We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Familiar?

Niki Acker
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In legend, a familiar or familiar spirit is a supernatural being that helps and supports a witch or magician. Traditionally, it is an animal, but some are said to be humanoid. Familiars often have special powers of their own. When witchcraft is portrayed as a type of communication or alliance with evil forces in order to gain magical powers, this being may be considered a type of demon.

The stereotypical familiar in Western culture is the black cat. Because black cats are strongly associated with witchcraft, there are a number of superstitions regarding them. One crossing a person's path is said to be a portent of doom, for example. A familiar may be nearly any animal, however, and other common forms for it to take are a dog, an owl, and a toad.

In the days of widespread persecution of witches, every witch was believed to have a familiar, and close animal companions were sometimes considered proof that a person was a witch. In addition to animals, humanoid creatures were believed to serve in this role; sometimes, they were said to look like regular people, and othertimes, they were said to be odd in appearance, having some deformity or resembling stereotypical images of demons. Legends of this period also often attribute the habit of drinking blood to familiars. They were considered at least as dangerous as witches, as they were thought to be supernatural beings that looked like normal animals and could spy or wreak havoc for their witch without being easily detected.

While Christians traditionally interpret familiars as demons, to Wiccans and Neo-Pagans, they are more like the Christian concept of a guardian angel. A witch's familiar can be his or her closest companion, offering moral support, special knowledge, and/or physical healing. Wiccans may seek one through meditation or divination, but most do not believe that they can be summoned, contrary to traditional Western legend regarding witches and black magic. Author Phillip Pullman offers an interesting take on the idea in his His Dark Materials trilogy, in which every human has a "daemon" in animal form that has parallels to various cultural interpretations of the soul.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Niki Acker
By Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a WiseGeek editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range of interesting and unusual topics to gather ideas for her own articles. A graduate of UCLA with a double major in Linguistics and Anthropology, Niki's diverse academic background and curiosity make her well-suited to create engaging content for WiseGeekreaders. "
Discussion Comments
By anon924587 — On Jan 05, 2014

I think my familiar is a black cat, Nox. She came to me when I was at my mother's friend's house looking at one week old kittens. I wanted Nox's sister (I think she is a Calico), and not the (then) blue-eyed, jet black kitten who was the runt of the litter. However, Nox had other plans.

From the moment I picked up her sister, Nox started to headbutt my leg. She did it so hard she fell over! Feeling sorry for her, I put her sister down and picked up the little black fluff-ball, and I never wanted to put her down again. We just connected; there is no other way I can think to word it.

I convinced my (allergic to cats) mother to let me keep her, and then went to pick her up some time in her fourth or fifth week of life. She was too young to be away from her mother, but she'd been abandoned so we had to collect her.

Since then, her eyes have turned green (actually a pretty close shade to the color mine turn on occasion), and she hasn't left my side often. She has quite a similar personality to me, and I've been told she is quite a fidget for a cat (I am a right fidget). Sorry this is so long, I was hoping someone could tell me if she is my familiar. Blessed Be! --Kaeleighrae

By anon331952 — On Apr 25, 2013

I had a familiar; it was a robin. At least I think he was my familiar. He loved me from the moment he saw me. But then, at the usual time a bird will migrate, he left. It is now late spring and he hasn't come back. Did I lose him?

By anon298801 — On Oct 22, 2012

I am not practicing any witchcraft but I think I believe that witches exist. I am not sure if I have blood lineage. I had few strange things that happened to me just to name three: a cat appeared beside my bed and sat on the side table on my left and stayed still for some few minutes and was gone. That happened when I was still single, and the other incident was when I was pregnant I was awakened by the sound from the window which is actually closed because we have a fully air-conditioned flat. That time, a black cat jumped over me and sat just beside my big belly as I was about six months pregnant. The last thing that really amazed me was when I already had my son and one big cat and one small cat both black in color, both appeared coming in from the window.

I just can't understand it because it was like half dream and half awake state of consciousness. Can someone explain to me why I have these kind of experiences?

By anon284863 — On Aug 12, 2012

I don't follow a practice or religion of any kind, but I have always been intrigued by the concept of familiars. The idea of an animal that is extra in tune to your feeling and protects you just makes sense to me.

