Words for Cat in Many Languages

As compiled from the Usenet news group rec.pets.cats May - July 1995, with occasional subsequent additions.

[Thanks to Paolo, Raewyn, Okan Cetin, "DUKPIXtoo", Laura Ann Mihstol, Krisztian Berta, TimP, Dierdre W., and Anne Marit Jerpstad for the new words, to Sezer Yalcin and Andrew Bajorinas for the corrections, and a huge thank you to Andras Rajki, who shared his own list and nearly doubled this one in July 2005, and then sent even more in 2008!]


Amharic (Ethiopian): domadh (pronounced "domath", demmu)

Afrikaans: kat; kitten = katjie

Alabama: kai

Albanian: mace

Algonquin (Cherokee): sinta

Am. Sign Language: "take thumb and forefinger, put them alongside face and open and close them while stroking (your whiskers) outward..."

Arabic: Ghat ("gh" is guttural), Qit, Quitt, Besseh or biss

Aragonese: maxin

Aramaic: shunra

Armenian: gatz, katu

Assyrian: qatoo

Asturian: gatu

Aymara: phisi

Azerbaijani: pisik

Balinese: meong

Bambara: jakuma

Bashkir: besey

Basque: Katu

Batak: huting

Belorussian: koska

Bemba: cona

Bengali (India): biral

Bergamasco: gat

Breton: kaz

British English: moggy

Bulgarian: kotka

Burmese: caon

Cajun "French": kitty = Minou

Calabrese: gat

Cantonese: Maow

Catalan: gat

Catanese: 'iatta

Chechen: tsitska

Cheyenne: póéso

Cornish: kath

Cree: Minoos, kitten = Minoosis

Czech: Kocka; male = kocour; female = kocka

Dakota: igmu

Danish: Kat; kitten = Kattekilling; also use Mise

Dari (Iran): pishak

Dutch: kat; female = poes ("poos" like "goose"); male = kater; male kitten = katje ("kat-ya"); kittens = katjes; female kitten = poesje

Egyptian (ancient): Mou ("ou" as in "ouch")

Egyptian: miw (comma instead of dot over the "i"), mau, or kut

Eskimo: Pussi

Esperanto: kato; kitten = katido; tomcat = virkato; clowder = kataro

Estonian: kass

Evenki: koshka

Faeroese: kattur

Fijian: vusi

Filipino: pusa

Finnish: kissa; baby cat = kissanpentu; male = kolli; female = narttu; affectionate: kisu, misu, mirri (mirri has an additional, "naughty" meaning)

Fulaani (Nigeria): (phonetic) = holoondoo ("who loon do")

French: cat = Le Chat (silent "t") or Matou; kitty = Minou ("mee-noo"); puss = Minet(te); kitten = chaton

Frisian: kat

Furlan (Friuli): gjat

Gallego: gato

Gamilaraay (Australia): burrgan

Georgian: kata

German: female = die Katze (KAT-tse); male = der Kater; cats = die Katzen; kitten = das Käetzchen ("cats-chen"); kitty (and other nicknames) = Mietze ("MEET-sah"), Puschi, Pussi

Gilyak: kisk

Greek: Ga'ta; kitten = gataki

Greek (Old): ailouros

Guarani (Paraguay): mbaracaya ("mmmm bah rah kah JAW")

Gypsy (Lovar dialect): muca

Halha (Mongolia): muur

Hawaiian: Popoki; kitten (literally "cat child") = popokikeiki

Hausa: mussa

Hebrew: Chatool ("ch" is representation of a single letter in Hebrew, guttural sound), hatul; male = Chatul; female = Chatula; kitten male = Chataltul; kitten female = Chatatula

Hindi (India): billi ("billie")

Hmong: miv

Hungarian: Macska ("much-ka"); kitten (literally "little cat") = kismacska, pussycat = cica ("tsi-tsa")

Huttese: misi

Icelandic: köttur

Igbo: bosi

Ilocano:(Phillipine dialect): pusa

Indonesian/Malay: Kutjing or kucing

Inuktikut: puusi

Irish Gaelic: cat

Italian: male = gatto; female = gatta; cats = gatti; kitten male = gattino; kitten female = gattina; nice male cat = Micio; nice female cat = Micia; nice kitten (male) = Micetto; nice kitten (female) = Micetta

Japanese: Neko ("Neh-ko"); kitten = koneko; affectionate form = neko-chan

Javanese: kucing

Judeo Spanish: gato

Kabyle: muc

Kalmyk (Mongolia): mis

Kannada: bekku

Karelian: kazi

Kazakh: mysyk

Kinkongo (Zaire): Nyau

Khmer: chima (long "a") or chmah

Kikuyu: mbaka

Korean: koyangi ("koh-yang-ee")

