Familiars are an animal that helps you on your magickal journey. These animals tend to be cats. I’m not sure if it is just how it is or that there are familiars of lots of other animals but people aren’t open to them because they expect a cat. In general I have found there is no real consensus on what makes an animal a familiar rather than a pet. I have heard a few theories though.
One of these theories (that I don’t necessarily believe myself but who knows, may be true) is that in order for an animal to be a familiar it has to come to you. So if you adopt an animal from the shelter it can’t be a familiar because you found it and took it home. Along with this, the animal has to initiate making a pact with you. I’ve been told that familiars can speak to you in your head. It would sound like an actual conversation in your head. If this doesn’t happen, according to this theory, the animal is not your familiar.
The way I feel about familiars is that it is animal that takes deep interest in your magickal, ritual, divination workings. When you’re making a sacred circle the animal joins you and you can feel the animal helping you raise the energies. You can trust this animal around your magickal tools (including fire) and know they will not disturb it. In general they just seem attracted to everything magickally and spiritually.
Is this all to say that you can’t say your pet is your familiar just because it feels right? No, not at all. At the end of they day this is your practice and only you know what is right in your beliefs. You have to trust your gut and do what makes you comfortable.
Myself, personally, I’m not sure if either of my cats are a familiar. At one point I thought my first and oldest kitten might be due to an experience during ritual I had with him, but it hasn’t happened again. My other kitten has yet to really suggest that he may be a familiar. At the same time though neither are a year old yet so they may just be too young right now to clue in to their familiar ways.
Do you have a familiar? Let me know in the comments along with any other thoughts or questions. Also, make sure to subscribe so you get notifications when I post. Thanks for reading and until next time, Merry Meet and Blessed Be.