Cats are one of the most loved creatures in the world, pretty much since humans and cats have a long relationship. They are one of the earliest domesticated creatures in the world. Apart from pets, some cultures in the world actually see cats as gods and special creatures to their deities. As a result of humanity’s closeness to these fur balls, a cat tattoo is a sought after design for many tattoo enthusiasts.
Tattoo art has now evolved. But inspiration for body art designs continue to come from nature. Creatures such as the cat has grown into pets to a symbol of femininity and mysticism. With both their aesthetic value and the deeper symbolic meaning associated with them, cat tattoos are here to stay.
History of Cats and their Relationships with Human
Ancient Egyptians first believed that cats were the incarnation of the moon goddess, Bastet. They praised cats and even believe that these creatures can bless a person with the powers of the goddess Bas. Apart from ancient Egypt, other cultures around the world also see cats as more than just rat chasers. They are symbols of duality – docile but fierce.
Cats were revered back in the day. They were seen as bringers of good luck and also of bad fortune. Until now, some of these superstitions regarding cats remains in various cultures.
However, when mankind flourished, people began domesticating cats to chase rats and mice away that raid their food stores and homes. Since then, certain breeds of cats became more and more domesticated, bred to become companions to humans.
There isn’t really any specific time when cat tattoos became a thing. Nonetheless, it is possible it began around the time of tribal tattoos. Most tribes get tattoos of creatures around them. And so, we can simply imagine that back then, there had been several cat tattoo designs.
Symbolic Meaning of a Cat Tattoo
Just like most tattoo designs, a cat tattoo is more than just a decor. Many choose certain tattoo designs for their meaning. Cat tattoos are no exception.
Cat tattoos have various meanings. This is basically since cats have long been part of humanity. The meaning also depends on the culture they were based from. Still, a cat tattoo’s meaning can purely depend on the wearer.
One of the cat’s symbolic meaning has something to do life and afterlife. They are said to be a bridge from the the world of the living and the dead. Apparently, cats have the ability to communicate and even travel between the worlds. Even now, cats are said to see things that people can’t.
As said, some cultures believe that cats are bringer of good luck. As a tattoo, cat tattoos can also be a symbol of good luck, fortune and prosperity. However, black cats are known to be bringers of bad luck or omens that something unfortunate will happen. They are also linked to paganism and witchcraft during the middle ages.
Nowadays, their meanings have broadened and have become more positive. Today they are known as symbols of protection, freedom, royalty, strength, stealth, intellect, and more.
Here are other meanings associated with a cat tattoo:
- Intelligence and intuition
- Elegance and refinement
- Luck and prosperity
- Feminine power
- Link with the afterlife
- Spirituality and divine
- Mystery and secrets
Most Popular Cat Tattoo Designs
There are countless options when it comes to these cat tattoos. However, there are several cat tattoo designs that have become popular. They are the norm when it comes to cat tattoos. Here are some of the most common designs you will see and what they mean:
- Black cats – In Celtic tradition, black cats were sacrificed to help ward off evil. Hence, they were known as omens of destruction. But today, they are also known as symbols of femininity, power, and mystery.
- Cat eyes – Cat eyes are one of the most beautiful in the world. But they are more than just precious gems. Having a cat eye tattoo represents your ability to see things as they are. You are able to analyze a situation and see the bigger picture before you think of the appropriate action.
- Cat skull – Skulls often denote life and the inevitable death. A cat skull tattoo is known as subtle way of showing your acceptance of death. You are not afraid of the concept of mortality.
- Cat paw – Cat paw tattoo designs are used to represent your emotional and mental journey through a tough time. Apart from that, these also represent personal progress, prosperity, and luck.
- Tribal cat tattoo – A cat tattoo in tribal style is often used to note a connection with nature.
- Cheshire cat – The Cheshire cat is a character from Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland. It may be a sign of your love for the story and for storytelling. Or this design can also represent intellect and mischievousness.
- Felix the Cat – Another design based from fictional character. A Felix the Cat tattoo can represent nostalgia for the classical animation.
Cats in Ancient Egypt
As previously mentioned, cats were worshiped in Ancient Egypt. They were seen as the animal extension of moon goddess, Bastet. But why the extreme fascination with cats?
Bastet was more than just a moon goddess for the Ancient Egyptians. She was also a guardian of the Pharaoh and a close lieutenant of the sun god, Ra. It is believed that every night, Ra has to travel through the Duat and be reborn as the rising sun every morning. The journey is dangerous and Ra often has the goddess Bas to guard him and fight the forces of primordial chaos. That being said, Bastet was one of the greatest warrior.
Bastet was also the guardian of Lower Egypt. She cares for her subjects and ensures their safety. Suffice to say, Bas became a guardian of Ancient Egypt. There is no surprise Egyptians were great fans of cats.
