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to the Lord in the end."

I apologize for boring long comment, but in the end I wanted to say that terrorism has tarnished the image of this religion. We we are not what we ought to be - at peace within and with out.


Suhail and my dog

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on April 03, 2018:

If I could I would Doris but I can't take a chance of falling over an animal and breaking my neck, lol.I am very off balance now and I may be lucky not to fall, without a cat! I am not using an aid to walk at this time but when I go shopping I have to stick with a buggy. So I do have to wait but don't worry as soon as I can I will. It is something I look very forward to.

I will certainly let you know when it is all over. The first time they went through my neck front but this time it will be the back of the neck so should heal up much faster!

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on April 03, 2018:

Oh, Jackie, I'm sorry that you must have surgery, and I think that you need those cats right now! Cats, like dogs, know when their human companions are ill or hurting and will do their best to heal and comfort them. My original Tas used to lie across my leg when I broke it. Then when I had major surgery, he would lie against my abdomen. He was such a comfort. They would be such a comfort to you, especially if you were in pain. Let me know how it turns out. You know where to find me. I wish you a successful surgery and a speedy recovery.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on April 03, 2018:

Paula, I love how cats attack us. years ago I had a bunch of kittens and every morning I got woke up with my husband screaming and using a few bad words and I had to get up and protect him from the kittens, As he tried to make his coffee they climbed him! Of course their little claws could never hurt him but he hated cats.

Good news is for some reason a few years ago he fell in love with a kitten I had or maybe it fell in love with him and won him over and he has loved cats since then! So there is always room for hope!

Peace to you!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on April 03, 2018:

Doris, right now I am without a cat and I don't think a day goes by I don't long for one. I don't think I ever realized how calming they can be and the love they show us is so needed!

I must have surgery and cannot take a chance on falling, now or then but as soon as I can I think I will get me a pair of sisters. Love the females most and sisters are so loving and need each other I think.

Thanks so much for reading this!

Suzie from Carson City on April 03, 2018:

Jackie...I LOVE this! The pictures are precious.....just adorable. I could steal Miss Kitty from you, she's a beauty! My little fur ball, Brandy is a wild woman! She hides and creeps and leaps out to attack me at least 50 times a day! LOL Keeps me in stitches.

You are sooooo right. I have never ever met 2 pets, especially "cats," who are alike. Each has their own unique personality! Good to see you! Peace girlfriend, Paula

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on April 03, 2018:

Jackie, I find it strange that your cat went away and came back for a visit or two, but it does happen. My son had two older kittens that I paid for to be neutered. He kept them in the house for three days, and when he let them out, the black one went straight up the street to live at the home of his father. The father was part of a pride of non-neutered cats. The orange one stayed home. My son said that occasionally the black one would try to return home for a visit, but by then the orange one would run him off.

Your question was, "What do you think?" Some people can communicate with their pets. Our cats are house cats because I got tired of the sadness that losing them to outside dangers caused me. While I'm not a skilled animal communicator (psychic), I can quasi communicate with my pets that develop a closeness with me. This would indicate to me that cats are souls (note I said "are" not "have a" because I identify with the soul, not the body they eventually cast off.) I have felt several of my cats presence after the deaths of their bodies. I first noticed this in 1986 when my beloved Sylvester died. About two months after Sylvester's death, my second-in-command, Seaball, took up some of the very habits exercised only by Sylvester. My husband pointed out to me that Seaball was stretching himself out lengthwise on my lap with his paws past my knees, which only Syl. had done. Was Syl. sharing Seaball's body? One animal communicator that I read says this happens.

There have been other incidents too numerous to mention with other cats since then.

Cats were considered sacred by the Egyptians, and I'm beginning to see why. There are many good books written on cat spirituality, and those don't always agree with each other as to where cat souls originate or where cats go when the body passes away, but they all agree that cats are souls. It is man's idea that cats and dogs "have" no souls.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on December 27, 2017:

I hope so Maria, whether soul or spirit, as long as we get to see them again and they have the reward we know they deserve as much or more than humans for being the true loyal of love tht most are.

Thank you for reading!

Maria Cecilia from Philippines on December 27, 2017:

If you have a dog you love so much and he died, you would really wish he has soul and will soon wait for your in heaven. My Peso appeared to my dream so like how my departed love ones visited me in my dreams. During my first few dreams with him, he was a sad dog and looked neglected, I called him and I hugged him I was crying in my dream and he too, I knew he was sad and crying... later on I saw him happier in my dreams, and I got used to see him in my dreams like I know he was already dead but he is with me...In my latest dream about him, he brought along my other dog Pissy, that died 6 years before him... I believe they do have souls...and that will be a good reunion..

