group of cats or clowder
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What Is a Group of Cats Called?

Est. read time: 3 min.

You could just call them a “group” of cats, or, even simpler, you could just refer to them as “cats,” but what’s the fun in that? Wouldn’t you love to know how to refer to a group of cats in another, more obscure way? Of course you would, and that’s exactly what we’re going to learn today.

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.

kindle of kittens

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. A pregnant cat is a queen, and she probably expects you to worship her—or at the very least, throw her a baby shower.

Finally, a moggy is a British term for a feline mutt. You may be more familiar with (decidedly boring) labels like “house cat,” “alley cat,” and “domestic shorthair.” 

You learn something new every day!

Etymology of “cat”

If we look into the etymology of the word cat, we’ll find that its lineage traces back quite a long way. 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, right? On a similar note, the Egyptian word for cat is mau, which sounds an awful lot like “meow” to us.

cat hieroglyph 

Do you have a clowder of cats? Make your life as a pet parent easier with a self-cleaning litter box.  

Source: Today I Found Out!