I have always heard people say that familiars are typically small animals (dogs, cats, birds, etc.) but what about a horse? I feel as if my familiar is a 13 year old quarter horse mare that came into my life about six years ago. We connected instantly and when I ride her, she always knows what I want before I ask. She has never once refused even the craziest things I ask of her, be it a jump, a steep hillside, or a ride bareback and bridle-less. She has also saved me from myself more than once when I was going through some difficult times.

Additionally, two weeks ago, I lost my canine companion of 14 years. I was devastated. Typically, during times of stress I go right to this mare but this time I had not been to the farm in five weeks because of a strenuous summer class I was taking. The weekend after my dog died, I went to the farm where the herd was loose in the field. Missy (the horse) came right up to me, nuzzled my face and shoulder then licked my shoes. She then refused to move for 15 minutes while I cried into her mane.

Basically, what I think I'm trying to ask is if horse familiars are common or even possible? I'm sorry for the long post but I was struck by how little information there was on the occurrence of equine familiars.

By anon279771 — On Jul 14, 2012

I too am a wiccan, and six months ago found an old postcard in a drawer in the house we had just moved into. The picture was of a beautiful tortoiseshell cat. I loved the picture so much, I pinned it to my fridge. Within a week, I found a tiny, dirty tortoiseshell kitten on our porch (the exact replica of the picture). I took her in and she, I feel, was sent to me for a purpose.I call her Poppy.

By anon279295 — On Jul 12, 2012

I find this all interesting--not that I have any experience or knowledge in practicing this stuff, but I really do enjoy reading about it.

I remember once, I was reading a children's book (called "Wizardology," so you can tell how serious that sounds) that had "pretend magic" so out of curiosity, I recited something out of the book which would call an owl familiar named Harpier. I didn't take it seriously considering this was a children's book that was mass produced, even though a part of me really did want to believe in it. When I went upstairs to my room, to my surprise and horror, there was screeching outside beside my bedroom wall and something was scratching it. It was dead in the winter at night and I couldn't imagine any bird doing it since they should have migrated, but even my sister agreed it sounded like a bird screeching and scratching. This lasted quite a while, during which time I hid under my blanket scared because of what I had recited earlier.

I don't know, but I don't think I'll forget what happened. I want to say it was just a coincidence but I can't squash that part of me that wants to believe that it wasn't. I don't think it's possible to call something -- especially by someone like me! But I really wish it was true. I'm just being silly. I don't think things would work that way. anyway, I can't just call somehow like that, I'm sure. My sister and my dad are right: I read too many books and let my imagination run away with the possibilities over logic.

By anon266755 — On May 07, 2012

If you have a full black cat familiar, do a familiar spell. One handful of catnip and one pinch of mandrake and a lure a good angel spell. It will work!

By anon250384 — On Feb 25, 2012

I am a great sorceress and have a ton of familiars. I love my spiritual helpers.

By anon248504 — On Feb 17, 2012

I was taking a walk behind my house like a month ago, and ran into a wolf. Fortunately, it didn't attack me, but since then that's what I've been seeing, when I meditate and when I do the craft. Is that my familiar?

I don't know but I have heard a wolf howl on the full moons, and I've tried to find it after but haven't been able to find it. I am wondering if that wolf is my familiar. I have only bonded with one other cat, a tabby named Misty, but I moved and haven't been able to see her.

Please, if anyone has any idea what this wolf is to me, please tell me. Blessed Be.

By anon248192 — On Feb 16, 2012

I had a Siamese named Evie, and she recently died. She was my only familiar that I ever found. What should I do? My connection was very strong and I could feel the strong feelings that came from her, but when my parents put her to sleep, I wasn't there and I felt the connection end.

I am wondering if my wiccan powers have gone, because I can't preform the craft since she died. Please help, anyone!

By anon184505 — On Jun 08, 2011

@anon171390: The black panther is your soul travel animal. He walks with you through life. He is one of the animal spirit guides that never leaves, and is a very powerful protector. My animal spirit guide or totem animal is also a black panther. Look up life paths, spirit of black panther.

