Whether you’re a true “cat person” or simply someone who appreciates the internet’s obsession with cats, one thing is for certain – cats are everywhere! And with so many cats on the internet these days, it seems like there are countless terms and phrases that have emerged to describe them. From cat slang words to funny cat behaviors, this dictionary of cat terms will help you better understand the world of cats online. So whether you’re looking for an answer to your feline-related questions or just want some lighthearted entertainment, dive into this dictionary and start exploring all things cats!
Dictionary of Cat Slang Terms
Airplane Ears – When a cat flattens their back so the ears looks like an airplane about to take off.
Alley Cat – A stray or homeless cat that typically lives outdoors in an urban area
Ameowzing – A play on the popular phrase “amazing,” this term refers to cats that are doing normal things like lounging, playing, and relaxing – but look amazing in the way they do it.
Belly rub – The (dangerous) act of rubbing a cat’s belly, often done as a way to show affection. It is important to be careful when doing this, as some cats do not enjoy having their bellies touched.
Blep – When a cat’s tongue hangs out of their mouth unintentionally; often used in reference to cats who look silly or cute
Boop – The act of lightly tapping a cat’s nose with your finger.
Boss cat – The head cat of a group or colony; typically the oldest or most experienced cat. Alternatively, for indoor cats, a boss cat is the supreme commander of the household.
Cameowflage – A cat that blends in with its background. It’s a play on the word “camouflage.”
Cat Bomb – When a cat unexpectedly jumps on top of you
Cat Butt – The rear-end of a cat
Cat Café – A type of café where customers can drink coffee and tea while interacting with cats that live on the premises. The idea originated in Japan.
Catio – An enclosed outdoor area created for cats to play and explore safely away from busy streets or other dangers. Derived from the English words “cat” and “patio,” when we combine the two words, it’s “Catio!”
“Cat lady” – A woman who loves cats, often to the point of obsession. She may live alone with many cats, or simply have a large number of cats as pets. She is often single and without human children.
“Crazy cat lady” – A more extreme version of a “cat lady.” This term is often used to describe an older woman who lives alone with many cats and may be considered eccentric or even mad. The term is typically used in a negative or derogatory way.
Cat nap – A short nap taken by a cat (or human) during the day.
Cat man – A man who loves cats, often to the point of obsession. He is usually single and childless, and therefore is a magnet for cat ladies.
Catmas – The cat version of Christmas
Cat meme – A cat meme is a type of online content that features humorous images or videos of cats. These memes often feature witty captions or text, and are typically shared for entertainment purposes. While cat memes are relatively new, they have quickly become some of the most popular and widely-shared types of internet content. There are many different types of cat memes, including LOLcats, Grumpy Cat, and Nyan Cat. Despite their popularity online, cat memes are often met with criticism from animal rights activists, who argue that they objectify and demean cats. However, many cat lovers argue that cat memes are a fun and light-hearted way to enjoy these animals. Whether you love or hate cat memes, they continue to be a fixture of the internet.
Cat nap – The time of day when cats like to take naps or rest and relax
Catnip – A herb that cats love to sniff and roll around in. It is non-narcotic and non-addictive. About 50% of cats are affected by catnip and it usually makes cats happy, content and rambunctious. After having catnip, many cats will take part in a cat nap.
Catnip mouse – A catnip mouse is a small toy, shaped like a mouse that cats are known to enjoy playing with. This toy typically contains catnip, which produces an intoxicating effect on cats and encourages them to play with it.
Caturday – A term used to refer to spending your Saturday like a cat. Caturday is a time for fun and relaxation.
Cats & cucumbers – An internet meme depicting cats reacting in fear to cucumbers. Some speculate that cats are startled by cucumbers because they look like snakes. It’s mean to startle your cat with a cucumber or anything.
Cat-sitter – Someone who watches cats while their owner is away. Sometimes cat sitters are cat ladies who can’t have cats of their own and look for ways to spend time with other people’s cats.
Cats sitting in circles – An internet meme depicting cats sitting in a circle that is drawn with tape on the ground with usually one cat sitting in the center. It’s thought that cats like to sit in circles because it reminds them of being in a box.
Cattitude – The confidence and sass that cats are known for, characterized by independence and calmness – sometimes bordering on being arrogant or rude.
Cat tree – A type of scratching post that also includes additional features like climbing platforms and perches; often tall and multi-leveled.
Community cats – Cats that live outdoors in colonies. Many of these cats have been abandoned by their owners or were born in the wild, and they typically live in groups. Community cats typically suffer from poor health and lack of access to veterinary care. These cats also have a high risk of being killed by cars or other animals.