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on November 07, 2017:

Thank you Peggy! I see nothing sacrilegious in that belief, whether it is true or not and I so hope it is!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on November 07, 2017:

Yes we do Dianna. I am sure we all know to take care in our respect for them, but they are so easy to love.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 07, 2017:

I truly believe that animals have spirits or souls just like we do and will make it to heaven. As Linda Crampton mentioned, we are all a part of the animal kingdom. Enjoyed your animal stories!

Dianna Mendez on October 17, 2017:

Being a cat lover, I enjoyed the photos of these beautiful creatures. God has given us the task of caring for them and in return we receive their love.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on October 11, 2017:

I wondered what you would think of this Bill. I sure did not mean to be sacrilegious. I do know we will enjoy animals in heaven and it would not surprise me for their spirits to be familiar to us.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 11, 2017:

Hi, Jackie. You raise some interesting thoughts. I believe the soul is the real person. As you say, the body is just a shell that houses the person. The real person consists of the mind, emotions, and will.

On the other hand, the spirit is that part of man that has the capability to communicate with God. Just my observations.

I loved the cat video. We have a cat that can open doors, too. Now on to the next part!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on October 05, 2017:

Rasma, I do totally agree with the dead's spirit (or soul) no longer being in the body. The flesh is simple a shell of who we are in my opinion. Thanks so much for giving yours.

I am so sorry for your loss. GB

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on October 05, 2017:

Linda C - I know we all have known animals on this earth preferable to some humans, so surely there is a fairness in spirits?

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on October 05, 2017:

Since I have a sixth sense and since I am very much in tune to the world beyond then yes, animals definitely have souls and they go to their place in the world beyond. After my husband died in August in those first agonizing days I went straight to him. I know I did and I was ready to stay beside him when he took my hand but I was meant to have more days down here on earth so I could not stay. I learned some interesting things and I really believe it all happened to me in my out of body traveling. What I saw there I saw differently from what those who have really passed on see but it is all nevertheless wonderful. I saw animals and I found out that there they even have rainy days. It made me all the more comforted and looking forward to another visit as time goes by. I can pass on another wonderful thing. At my husband's funeral I saw right away that they could have left the coffin closed because that was no longer him his soul had already been released and up there over that threshold he was so handsome. A totally new and different life had begun.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on October 04, 2017:

Thanks Peg. I appreciate you! Except for those first two who were not really mine and I didn't really get to know, I have found no likeness in any of my pets. Well, maybe hamsters and rabbits. Even there though were some real personalities if I did get close to them.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on October 04, 2017:

Linda L, I certainly will! Thanks for telling me.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on October 04, 2017:

Kari, I so agree with you. All my pets of any kind have been so different. I think most of us remember them too as individually as human loved ones who have passed.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on October 04, 2017:

Thank you Vladimir, I do think I know where you are coming from. I too have heard about plants being more than we would have ever dreamed even knowing they can thrive better on human touch.

Just one big mysterious world, isn't it? So much we will never know for sure in this life.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 04, 2017:

Thanks for raising the question about animal souls or spirits, Jackie. For me, the answer to the question in your title is most definitely yes. Biologically, humans are animals, so I believe that whatever happens to us after death must happen to other animals, too. If we continue to exist in some form (or if we cease to exist), I believe that the same thing must happen to them. You chose an interesting topic for this article!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on October 04, 2017:

You've certainly had your share of difficult animals and hopefully of good pets as well. They each have an entirely different personality as far as I can tell and I've had quite a few over the past several decades. Sometimes I say one is "channeling" the behaviors of an earlier pet but is not identical to the first. Good food for thought in your article.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on October 04, 2017:

Jackie - What a sweet comment. Actually I did write about that kitty here on HP a few years ago. But, it didn't fit in with the other topics I have on my page so I "unpublished" it and moved it to my personal blog. If you go to my author page and click on my website (icon of a house in the upper right-hand corner, next to the button for Pinterest) you can find it.

Val Karas from Canada on October 04, 2017:

Jackie---I was planning to comment in two parts, so here goes the Part Two, LOL.

Life is multidimensional.

Thus, man in a coma is said to live like a "vegetable"; when arrogant, territorial, fighting for a status of an "alpha-in-a- pack" and greedily hoarding means of survival---he is like an animal; and when spirited, he is an embodiment of love.

Consciousness is universal, and all species are like "radio-receivers" with receiving capacity limited by their DNA and their level of spirituality.

Thus, animals are conscious as well, and so are plants---to a degree. (It has been scientifically proven that plants have emotions too). And all these lower life forms can sense our emotional energy frequencies. (Cesar Millan, the "Dog Whisperer" talks all the time about dogs "reading" their masters' mood). And some persons are more successful to nurse house plants than others---meaning that plants "love" their vibes.