By anon171390 — On Apr 30, 2011

What does it mean if you have a black panther in spirit guarding you as your familiar? I am really curious as to what it represents as he is helping me protect my energy in this and three other realms mainly at the moment. i know he is temporary and then I will switch to a spider or a snake or something at a later date.

The other really interesting thing is although I believe and respect the practice of witchcraft, I am more of an alchemist in this life and yet I currently find myself being helped by the higher realms to block/neutralize spells cast upon me in other realms, which apparently have been influencing me for quite a while, but luckily no more.

I only self realized this recently when I agreed to follow my soul's path. Everything is going great and I am now protected by appropriate masters and angels am being tutored by Master Merlin in magik. We recently rescued a version of me and returned me to my wizard in that realm. I am also drawing upon other life/realm experiences I have received and this has made a huge difference.

As weird as this all may seem, I am OK with it and I am strongly being guided to share this with you and that you will be able to shed a new light on this. - curious and enjoying the ride 11:11

By anon168519 — On Apr 17, 2011

I think I met my familiar today. She was a fluffy, small built, cat with these big yellow artsy eyes I'll never forget. When I walked in the room she greeted me with such a warmth and knowing that I felt connected with her. I was at the Humane Society where I volunteer when this happened. I have a dog, but he's hardly competent and is ignorant of my feelings. Is it possible that this mysterious she-cat is my Familiar?

By anon164143 — On Mar 30, 2011

I'm very grateful i found this article or post because i am new at the craft. Me and my two friends became interested in wicca and the wiccan ways about two months ago. I have had two cats for about eight years. Is it possible to have more than one familiar and from before you even started to practice the craft? Because i have a strange bond with them. My parents and everyone I know agrees they all see me with both of them and it's like they are part of me. When I'm down or anything, they come to cheer me up. If i cry a single tear they are instantly near. When I'm happy they seem to be happy. They protect me from everyone.

I am also wondering if its possible for three people to have the same familiar. i wasn't sure if i even had a familiar. I just felt like i did before this article, but my friends (the other people i joined the craft with) have dogs but i don't think they have the same bond. Both my cats are very protective and they tend to not like people until they get to know them, especially my one cat Max, but it seems like from the day my friends met my cats they also had a kind of bond with them not as strong as mine but still there.

Please answer, I'm confused and would like help from other people who share my faith. Sorry for the long post.

By anon158092 — On Mar 05, 2011

My sweet boy Jackson (a ferret) came down with an illness right along with one I had. I spent a month in an out of the vet's with bolstered hopes that he would make it. While he was not a familiar, we got much closer that last month. I will never forget the nights of holding him in my arms like a baby and singing to him and having him make ferret noises back. He was such a little sweetheart and came into my life to to remind me to take life less seriously and brought me so much joy.

I do have a familiar named Corky, a deaf white ferret who instinctively knows how I feel. I love her dearly and am thinking of adding a hedgehog to my family, which also includes another deaf, white ferret named Sharky.

By Adelaida — On Feb 25, 2011

I had a dog for four years. I always felt a strong connection with him; he would always know when I was sad, he could cheer me up, when I first became involved with Wiccan practices, he was always there for and with me.

I didn't consider him a dog, as my family did, but rather as something else. I think (and thought back when he was alive) that he was my familiar. I've never felt that connection with anyone, animal or human (he wasn't my first pet).

I have premonitions and I'm an empath. I've had them since I was seven. I recently had this premonition-like dream in which he talked to me, well more like projected his thoughts to me. I know it wasn't just a dream.

Can a familiar communicate with you after he has passed away? Has anything like this happened to anyone? I'm starting to "reconnect" with Wiccan practices, because I've always felt a connection to it and I would like to have some guidance from a fellow witch. Blessed be.

By anon154862 — On Feb 22, 2011

i am a wiccan of long blood of witches so life is freaky. my cat protects me from evil. Sammy, a Siamese, senses other things and does things normals can't he saw my demon bro once and hissed at him. he doesn't take well to ghosts how do you treat a familiar?