Community cat caretaker – An ameowzing person who cares for the feeding and daily care of community cat colonies. See also “Saint.”
Copycat – A person who imitates someone else’s behavior or ideas.
Crab walk – When a cat, in a high-energy mood, skips on all four paws with an arched back. The movement is reminiscent of how a crab walks.
Creeper – When your cat hides behind a corner or other object and quietly observes you.
Cute-Off – When cats compete to see who is cuter; typically performed for human observers.
Derp – A silly, stupid, or foolish person; often used online in reference to cats who make silly faces or do silly things. Sometimes involves a “blep.” See blep.
Ear floof – The soft, fluffy fur on the inside of a cat’s ears. Some cats have more ear floof than others that can look like a “fountain” of ear floof.
Empty Bowl Syndrome – When your cat’s bowl has food in it, but only on the perimeter of the bowl. The cat then looks at the owner and declares that the bowl is, in fact, empty.
Feline – Another word for “cat.”
Feline Frog Legs or Froggy Legs – The term used to describe when a cat lays flat on its stomach with back legs outstretched, looking like a frog.
Feline good – This is a play on the phrase “Feeling good.” It’s a way to say that you’re happy and content. For cat lovers, this phrase is often used in reference to cats and their adorable antics.
Floof or Floofy – A cat with an excessive amount of fur, usually associated with long-haired cats.
Fur baby – A term used to refer affectionately to one’s cats or other pets. This term is often used by pet owners as a way to express the intense bond they feel with their animals.
Grumpy Cat – A particularly grumpy-looking cat that became popular online; often used as an unofficial mascot for negative or pessimistic attitudes.
Hairball – A ball of hair that cats sometimes cough up after grooming themselves.
Head butt – An affectionate gesture cats often do to show love or appreciation. It involves gently butting their heads against your hand, usually accompanied by purring.
Hemingway Cats – Cats that have more than the standard five toes are called polydactyl cats. Ernest Hemingway is said to have a colony of polydactyl cats at his home, which is where the term originated. See also “Polydactyl cats.”
Hooman – A person who takes care of a cat; also known as a human.
House cats – Cats that live indoors; often considered to be less adventurous than stray cats.
I Can Has Cheezburger? – A popular catchphrase often seen on LOLcat memes that is derived from a typo of the phrase, “Can I have a cheeseburger?” used by cats online. Whether cats are actually saying this when looking at pictures of cheeseburgers is a hotly debated topic amongst cat lovers!
“If I fits i sits” – This is a popular meme that cats are known for. It refers to the fact that cats will often try to fit into small spaces, like tiny boxes, even if they don’t quite fit.
Keyboard Cat – A popular internet meme of a cat playing the keyboard in a comedic way.
Kitteh – The popular nickname for cats, often used by cat owners and other feline enthusiasts. It is typically used as a term of endearment.
Kitty – An affectionate term for a cat, especially a young one.
Kitten Fever – A phenomenon where people become excessively obsessed with kittens, often to the point of wanting to adopt another kitten (see “crazy cat lady”). The human equivalent would be “baby fever.”
Kitty Cantina – The Kitty Cantina is a bar for cats. It’s a great place to relax with your feline friends and enjoy some cat-themed drinks. Note, cats do not partake in drinking, unless it’s water.
Kitty Chorus – The name given to any group of cats that meow together.
Kitty Customs – Describes the common cat behavior when a cat inspects anything new that their human brings into the house. The item must pass “kitty customs” and get approval from the cat.
Kitty Loaf – Describes the cat behavior when a cat is laying down with all four paws tucked underneath their body and the cat looks like a loaf of bread.
Kitty Litter – A type of absorbent material used to line litter boxes; typically made of clay, wood, or paper.
Kitty Litter Selfie – A kitty litter selfie is an image of someone posing next to their cat while they are using the cat’s litter box. This term often refers to humorous images where the person looks awkward or uncomfortable while doing so. The popularity of this term stems from the fact that many people feel that taking a picture of oneself while using the toilet is a taboo act.
Kitty Play Date – When two cats get together to play and socialize with each other.
Lap Cat – A calm, relaxed cat that enjoys being petted and will happily sit in your lap for hours; often used in contrast with cats that prefer not to be held or handled.
Litter Box – The container where cats go to the bathroom. It is filled with sand or another absorbent material which absorbs the urine and feces.
Litter Box Blues – The litter box blues are when a cat is sad because their litter box is dirty.
Littermate – A kitten that is born in the same litter as another kitten.
LOLCats – Internet pop culture icon. Cats with humorous captions attached; often shared online as memes.
