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Why is the cat not among the 12 Chinese signs?
But why is the cat not among the 12 Chinese signs? There are many folk stories about it. In the tale of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac, the cat is fooled by the rat, vowing fierce hatred since that date.
The practical reason is that there was no cat in ancient China. The cats came from ancient Egypt, and the Chinese zodiac existed before they were imported to China.
In addition, tigers and cats are part of the same biological family, therefore a good feline in the Chinese zodiac. All of this helps to show that the choice of animals was not arbitrary.

The Chinese zodiac animals have close ties to the daily life and social life of the Chinese people. We can distinguish 3 categories of animals.

The first category is that of the six domestic animals, the ox, the goat, the horse, the pig, the dog and the rooster. These 6 animals, known as liuchu in Chinese, are an essential concept in Chinese agricultural culture. Traditionally it is thought that these animals are particularly prosperous (liu chu xing wang), promise of large families and auspicious. For this reason, people living in rural areas wish themselves Liu Chu Xing Wang during the Chinese New Year.

The second category of Chinese zodiac symbols is that of wild animals, tiger, rabbit, monkey, rat and snake.

The third and last category is, in a way, the mascot of the Chinese tradition and it represents a class in itself, it is the dragon. The dragon is the symbol of the quintessence of the Chinese nation, representing wealth and auspiciousness.
Finally, we can note that although Vietnam has adopted the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, their version is a little different from the cat and replaces the Rabbit. One explanation would be that the "rabbit" in the pronunciation of Chinese threads sounds like "cat" in Vietnamese and that it would therefore be an error.