Kurdish (Iran): kitik

Lakhota-Sioux: igmu

Lampung: kucing

Laotian: Mell (pronounced "Meyel" or "something close to 'Meow'") or mau

Lapponian: bussa

Latin: felis, feles, felix or cattus

Latvian: kachit or kakis

Leonese: muxu

Lingala: pusi

Lithuanian: Cat-ti-a or kate; female = Katite

Loglan: katma

Macedonian: female = machka; male = machor

Madurese: koceng

Malagasy: saka

Malay: kuching or kucing; "sweet little pussy cat" = kuchinta

Malayalam: pucca

Maltese: male = Qattus, female = Quattusa

Mandarin: (phonetically) mao (rhymes with "cow")

Manx (Isle of Man): kayt; cats = kiyt; tomcat = kayt firryn; kitten = pishin

Maori (New Zealand): ngero (The "ng" is said like in sing ... you *almost* pronounce the g)

Mapundungun: narki

Masai (Kenya): em-paka

Mayan: miz (pronounced "meece")

Menomini: kasakeh

Micmac: kajuwewj

Mundari: pusi

Nahuatl: mizton

Navajo: Moosi or mosi

Nepali: biraalo

Napolitano: gatta

Norwegian: Katt (also: Kattepus, Pusekatt); kitten = Kattunge; kitty = Pus

Ojibwe: gaashak

Oromo (Ethiopia): adurree

Ossetic: gaedy

Pahlavi (Iran): gurbag

Palauan: Katuu

Pashto (Afghanistan): pishi

Persian/Farsi (Iran): gorbeh or gorbe(stress on second syllable); kitten = bache gorbeh; kitty = peesh-ee (peesh rhymes with lease, -ee like a short i), (slang) "roof lion" = Bomshear

Pig Latin: at-cay, Itty-Kay, Om-Tay, Ussy-Pay, Itten-Kay, Eline-Fay... :-)

Pinyin: mao ("ao" like "now", high pitch, even tone)

Pitjantjantjara (Australia): ngaya

Polish: Kot ("o" pronounced like "ou" in "court"); affectionate = kotek

Portugese: gato; female = gata; kitty = gatito or gatinho

Potawatomi: kazho, mayos; cats = mayosuk

Pulaar: ullundu

Punjabi (India): billi ("billie")

Quechua: michi or misi; little cat = michicha

Quechua (Ancash): mishi

Rapanui (Easter Island): kuri

Romanian: pisica ("peeseecka"); cats = pisici; male = motan

Romany: muca

Romansch: giat ("DJE-ah-t")

Rundi (Kirundi): inyabu

Russian: cat= kot; domesticated (diminuitive form) = koshka; kitten = kotyonok ("koht-yon-ok"); affectionate form = koshenka; kitty = kiska

Rwanda (Kinyarwanda): injangwe

Samoan: pusi

Sardinian (Campidanese): gatu

Sardinian (Logudorese): gattu

Sanskrit (India): marjara

Scots Gaelic: cat; kitten = piseag; feline = mar chat

Serbo-Croatian: Macka ("Much-ka")

Shona: katsi

Sicilian: gattu

Sinhala: balala

Slovak: Macka ("much-ka")

Slovenian: Macka ("much-ka")

Somali: bisad

Sorbian: kocka

Sotho: katse

Spanish: gato; minino ("me ne no")

Sundanese: ucing

Swahili: Paka

Swedish: katt; kitten (literally "cat child") = kattunge; kitty = kisse

Swiss Deutsche slang: kitty, kitty, kitty = Boozzhi, boozzhi, boozzhi

Tagalog (Phillipine dialect): pusa ("poo-sah")

Tahitian: piifare

Tamil: punai

Tarahumara (Mexico): miisi

Tatar: pesi

Tajik (Iran): gurba

Tamil (Indian language also spoken in Sri Lanka & Singapore): (phonetically) poo-NAI

Telugu: pilli

Thai: Maa-oh

Tigrinya: dimu

Tohono O'odham (native Am. tribe in SW Arizona): Mihstol (roughly pronounced mee-stol or mee-stow with the "l" barely sounded)

Tongan: pusi

Triestino: gato

Tsalagi (Cherokee): We'sa

Tswana: katse

Turkish: Kedi; cats = Kediler

Turkmen: pishik

Tuvan: moortai

Twi: agyinamoa

Ukrainian: kotuk ("kohtihk") or kit; affectionate = kitcha; "one who purrs" = Morrchik

Urdu (Pakistan): billi ("billie")

Uzbek: mushuk

Vietnamese: Con mêo

Vogulic: kati

Welsh: cath; kitten = cath fach; feline = fel cath, cathaidd

Wolof: muus

Xhosa: kati

Yiddish: ketzl, katz; kitten = ketzleh

Yoruba: ologbo

Yucatec: miis

Zapotec (Mexico) : mistu

Zulu: kati


Know any more?
Additions and corrections gladly accepted by:
M Patterson


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