Making Biscuits – When a cat kneads its paws on your lap, blanket or another surface in a slow, rhythmic motion. It is often done when they are content and purring. The action of kneading looks like the cat is kneading dough.
Maneki Neko – A popular Japanese figure of a beckoning cat; often seen as a lucky charm in Japan.
Meow Machine – Another name for vocal cats, as they are known to meow frequently.
Maru – A Japanese cat famous for his love of boxes; has starred in numerous YouTube videos.
Meowdel – A play on the word “model” in which a cat is dressed up in human clothing and posed in various settings.
Meowlloween – The cat version of Halloween. Many cat parents dress their cats up in a meowlloween costume for precisely 3 seconds when the cat, unamused, removes the costume in disgust of their hooman.
“Meow-mail” – A term that refers to the practice of cats sending messages to their humans using meows and other cat vocalizations. Many cats are quite skilled at communicating with their humans in this way, using their unique language of meows and chirrups to get what they want or simply to engage in some good old “cat talk.”
Meow Mixer – A gathering of like-minded cat people in a social setting.
Meowmy – An affectionate term for a woman who owns cats and thinks of herself as their mom. She will often refer to herself as “Meowmy” and celebrate “Meowther’s Day.”
Mew – An expression used by one cat to greet other cats or cats in general, often with a high-pitched voice.
Mouser – A cat that catches and kills mice; often used in reference to cats who live in barns or other places where there are lots of mice.
Nine lives – The belief that cats have nine lives because they often survive falls and other accidents that would kill other animals.
Ninja cat – A cat that is unusually stealthy or skilled at hiding; cats with this trait are often used in memes.
Nose boop – The act of gently touching a cat’s nose with your finger. It is often done as a way to show affection and express love for cats.
“Nyan cat” – An internet phenomenon from 2011, Nyan cat is a cartoon character made up of a cat body with a Pop-Tart for a torso that flies through space, leaving a rainbow trail behind it. This meme quickly became popular on social media sites like Tumblr and Pinterest, where it is still frequently shared today.
Planking cat – A cat that lies flat on its stomach with its limbs outstretched, similar to the human plank exercise.
Pawdicure – The act of trimming a cat’s nails, usually for aesthetic purposes. Sometimes referred to as a “meownicure.”
Pawfficer – A police officer who works with cats, usually in a shelter or rescue organization.
Purrever – A play on the word “forever,” typically used by cat owners to express their love and devotion for cats.
Pawty – A pawty is a type of party or celebration specifically for cats. It may involve cat-themed decorations, games, boxes and treats for cats.
Poly or Polydactyl – Some cats are born with more than the normal number of toes, leading to cats with five or even seven toe beans per paw. See also “Hemingway Cats”
Purr-fect – Something that is exceptionally good or perfect, especially in regards to cats.
Purrfection – This term is often used online by cat lovers to describe cats that are particularly adorable or perfect in some way
Rescue cat – A cat that has been abandoned or orphaned and taken into a shelter or rescue organization.
Roly Poly Kitty – Another name for cats that describes their round, pudgy bodies
Sleeping cats – An internet meme depicting cats sleeping in various positions, usually with their eyes closed and paws tucked under their bodies.
Scratching post – A piece of furniture specifically designed for cats to scratch; commonly made of sisal rope or carpet. Cats like to scratch on scratching posts to stretch, mark their territory with invisible scent glands, and keep their claws sharp.
Snuggle Bug – A term used by some people to describe cats that enjoy being cuddled or petted.
Taco Cat – A popular cat-themed palindrome where the word is spelled the same when read forwards and backwards: TACOCAT
Teefies – A close-up photo of a cat’s teeth, often used to show how tiny and cute they are.
Toe beans – A cat’s soft paw pads and toes that cat owners liken to jelly beans.
Tongue Out Tuesday – A social media trend where people post pictures or videos of cats with their tongues out on Tuesdays; often used for comedic purposes.
Tuxedo Cat – A black and white cat; typically refers to cats with a black body and white paws, chest, and belly
Whisker Fatigue – The theory that cats do not like to eat out of dishes with sides because their sensitive whiskers are irritated by touching the side of a dish or glass.
Whisker Wednesday – A social media trend where people post pictures or videos of cats every Wednesday; typically used to showcase the cats’ beauty
Wizard Cat – Cats that are especially intelligent, agile, and mischievous. See also “Ninja Cat”
“With bells on” – This expression comes from the common practice of tying small bells to cat’s collar so their owners could hear them coming in the dark.
Yowling – A loud, high-pitched meowing sound cats make when they are upset or annoyed. Often used to describe cats making this noise when mating or in heat.
Zoomies – When cats run around wildly for no apparent reason; often compared to humans having a “sugar rush.”