By Robert Partridge
Last updated 2011-02-17
Cats were kept to protect food stores from rats, mice and snakes, and were kept as pets. They are shown in paintings beneath their owners' chairs, or on their laps. Egyptian cats resembled modern tabby cats. The Egyptian name for cat is 'miw'.
Cats also had a symbolic or religious meaning, as represented by the goddess Bastet, and in later periods of Egyptian history cat mummies were used as offerings to the gods.
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