Hello dear friends, thank you for choosing us. In this post on the solsarin site, we will talk about “a group of cats is called what”.
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What is a group of cats called?
You would probably never have guessed what the exact, and arguably hyper-specific, name for a group of cats is, and that’s because it sounds more like the soup du jour than it does a group of animals. The actual name for a group of cats is a clowder. We know, completely bizarre, right? Well, that’s only the beginning, because you can also refer to a group of cats as a clutter (which makes a bit more sense, we suppose) and a glaring (which we can’t even begin to guess).
Beyond that, there are two similarly unconventional names for groups of wild or feral cats, and those are dowt (or dout) and destruction. That’s right. You could happen upon a destruction of cats while walking to the market. Watch out! On a far cuter note, the term for a group of young cats is a kindle of kittens. Pretty sweet, we know.
Odd Names For Individual Cats
There are some rather specific and obscure names for individual cats, as well, and they’re just about as odd as those plural nouns. A male cat, for instance, is referred to as a tom, which you may have heard before, but a neutered male cat is known as a gib, which, if you knew that one, we’d suggest you try out for Jeopardy. Similarly, a female cat is called a molly, whether that’s what you’ve named her or not. You learn something new every day!
Etymology of Cat
If we look into the etymology of the word cat, we’ll find that it’s lineage traces back quite a long ways. This should come as no great surprise, though, because cats, themselves, have been providing mankind with companionship for millennia. The word cat comes from the Old English word catt, which originates from the Late Latin word catus, meaning “domestic cat.” There is evidence to suggest that the Latin came from the Afro-Asiatic word kaddîska, which is said to mean “wild cat.” This might stand to reason, considering that the first cat to be domesticated must once have been wild,
Do you know how the words “kindle” and “intrigue” relate to cats?
We’ve all heard of a pack of wolves and a herd of cattle, but did you know that the correct collective noun for a ‘group’ of cats is a clowder? There are also a few other linguistically valid ways to refer to a group of cats – most commonly a clutter or a glaring, but also a nuisance or doubt when referring to house cats specifically.
A group of kittens – quite distinct from cats in more than just the language we use to speak about them – are referred to as a kindle, litter, or intrigue.
The collective noun for a group of wild cats is a destruction.
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While you’d have to be very lucky – or unlucky – to ever spot a group of big cats in the wild, their collective terms are pretty interesting and in some instances, very suitable:
- Tigers: streak, ambush, hide
- Lions: pride, salut, troop, sowse
- Jaguars: jamboree
- Leopards: leap
- Cheetahs: coalition.
Top 10 cat idioms
- The cat’s pyjamas: an expression coined in the 1920’s to refer to someone or something fantastic
- It’s raining cats and dogs: to rain very heavily
- Like a cat on a hot tin roof: someone who is incredibly nervous. Most renowned as the title of Tennessee Williams’s 1955 Pulitzer Prize–winning play.
- Curiosity killed the cat: curiosity can get you into trouble. Thought to derive from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing
- Look like something the cat dragged in: to look very unkempt and dirty, or to ironically acknowledge the arrival of someone whose presence is unwelcome
- Look like the cat that ate the canary: someone who appears to be quite smug about something
- The cat’s out of the bag: a secret has been divulged
- More than one way to skin a cat: there is more than one solution to a problem
- Cat got your tongue?: why aren’t you saying anything?
- When the cat’s away the mice will play: without the presence of authority, subordinates will run amok
There are a few collective nouns which can be used to describe a group of cats but the most commonly used word is ‘Clowder’.
Some other collective nouns which can also be used for a group of cats include:
- Colony – this word is typically used to describe a group of (usually) stray cats that live together in a particular territory. You often find colonies of stray cats around fishing ports when there is plenty of food.
- Glaring – this is more commonly used when the cats are unfamiliar and unsure of each other (and are probably all glaring at one another!).
What is a Group of Kittens Called?
There are a few different collective nouns which can be used for groups of kittens. The most common collective noun is of course ‘Litter’. However this is only used when all of the kittens are siblings who are born together.
Other ways of describing a group of kittens include:
- Kindle – this word can be used to describe a group of kittens in exactly the same way as the word litter however it is less commonly used. The collective noun Kindle is thought to stem from a combination of the German word kinder (meaning children) and the old English word kindelen (meaning to give birth to). Somewhere along the line this word became associated with cats…and later electronic reading devices!
- Intrigue – not commonly used but anyone who has ever had kittens will testify that this is a very appropriate word to use for a group of kittens as they are perpetually curious!
- Entanglement – a rarely used collective noun yet one which makes sense when you have seen a group of newborn kittens with their limbs seemingly impossibly entangled together.