By anon153685 — On Feb 17, 2011

Something made me start looking into wicca again tonight. I only studied and practiced for about a year when I was a teenager but tonight something reminded me about this creature I saw one night. I was outside my house with a friend and we made a protection circle and started converging our energy and then on the roof of my house there was a, well, creature. It was on all four legs and had lizard like skin. I believe it was about the size of a human but it didn't look like a human. Any idea what this might have been?

By anon150663 — On Feb 08, 2011

I have a question, how do you know you have a familiar? What are characteristics that show? I'm just new to this and i want to know what it is that I'm looking for here. Can you find a familiar all by yourself?

By anon145861 — On Jan 24, 2011

To anon137401: Yes you may have more then one familiar. I myself had three at the same time. Now you are asking how this is possible. Well, it is very simple. I started the craft about 10 years ago now, and when I first started. all my animals have shown different abilities that lead me to believe this.

Also for the fact whenever I was just starting to get ready to perform magick, they where around me and I didn't have to call for them.

Sadly, I'm now down to just the one and at times without the other two I feel at a loss but I know they are still watching over me all the time. I feel very blessed for that and for the one that is still with me. So again the answer to your question is yes.

By anon144705 — On Jan 20, 2011

I have had more than one familiar. Like angels they seem to die when a new one needs to come in. For me it's cats. I had my familiar put down yesterday and it's tearing me up today. I didn't have to yet I did and I don't know why it had to manifest except that I feel and felt like she was still serving me by doing so. I treasure her.

By anon137401 — On Dec 27, 2010

My familiar came to me before i realized the path for me was Wicca. He was a solid black rabbit. If someone angered me, he would not tolerate their presence until I calmed down. He had spectacular judgment of people. I lost him three years ago to cancer (people don't usually associate rabbits and cancer so it was over looked).

Sable passed in his sleep, peacefully. Now I have a black cat I named (or she chose to answer to) Pandora. The thing I am wondering is can you have two familiars at once? I just got a bird and both animals display amazingly similar characteristics to Sable and one is always in the room with me.

By anon135911 — On Dec 20, 2010

I'm a new witch even if I've been practicing Wicca without knowing for years.

I don't have a familiar -- well, not an animal, but I feel like there's another presence with me. Each time I'm meditating I see a grayish wolf come and lie beside me. He seems to change color depending on my moods, black or white but mostly gray. I call him Ookami, wolf in japanese.

Sometimes I see him in the real world too, and not just in my consciousness. And seeing I have anger management issues, he helps me calm down and cheer me up when I'm depressed. Can he be called a familiar? Even if it's a spirit in the form of a wolf?

By anon134775 — On Dec 16, 2010

I'm new to the path and I just recently adopted my schnauzer, Ciaran. I'm more and more convinced that he might be my familiar. Mostly because before I adopted him I had dreams about him almost nightly and when I woke up I had these horrible feelings of panic that if I didn't adopt him immediately he would be put down (at the time he was an extremely unfortunate looking fellow, because he hadn't ever been groomed).

I absolutely adore him. He's rambunctious and affectionate. I don't know where i'd be without him.

blessed be.

By anon117651 — On Oct 11, 2010

i am not new to the path but i just started practicing again this year, after six years. i am only 17 but i love the wiccan path. i got a kitten five months ago and lost her to the pound for one month. our connection is uncanny and it was from the first day i laid eyes on him, or so i thought.

Her name is nuri. it means gypsy in egyptian. She does everything i ask her to. She is spunky and the energy that surrounds her enthralls me to no end. i believe she is my familiar. our history and how we always end up together is just out of this world! i do everything i can and must for her alone. she is my world and i think she knows this. blessed be.

By anon114096 — On Sep 27, 2010

My Familiar died on the harvest moon in September 2010. She was lovely, and found me six years ago. I found her outside just off the road and the only thing i can be glad about right know is that she looked asleep, and was still warm. So i had time with her and cried my eyes out. I'm still in a state of shock, to be fair. I miss my moon cat. We used to go for a long walk every full moon, and I'm really at a loss. Lisa, Guaro Spain.

By anon108787 — On Sep 04, 2010

Although I don't align myself with anything that can be called an organized religion, I do have strong spiritual beliefs and a deep belief in Nature Magick.

