How many lives do cats have?

I mean, it’s 1. We all know that. Hit a cat with your car and it’s game over. No second (or third, fourth, fifth etc etc) chances. That’s it: kicked the bucket, shuffled off this mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible.

But there’s the old saying that “cats have nine lives” because they like to live dangerously and take risks and not all of those risks involve intercepting a 2 ton motor vehicle.

Except, in some places, cats only have seven lives:

And in some places, it’s even as low(?) as six:

Interestingly, the myth that cats have multiple lives exists around the world. However, it’s not always nine lives – the number varies from culture to culture. In certain regions of Spain it is believed that cats have seven lives, for example. Meanwhile, some Turkish and Arabic legends say cats have six lives.

Although Turkey is very clearly in the 9 camp above.

I’m not sure if these differences are down to the countries in question actually being more dangerous for a cat to live, because who is keeping count anyway? And why would some of Switzerland be more risky for felines than, the rest of it? Avalanches? How is Corsica 28.6% safer than Sardinia? And what about trans-border cats? Do they average out at 8?

Nope, wherever you are in Europe – in the world, in fact – stick a cat in front of an SUV and you’ll note that the average number of lives it has is one.