If you are also a great Egyptian mythology buff, you’d find a cat depicted as an Egyptian goddess a great design. It’s a unique way of showing your love for cats and for ancient myths and legends.
Stunning Cat Eyes as Tattoo Designs
Cats have among the most stunning eyes in the world. They can express innocence, intelligence, mischievousness and utter focus.To be able to capture that through ink is a great show of level of skill and mastery of technique in the world of tattoo. If you want the best and most stunning cat eyes tattoo, you would have to find a professional.
Usually, cat eyes are done in 3D. This is the best way to capture the emotions you want to portray. You may want to find a good photo of the cat eyes you want to have as a tattoo. It will be much easier for your tattoo artist to create the tattoo with a handy basis.
Of course, you can also get a minimalist cat eye tattoo. These are less complicated and are usually in black ink only. However, it often goes with the popular “cat eye” look in cosmetics.
Portrait of your Favorite Pet
If you are a cat lover and you had or have a pet cat, you can definitely turn them into a tattoo. While many say that you should not get a tattoo of a partner’s face or name, you can never go wrong with your pet’s portrait or name. Unlike love with a partner, love for a pet never goes away and the feeling is definitely mutual. You will never regret your decision to have them tatted on you, especially when the time comes that they have to leave you.
Many cat lovers and tattoo enthusiasts choose their own cats as models for cat tattoo designs. It’s a nice way to make your tattoo more unique and closer to your heart. It is also a great way to show your love for them.
If your pet had unfortunately taken their last breath, you can add a few elements on your tattoo. Angel wings would be a great addition. This is one of the best dedication you can do for them and will also help remind you that you have a furry friend guarding you always.
Cat Tattoo Designs for Women
Cats are also a symbol of feminine power and femininity. These creatures have long been associated with women. This might be because of the influence of the moon goddess Bastet. Or it could be because of a Japanese legend which says cats can shape shift into a woman. Nonetheless, cats and women are seen to have similarities such as being secretive, moody, and mysterious.
Seeing as cats are linked to women, cat tattoos have become more popular among women than with men. And so, here are some cat tattoo designs for ladies:
- Cat portrait – A simple cat portrait is all it takes to create a sweet and adorable design. You can have it on your wrist or inner forearm. You can also have it on your thighs or your legs. Of course, it’s best to create a portrait of your own pet so they are always with you.
- Cat ears – If cosmetics has cat eyes, accessories have cat ears. There are now a lot of headbands with cat ear designs which women wear to make themselves look and feel cuter and more adorable. This can also be a great minimalist tattoos along with the cat eyes.
- Minimalist cat tattoo – A minimalist cat tattoo usually features the outline only. There are some features such as the eyes and whiskers but sometimes no features at all These are great for those who love smaller tattoos and want a clean and crisp looking design. Another minimalist design is a cat’s silhouette.
- Cats forming a heart – Cat’s usually have long tails. In your design, you can take two cats where their tails form a heart. This can symbolize your love for cats and animals. Or it could be a cute couple tattoo that you can share with your partner.
Big and Wild Cats
When we say cats, we often think about the domesticated pets we have at home. However, there are also cats in the wild. Lions, tigers, jaguars, and pumas are all related to the cats we call pets. But they live in the wild and are as free as they can be.
These big and wild cats are also top tattoo choices. Each of them has different meanings.
Lions are known for their big manes and as the King of the Jungle. As a tattoo, their depictions are often about their greatest features. But this design also has a deeper meaning. Lions are often symbols of strength, power, dominance, royalty, and nobility.
Tigers, on the other hand, are one of the most beautiful creatures with their striped coats and impressive eyes. These creatures are also one of the top tattoo choices because of their aesthetic value. As tattoos, they often symbolize beauty, strength, good luck, and prosperity.
Jaguars are more known for the patterns of their coats. They are also beautiful creatures, but more in a fierce way. If you want to have one as tattoo, these can symbolize strength, courage, and personal leadership.
Cheetahs are the fastest land animal. It is no surprise that a cheetah tattoo symbolizes swiftness. However, it can also represent focus and intelligence.
There are a whole lot of other species of cats out there in the wild. Getting a tattoo of one has a specific meaning. While they are usually far from the adorable kitties we have as pets, they still have common denominators such as their grace and intellect.
Cat Tattoo Placement Ideas
Cat tattoos can be big or small. So, the placement is pretty much dependent on how big your tattoo is as well as the design.
Nonetheless, the wrist and the thighs are two good places for a common cat tattoo. These are delicate places and can enhance a woman’s sexiness. For men, the best places would be the forearm and the chest. These two places pretty much improves masculinity, even when you have a cat as a tattoo.