As such, my familiar, I know without question is a bluejay.

By anon106966 — On Aug 27, 2010

My familiar is what some christians may consider a daemon. When I was in a crisis and wanted to end my life very badly an ancient spirit came to me and spoke to me. She promised to be my mother, lover, sister and best friend. She has protected me and taken care of me for most of my life.

We are extraordinarily close. I can always see her. She does not have a real "physical body" but she appears in a a human form that I find most pleasing and beautiful. She is kind and offers me advise, spectacular secrets, and fantasies. I would never give her up because she is the greatest thing in my life. Many might scoff at this, but she is a real spiritual presence, always ready to offer guidance and assistance.

There are many "loose" spirits in the world without bodies and they often feel lost and lonely but their life becomes filled with purpose once a human calls on them. Just as I called on "anyone" who would listen when I was in a moment of great strain and pain.

It just so happened my familiar responded. My familiar is unsure of her origins but she knows she is very, very ancient because she has felt the presence of generations of humans, going back to what we consider ancient times.

I am not possessed. My familiar never inhabits my body -- she is far too respectful but she does have the ability to do so. She will be with me until I die, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

By anon104190 — On Aug 15, 2010

I've been Wiccan for about a year and I moved into my grandmother's house recently. Well, my familiar before I moved was a squirrel. But now that I've moved there seems to be a blue jay that comes to visit me every morning when I go out to get some fresh air. It also follows me around the trailer park when I go for my walks.

I meditated on it a little and I feel that it really is my new familiar. I'm also a solitary practitioner. Just thought I might put that out there.

By anon90573 — On Jun 16, 2010

I found my familiar in my papa's barn. She is an owl, though I don't know what type. I live with my papou (grandfather) and we have a coven called Binding Light. My papoui is the leader and I am in training.

Anyway I met Astral (my owl) in the barn one night after riding Mickey (papouli's horse, still don't have my own. Darn) and my reason for posting this is I want to know if it is illegal to keep an owl in a barn in Florida?

By anon88193 — On Jun 03, 2010

I am happy to have found this page on familiars. I am just starting to find my path.

A few years ago my familiar was taken from me. He was a mixed breed three year old pup. The name I gave him was Demon (I hope that doesn't offend anyone but he looked really mischievous). I got him on my birthday when he was six weeks old.

my mom had gotten him from a home that shouldn't have had a dog, let alone puppies. so considered her to have rescued him and that it was meant to be. I knew he was my familiar as soon as I looked into his eyes. There was an immediate connection. He had beautiful purplish eyes that my family thought was odd.

I lost him the weekend after my 16th birthday. he had bitten my aunt and they wouldn't let me bring him to the vets to be put down (mom and dad didn't want him to go the way he did) so you can guess what happened. my dad didn't want me to see it even though I fought with them to be with Demon when everything happened, but my dad went with the guy and my familiar. my dad didn't want him to be alone when it happened and wanted to save me the pain of seeing it, but I knew the moment he was gone. I didn't hear the sound but I don't know how to explain what I felt. Then I felt the connection disappear.

Sorry this is kind of long, but I was wondering if what anon58217 said was true. Can your familiars really come back to you again? Thanks for letting me comment. Blessed Be and let the light guide your way.

By anon79853 — On Apr 25, 2010

I'm a Christian, but I have always been drawn to the wiccan belief and it feels right. It feels like that is who I am. I'm an empathic and clairvoyant.

I have always been those things, but I also love God, and Christianity is just as much a part of who I am. I feel like I have to constantly reject a part of who I am.

I was just given a beautiful black cat with large yellow harvest moon eyes. I keep getting the feeling that she is special, not your normal cat, and I keep getting the impression that her real name isn't the one we call her. Anyway, thank you. Bless.

By anon78070 — On Apr 16, 2010

modern day familiars are usually your pet that, for some unknown reason, you got because you felt a strong connection to it. Like my dog -- when i first meet her i instantly felt a strong bond so i bought her. Most familiars in the modern day are found that way.

