“Chat.” “Neko.” “Köttur.”
No matter how you say it, cats are one of the world’s most beloved creatures! In fact, over 370 million cats are kept as pets globally. From the hot, dry outback of Australia to the cold northern forests of Canada (and every country in between) felines live happily alongside their human companions.
As a result, there are dozens of different ways to say “cat.”
How many of the following languages and words do you know?
How to say cat in other languages?
|Chinese (simplified)||Māo||Xiǎo māo|
|Chinese (traditional)||Māo||Xiǎo māo|
|Hindi||Billee||Billee ka bachcha|
|Hmong||Miv||Me nyuam miv|
|Russian||Кошка (female cat or gender unknown)
|Vietnamese||Meo||Con mèo con|
|Yoruba||O nran||Omọ ologbo|
Cat superstitions from around the world
Nothing screams “superstitious” like seeing a black cat cross your path on Halloween night. But are black cats really unlucky? Where did this myth originate from? Turns out, just like how different languages have their own unique words for cats, different people and cultures also attribute special meanings to them.
For example, look at black cats. In England, they are considered lucky. Those who live in Scotland believe spotting a black cat on your doorstep signifies prosperity. This is completely opposite to what many people in the United States think – that black cats are bringers of doom, gloom, and misfortune!
Interestingly, every culture on earth has cat superstitions. With their own twist, of course. In the Netherlands, never share secrets when a cat is listening… they are thought to be gossips who will tell everybody what you said.
In Italy, if a cat sneezes on your wedding day, rejoice! The bride and groom’s marriage will be a happy one.
Notice a cat washing her face? The Chinese take this as a weather omen predicting rain.
Cats in language FAQs
Where does the word ‘cat’ come from?
According to etymology (the study of where words come from) “cat” hails from the Old English word “catt.” Prior to that, our feline friends were called “kattuz.” This is Pro-Germanic. Go back far enough, and you will learn that the Latin word for cat was “catta.”
Can cats understand different languages?
When you say, “Here, kitty kitty!” your cat instantly comes running. Yet have you ever been curious if they could learn and understand a language other than English?
Feline researchers have found that yes, cats can indeed be bilingual. Many pets live in households where more than one language is spoken. Over time, cats have shown evidence of being able to differentiate between verbal accents, tones, and rhythms. Remember, cats are smart. They can learn to understand their name, the word for food, treats, playtime, etc. in different languages.
Is it good to talk to your cat?
Absolutely. Bonding with a cat is so important.
This lowers stress levels, increases affection, and helps them learn commands. Even though it may feel silly, chatting with your kitty each day is a fantastic way to express how much you love them.
Do cats know their names?
From the age of 0 to 6 months, kittens soak up information like furry little sponges. During this time, they can learn their name. Their ears perk up, head turns, and tail swishes.
However, unlike humans, they don’t truly have a sense of “self.” Behaving in a certain manner upon hearing their name is more a response to stimuli. Yes, they will react. But this is more from their owner’s voice than it is them thinking, “Hey, that’s me!”
Ultimately, no matter what language your cat speaks, so long as you communicate with love, they will understand your intentions.