Do Haitians eat cats (the shocking truth)

Do Haitians eat cats? This is one of the top 10 questions asked of Haitians in elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and even in professional settings.

Unfortunately, many Haitians feel uncomfortable answering this question. I, on the order hand, don't have this problem. This is why I'm going to spill the beans and let you in on our little secret.

Do they eat cats in Haiti?

Do they eat cats in Haiti?
Don't be scared, kitty, we are not going to eat you.
Eating cat meat is not a daily activity or a nationwide practice in Haiti. However, some Haitians do eat cats on December 24th in a national festivity called "Reveyon" which is a big Christmas party.

Knowing what Christmas represents in your country, I know you now have many questions. I am going to answer some of them here for you now.

Why do Haitians eat cats?

Contrary to popular beliefs, Haitians don't eat cats because they are poor and hungry. They eat cats because it's a tradition.

Let me explain.

The practice of eating cats is just as old as Haiti itself.

For instance, runaway slaves hunted, killed, and ate wild cats deep in Haiti's forest and treacherous mountains many years before Haiti became a nation.

Why don't Haitians eat other animals instead?

Haitians have many different sources of meat, but cat meat is a delicacy that many of us simply cannot resist


...having a Reveyon without a cat is just like celebrating Thanksgiving without a turkey. Unless you are a vegetarian, we just have to have it. 

Why? Well, because it's a tradition.

Why is it legal to eat cats in Haiti?

It is legal to eat cats' meat in Haiti for two reasons: 
  1. We have not yet humanized our cats and be sensible enough to not eat them. Maybe one day we will elevate their status like they do in North America and Europe homes. But not now.  
  2. There aren't many owners willing to lobby the government to create laws that would ban the practice. Although, many Haitians have cats they've grown attached to, eating it is just not yet a problem.

What does cat meat taste like?

What does cat meat taste like?
Meow! You know I can see and hear you, right?
Look, this is not a joke.

Cat meat actually tastes like chicken. A scientific explanation for this similarity is that because many animals evolve from a common ancestor, they often taste the same even when they smell different.

When I tried it a few years ago, that was exactly my impression. But to discover if this is true or not for you. You will have to try it yourself to make your own conclusion.

Why are there no cats in Haiti?

There are many cats in Haiti. You just don't see them. Here is why. Our relationship with our pets is different from what you would typically see in North America or European home. 

While pet owners may feel comfortable letting their pets in their home or bed in other countries. In Haiti, the dynamic of the relationship is completely different.

In Haiti, we use dogs to guard our home and cats to catch the mouse and rats in our kitchen and gardens. This is where the interaction stops for most of us.

All that kissy-feely stuff you see white people do with their pets is mostly not acceptable in Haiti.

If you see more dogs than cats in Haiti, know that it is not because we eat all the cats. It just that dogs are cherished more because of their guardianship ability.

So Haitian families don't often take a pet into their homes just because they want to. No. They will get a cat or a dog based on the family need.

Should you continue eating Haitian food?

Should you now be scared of Haitian food because you know the truth? 


Haitians would never serve you cat meat without telling you about it. It is such an eventful thing, you would know about it anyway.

Remember, this is mostly a yearly activity and not all Haitians eat cat meat. Next time someone offers you a plate of Haitian food or invites you to a Reveyon, go and enjoy.

Besides, Haitian eating cat is exclusive to Haiti. Haitians don't kill and eat cats in other countries.


Do Haitians eat cats? 


Should you try it? 

Maybe. I don't think it's for everyone because if you didn't grow up in the culture you may find it repugnant.

But you'll never know if you don't try. You may end up liking it very much.

What do you think? Would you eat cat meat?

Share with your friends and family. And leave your comment below.

Post a Comment


  1. Maybe. I don't think it's for everyone because if you didn't grow up in the culture you may find it repugnant.

    Maybe. I don't think it's for everyone because if you didn't grow up in the culture you may find it repugnant.

  2. Maybe. I don't think it's for everyone because if you didn't grow up in the culture you may find it repugnant.


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