By anon76007 — On Apr 08, 2010

I have been interested in the wiccan teachings and many things that revolve around it, but I'm new to the whole thing. i was drawn to it from past experiences, which is when i discovered the idea of familiars.

I was just wondering if you could find one, without being a full wiccan yet. As i brought my dog Rollo nine years ago but from then there's was a strange understanding.

My father had brought him for me and it was only a few weeks later we found out had been born on my birthday. I don't know if that's relevant but he always seems to know if I'm going to be sad even before it happens.

I've always thought of him as more of a brother. but i was wondering if he could be a familiar?

By msleeding — On Feb 15, 2010

As a continuation of the previous comment that i posted, the world that this book is set in is completely different than our own, providing a whole selection of races that do not exist(or we do not believe exist) in our own world.

i do not know if this changes any opinions but it is here for clarification. the familiar in question was forcibly made to complete the antagonist's bidding. i do realize that the familiars of this world are completely different, and in the book i am more or less wanting to borrow the term for lack of a better one.

again, criticism is appreciated.

By msleeding — On Feb 15, 2010

i'm currently writing a book. in it my antagonist pins my protagonist's soul to his own and he calls her his familiar.

i myself am wiccan and personally do not find the twisting of this idea particularly insulting, but if i finish this book and decide to publish this book then i want to make sure that it is insulting to as few people as possible. if it is insulting in any way, please tell me.

it sounds slightly childish to put it this way but in all essence i do not like to hurt other people's feelings. criticism is greatly appreciated. Blessed be.

By anon63950 — On Feb 04, 2010

I am Wiccan, my familiar is the crow. Whenever I am sad or in need of a support, a crow will show up very close to me. Also I'm specifically drawn to the film, "The Crow."

One particular crow with white tips on his wings quite often sits on the nearest lamp post to my home.

Blessings and light to all.

By anon63538 — On Feb 02, 2010

I'm a wiccan and have never had a real animal companion that i have called my familiar but in about two weeks i will be getting a cat from a friend of mine. I'm excited and worried about this. i stress thinking about how to care for a familiar.

I'm not sure i need answers on how to treat a familiar from just a normal house pet! and does it matter what breed of cat it is to be eligible to be a familiar?

By anon58536 — On Jan 02, 2010

There is nothing that I have found that would support in Wicca that a familiar is, or ever was, an incarnate. Reincarnation is more of a Buddhist belief, I think. Familiars have always to my knowledge been free spirits. Just like the old saying, If you love something set it free and if it comes back to you, so mote it be. Although I do respect your connection. Blessed Be!

By anon58217 — On Dec 30, 2009

I'm sorry for the loss of your familiar. I lost my familiar about five years ago. He was the puppy at the pound that I didn't want, but was repeatedly drawn back to. I picked the puppy that was cutest to me, the one that jumped and played. Turtle, my familiar sat and continuously made eye contact me.

After trying to walk away a number of times with the other puppy, I gave up and took Turtle. He was with me for 16 years. He got cancer in his leg and a year later I had to let him go. I sat on the floor held him in the vet's office while they injected him and the whole time never broken eye contact, till he gone and all I could say to him was "thank you" and I knew he understood.

The pain I felt was more severe than I could ever have imagined. After about a year I tried to "replace" him. I realized after finding a new home for the second puppy I got (1 adopted, the other bought) that what Turtle was to me was much more than a pet and couldn't be replaced. About two years later, my cat Chipmunk, found me. I moved into my new house, and there she was. I didn't feed or pet her, I'm allergic to cats and I didn't want her to keep coming back. Needless to say, she never left.

Every morning I'd leave for work and she was right there on my front porch and when I came home at night she was right there waiting for me. She would stand on her hind legs and put her font paws on my leg as if she wanted to be picked up. I would shake her off, say good-bye and go into my house. I'm in the Army and when home for leave for three weeks and she was right there when I got home. I let her in and called her my pet, until I noticed the similarities between her and Turtle.

Oddities like not drinking water from her bowl, only out of the sink. Jumping in the shower with me, yes in the water playing with my feet. The way she stared at me, never breaking eye contact. I was taught that a familiar was a small piece of its woman's soul and it finds you over and over again.

