Symbolic Cat Meanings
for Tattoo Ideas

meaningful cat tattoo ideas

Cat Tattoo Ideas

There are plenty of reasons to consider cat tattoo ideas for your next ink adventure; just take a look at the long list of symbolic keywords at the end of this page, and you can see the cat has tons to offer in the way of meaning.

Whether you are seeking cat tattoo ideas in the form of honoring the passing of a beloved pet, or paying homage to ancient goddesses who claimed the cat as their companion in myth - to be sure, the cat is an awesome subject for your next tattoo.

I have several friends with cat tattoos. Most of them tell me the reason for their cat-inspired ink is to memorialize the passing of a dear feline friend. Those who aren't commemorating their pet, tell me they got their cat tattoo as a symbol of protection. They understood the ways of ancient mythological gods/goddesses and drew upon the protective qualities of the cat as a means to bolster their own confidence.

Some keywords to consider when contemplating your cat tattoo ideas...

Symbolic Cat Meanings

  • Magic
  • Grace
  • Beauty
  • Apathy
  • Royalty
  • Mystery
  • Psychism
  • Shadows
  • Adoration
  • Stealthy
  • Aloofness
  • Solitude
  • Renewal
  • Freedom
  • Vitality
  • Transition
  • Lucky
  • Cleverness
  • Intelligence
  • Playfulness
  • Incarnation
  • Authority
  • Protection
  • Hidden power
  • Independence
  • Shapeshifting
  • Secretiveness
  • Companionship
  • Watchfulness
  • Transformation
  • Feminine/Goddess Energy
  • Wandering spirit

We can make sense of some of these symbolic attributes by investigating the various cultural/mythological deities associated with cats. Many of these deities are goddesses and have feminine/lunar qualities which carry themes of: Fertility, Nurturing, Emotion and Intuition to name a few.

Cat Tattoo Meanings

Here are some deities associated with cats to round out your research into cat tattoo ideas...

Goddesses Associated with Cats

  • Artemis (Greek): Lunar goddess associated with hunting, fertility and protector of the sacredness of Nature.

  • Diana (Roman): Also a moon goddess who help all wildlife and Nature as sacred. Governed the sacred act of the hunt.

  • Hecate (Greek): Goddess guardian of the sacred feminine, holder of magic knowledge, cycles, transition, shapeshifting

  • Bast (Egyptian): Solar goddess, fiercely protective of children and matron of childbirth, magic, ritual and sacred feminine

  • Freyja (Norse): Goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, childbirth and good taste. Cats pulled her chariot.

To the ancient Celtic way of thinking cats were considered the guardians of the Otherworld (or Underworld, depending which texts you read from various regions). Stoic, silent and mysterious, it's clear why cats make outstanding Otherworld guardians. They keep the secrets of the Otherworld eternally to themselves, as the gaze with guile upon a world that does not see or understand the depth of their knowledge. Astute, crafty and clever, cats were considered residents of Celtic mystic realms too. When invoked, cat energy can grant the caller a variety of insights regarding esoteric, ethereal knowledge. These powerful meanings in Celtic lore often play an important role in selecting cats for tattoos.

I like the theme of shape-shifting when discussing cat tattoos. In Japan, folk tales describe cats having the ability to walk between worlds. Other Japanese legends tell of cats joining forces with women to shift their behavior and demeanor. This tale seeks to explain woman's unpredictable, sometimes secretive nature.

Western European folklore also keeps record of cats aiding women in feats of shape-shifting. Early writings about witchcraft report cats always drawing close to women practicing witchcraft - they were called "familiars." The term refers to the ability to move as a cat does in otherworldly ways... shape-shifting or casting out magic by secret means - just as a cat often moves about in sleek, stealthy ways.

I hope this article on cat tattoo ideas has given you a place to start in your ruminations and research for your next ink endeavor. Be sure to include big cats, like tigers and lions in your tattoo research too. Thanks for reading, and happy tattooing!

More information for your research into tattoo ideas, see below for related links.

An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings

Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.

This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."

Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)

As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!


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Celtic Symbols
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Tattoo Meanings

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