And yet, these lower forms don't have a "soul" even if they can "love" us. Namely, they are survival-oriented, and they only pick up our vibes inasmuch as they are favorable or not for their survival. Their DNA is programmed to show affection towards anyone who is survival-friendly. That's why hatched goose chicks will mistake you for their mom if you are the only one around at the time.

O.K., I announced "two parts" but not a hub-about-a-hub, so let me zip it before it turns into one.

In any case, I certainly like your mind, Jackie, you are writing some quite interesting stuff.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on October 04, 2017:

I am still not too clear on souls and spirits Eric or if there really is a difference. I just know I would really love to see all my loved ones who have passed, including animals!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on October 04, 2017:

Linda, what a beautiful story. You should make it a creative writing short story for all to read. I would love it for sure and know most if not all others would too.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on October 04, 2017:

I can wait Bill, hahaha, will be looking for your message, but in case I go first...be listening for me! That should make you rest well. I could be any wild animal in your nights. lol

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on October 04, 2017:

Thank you Hari, pleased you enjoyed it.

We have seen many wild animals domesticated and loving mankind like sweet pets and so God says it will be in Heaven...there will be no wild anything. lol

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on October 04, 2017:

I do think animals have souls. Every animal I have ever owned was different in it's own way. Just like humans, they all have their little quirks. I had one cat who was wild as wild. Except when she was pregnant. Then she became the most docile, sweetest cat ever. LOL. She knew when she wanted my help.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 04, 2017:

Very interesting. It always seemed to me that the bond between animal and there human friend was very real. Now I am just suggesting that bonds like that have to be two way streets. I do not know anyone that loves another for any length of time if the love is not reciprocated. So I must assume that the animal loves back. Love must come from one's spirit and soul for it to be real.

therefor, for me, animals have souls.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on October 04, 2017:

Jackie, I grew up having kitties around. My Dad loved cats and I knew that when one died the next day there would be another in its place, always a tabby. Mom wouldn't allow them in the house, so they always hid out in the basement when my dad had his workshop.

I got married, moved away, Dad died, and I never gave another thought about cats until my younger daughter brought home a pathetic little kitten that she found being abused. I honestly didn't think I wanted a cat, but that kitty had a totally different idea. She managed to wrap each of us around her little paw. We loved that sweet girl for 13 years. When she died I cried more than I'd cried in years. And yes, I believe she is waiting for me in Heaven. Absolutely, no doubt about it.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 04, 2017:

I think, Jackie, I'll be finding out soon enough. When I get there I'll try to send you a message of proof. How's that for a good deal? All you have to do is wait for me to die. :)

Hari Prasad S from Bangalore on October 04, 2017:

Engaging article. I liked reading it without a break.

The love we feel for others, is more an outlook of our own self.

The animals other than the domensticated type are instinctive and do not have a constant liking for any. It only survival that is encoded in all of them.

- hari

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on October 03, 2017:

I appreciate and respect your opinion Vladmir.

As I said I only use the bible's word about the animals at peace with each other in Heaven and of course I use my reasoning being an animal lover. Those who are not would not see it that way I am sure.

I believe there is a sort of telepathy with pets and their owners, a mental understanding of each other in many cases...but perhaps that is simply love one for another.

Val Karas from Canada on October 03, 2017:

Jackie---Moments after I wake up from my deep meditation I am so aware about the unfathomable difference between my daily self-image and what I experience as "self" during meditation.

For, that's where I lose a sense of my physical sense, I don't have a body, no ego, no concerns, thoughts, emotions---at least not those of every day. It's a vibrating bliss of light, a sense of harmony totally strange to my waking state, although echoing for hours in me until it somewhat fades away. I don't even identify with that pure conscious state, or have a need for an identity to start with.

So, quite honestly, I don't even bother playing with words like "soul", because whatever it is---it is not our verbalized concept of anything, it's something to be experienced, not squeezed into frames of our thinking.

I believe--- from spiritual, not religious perspective--- in "life" after death, and I don't know if animals play any part in that "life"---since it's not just another "version" of this one.

It's of another dimension.

In this life, what we experience as "ourselves" is tremendously generated by our attachment to our body and its psycho-physical survival. It takes some deep sinking into our essence to experience meditative state of consciousness, and even in meditation, when free of bodily sensations, we are still just in the subconscious business of surviving.

Again, I don't know how animals could "enrich" our afterlife in which we will be operating at so high frequencies that "pets" could hardly mean anything. In a total bliss and freedom of desire, we evolve on, and our evolution of consciousness takes us away from animalistic part of our nature where we harbor a sentiment and empathy for lower-frequency creatures like pets.

It's at least my humble opinion. Well, who am I anyway to say anything that would not agree with Bible. Just using my own mind---it's the only one I've got, and probably one of my biggest sins.

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