We have acquired 2 new additions to our family: Max and Shadow. Each is a unique little feline character who brightens our lives daily. But after their arrival I had some questions about cats in general, and why they act as they do.
I did some research in recent months, and I learned a lot about my furry little friends. In the process, I learned some unexpected things. For example, cat fanciers have a language all their own. When I started seeing terms like “polydactyl” and “cobby” in relation to cats, I decided to keep a sort of dictionary of unique cat terms. Here are a few of the more unusual ones you may have wondered about, too.
General Cat Terms:
- A group of kittens is called a kindle, while a pack of adult cats is called a clowder.
- A queen (or molly) is a female cat; a tom is a male cat.
- A cattery is a place where cats are kept.
- “Boar Cat” is an old term for an unneutered male cat.
- A “gib” is a castrated male cat (though the term “a neuter” is generally used instead).
- Dam = The female cat parent/ Sire = The male cat parent.
- Feral = a formerly domesticated cat which has reverted to being fully wild, or the wild offspring of stray cats.
- Moggy = a mixed breed, cross-bred or random-bred cat. A cat which is not a purebred.
- Pedigreed = a cat belonging to a specific breed; also a cat whose family tree is registered with that breed’s regulatory body.
- Purebred = a cat having only individuals of the same breed in its family tree.
- The little tufts of hair in a cat’s ear are properly called “ear furnishings.”
Formal Cat Terms:
- A cat lover is called an “ailurophile.”
- Ataxia = Difficulty in walking.
- Cobby = a short, compact body shape.
- Digitigrade = walking on tip-toe.
- Elizabethan Collar = The cone-shaped hood worn around the neck to prevent a cat from licking or otherwise irritating an injury.
- Pinna = An ear flap.
- If a cat is “polydactyl,” s/he has extra toes.
- Stifle = The proper name for the knee of a cat’s hind leg.
- Vibrissae = Whiskers.
Terms Relating to a Cat’s Coat:
- Agouti = the famous gene that causes the banding typical in the tabby cat.
- Blaze = White marking on the face shaped like an inverted “V.”
- Blue = A coat color that is any variation of gray.
- Brachycephalic = Having a shortened muzzle and face.
- Champagne = A light brown coat color.
- Chocolate = A rich, “milk chocolate” brown coat color.
- Cinnamon = A reddish brown coat color.
- Fawn = A pale, pinkish beige coat color.
- Mask = The darker-colored areas of the face in Siamese and Himalayan cats.
- Piebald = The gene that produces white patches on cats’ bodies.
- Smoke = :A coat color which appears to be solid colored until it is parted. The color actually extends only about 2/3 down the shaft of each hair. The remaining hair is pure white.
- Tortie = Short form of the term “tortoiseshell cat.”
Hope this list answered your questions about some unusual cat terms. If nothing else, you can use them in crossword puzzles and “Words With Friends.”
http://pictures-of-cats.org/glossary-of-cat-terms.htmlAgouti: this is the famous