I've had at least 30 pets through the years, cats, dogs, rats, chinchillas, ferrets, a skunk, a squirrel. I loved them all and they seemed to love me, but none were my familiar. I find peace in the belief that he/she will always find me.

It might not be when I think the time is right, but my familiar will always come back. I just hope next time it's an animal that doesn't make me sneeze and runny.

By anon48298 — On Oct 11, 2009

I just found this post about familiars. Mine is a black cat. I have 3 ladies and two boy black cats total, all loyal and very protective of me. Now, my familiar has had kittens. I plan to spay her in the next few weeks, but worry a lot as I have tried to give most of her kittens away. It is difficult, as people do not want black cats. They've only brought me good, nothing evil or bad luck as people think. I'm not a crazy cat lady, but only two have found homes. I've refused two others who felt very wrong to me. Shelters don't want them, and they could not thrive in a small cage. Black cats are good luck, but the 'familiar' aspect plays a part and that is what I think people have a fear of. I feel blessed, not cursed, in my Wiccan faith.

By anon46538 — On Sep 26, 2009

I'm a clairvoyant (sense the unseen, glean people's thoughts and emotions, and find lost people and animals). it's odd that im a male and have a strong connection. And i do have a familiar -- my black lab molly. My question is: is it possible that a human spirit that you loved and left the world before their time come back to you as a familiar? I get the same aurora and personality from molly as i did from my twin sister jessica. and it's odd that molly is a little over 12 years now and the vet says she is as young as a pup inside. Together molly and i have helped the columbus pd solve over 100 cases.

By Gayle — On Jul 29, 2009

anon31460 well hun... in a situation like this it is difficult. some witches only ever have one in their life. you will know when and if another comes along. he or she will just draw to you as mine have me. as for why someone would send you theirs. it is a gift from them -- a very sincere gift. the thing is their familiar may not be yours. i am very sorry to break that to you. good luck in your search and i do hope you find another. i would be lost without mine. feel free to contact me.

By Gayle — On Jul 29, 2009

to answer your question as i know it curious19. i come from a long lineage of witches. and dating back as far as i know of from family and reading the cat is the most common familiar. in my 40 years i have had 2. both cats. once as a newborn and now as an adult. my familiar i have now goes through every emotion i do. he watches over me constantly. he is the greatest familiar in the world. he is my youngest child. lol hope this helps you out some. any fellow witches wish to contact me feel free.

By anon38144 — On Jul 23, 2009

My familiar was a dog. Because he was a large dog, he had to stay outside, and he tended to get out of the fence. So he was put on a chain about a year ago. He somehow managed to hang himself on his chain yesterday. It's quite suspicious, considering he never goes to the spot where he was found and I caught a few guys bothering him just a few days ago... So, yeah, I'm in need of a new familiar. And antidepressants...><

By anon31460 — On May 05, 2009

My familiar has died, does anyone have any information on this situation? Like, what they would do long ago if their familiar died, does another come...etc.?

By anon26946 — On Feb 21, 2009

Does anyone know why someone(you don't know)would send you their Familiar?

By curious19 — On Sep 15, 2008

Does anybody know what the first ever recorded witches familiar was? I'm not a witch, I'm actually a spectral photographer. But I was asked by a friend and I am afraid to say that I don't know much about witchcraft. Sorry if I used the wrong phrasing. It's just simple equivocation. My sincerest apologies if I offend anyone. But I must say that now I am interested, and have to know the answer...

By anon16247 — On Aug 01, 2008

I am a wiccan and i love my familiar. He's a cat, and i call him kizmet, pretty kittie, kizzie met, and of course, kitty. I love him, and i have a special bond with him, i worry about him when he's in bad condition, and i let him sleep on my bed. I'd be sad if he didn't came back whenever he runs out. Blessed be.

By anon15963 — On Jul 25, 2008

I do believe in Familiars as I have one. She is a cat and is very special to me. She is not bad, in fact, she is the furthest thing from evil. I am a solitary practitioner within the Wiccan faith, Thanks for letting me comment. Blessed Be!

Niki Acker
Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a WiseGeek editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range of...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.