First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Cat mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Cat

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun cat
  1. [Zoöl] Any animal belonging to the natural family Felidae, and in particular to the various species of the genera Felis Panthera, and Lynx. The domestic cat is Felis domestica. The European wild cat (Felis catus) is much larger than the domestic cat. In the United States the name wild cat is commonly applied to the bay lynx (Lynx rufus). The larger felines, such as the lion, tiger, leopard, and cougar, are often referred to as cats, and sometimes as big cats. See Wild cat, and Tiger cat." Laying aside their often rancorous debate over how best to preserve the Florida panther, state and federal wildlife officials, environmentalists, and independent scientists endorsed the proposal, and in 1995 the eight catsfemale Texas cougars] were brought from Texas and released. . . . Uprooted from the arid hills of West Texas, three of the imports have died, but the remaining five adapted to swamp life and have each given birth to at least one litter of kittens." [Mark Derr (N. Y. Times, Nov. 2, 1999, Science Times p. F2).]
  2. [Naut]
    1. A strong vessel with a narrow stern, projecting quarters, and deep waist. It is employed in the coal and timber trade.
    2. A strong tackle used to draw an anchor up to the cathead of a ship.
  3. A double tripod (for holding a plate, etc.), having six feet, of which three rest on the ground, in whatever position it is placed.
  4. An old game;specifically:
    1. The game of tipcat and the implement with which it is played. See Tipcat.
    2. A game of ball, called, according to the number of batters, one old cat two old cat, etc.
  5. same as cat o' nine tails; as, British sailors feared the cat .
  6. A catamaran.

Note: ☞ The domestic cat includes many varieties named from their place of origin or from some peculiarity; as, the Angora cat; the Maltese cat; the Manx cat; the Siamese cat.

Note: The word cat is also used to designate other animals, from some fancied resemblance; as, civet cat, fisher cat catbird, catfish shark, sea cat.

Etymology: AS. cat; akin to D. & Dan. kat, Sw. katt, Icel. köttr, G. katze kater, Ir. cat, W. cath, Armor. kaz, LL. catus, Bisc. catua, NGr. ga`ta ga`tos, Russ. & Pol. kot, Turk. kedi, Ar. qitt; of unknown origin. Cf. Kitten

verb Cat
To bring to the cathead; as, to cat an anchor. See Anchor.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A method of examining body organs by scanning them with X rays and using a computer to construct a series of cross-sectional scans along a single axis
  2. Feline mammal usually having thick soft fur and no ability to roar: domestic cats; wildcats
  3. Any of several large cats typically able to roar and living in the wild
  4. A large tracked vehicle that is propelled by two endless metal belts; frequently used for moving earth in construction and farm work
  5. A whip with nine knotted cords ("British sailors feared the cat")
  6. The leaves of the shrub Catha edulis which are chewed like tobacco or used to make tea; has the effect of a euphoric stimulant
  7. A spiteful woman gossip ("what a cat she is!")
  8. An informal term for a youth or man
  9. Eject the contents of the stomach through the mouth
  10. Beat with a cat-o'-nine-tails

Abbreviation of Catherine or Caitlin, although the latter has seen a general change in pronunciation in the past few decades.

  1. A diminutive of the female given name Catherine.

Abbreviation of Caterpillar (corporation and brand)

  1. (slang) A piece of heavy machinery, such as a backhoe, of the Caterpillar brand.

    Notable Persons Named Cat

    Cat was born on July 1st, 1982 in Winona, Minnesota.


    Cat Deeley is an actress, model, tv presenter, singer, and model (people). She has had major accomplishments since 1994. Cat was given the name Catherine Elizabeth Deeley on October 23rd, 1976 in West Bromwich.


    Cat Power is an indie rock, folk rock, blues rock, alternative rock, lo-fi music, and sadcore musician. She plays Guitar, Piano, Danelectro Amp-in-case, Gibson Les Paul, and Vocals. Her ongoing career started in 1992. Cat was given the name Charlyn Marie Marshall on January 21st, 1972 in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. Cat is also known as Chan Marshall and Cat Power.


    Cat Cora is a chef. Cat was given the name Catherine Ann Cora on April 3rd, 1967 in Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.


    Cat Marnell is a writer. Cat was given the name Caitlin Elizabeth Marnell on September 10th, 1982 in Washington, D.C.


    Cat Smith is a for Lancaster, Fleetwood, Member of Parliament, forLancaster, Shadow Minister for Women, and Equalities. Her most notable accomplishments were from 2015 to present. Cat was born on June 16th, 1985 in Barrow-in-Furness.


    Notable Persons With the Last Name Cat

    Cashmere Cat is an electronic music musician. He has had major accomplishments since 2003. Cashmere was given the name Magnus August Høiberg on November 29th, 1987 in Halden, Norway. Cashmere is also known as DJ Final, Fellepus, and Magnus August Høiberg (birth name).


    Cheshire Cat is a fictional character.


    Black Cat is a comics character.


    Felix the Cat is a fictional character.


    Mr. Stubbs the Cat is an Honorary Mayor of Talkeetna and Alaska. They were most prominent from 1997 to present. Mr. was born on April 12th, 1997 in Talkeetna, Alaska, USA.


    Stalking was given the name Dennis Avner on August 27th, 1958 in Flint, Michigan. He left this life on November 5th, 2012.


    Where is the name Cat popular?

    International Interest for Cat

    Interest is based how many people viewed this name from each country and is scaled based on the total views by each country so that large countries do not always show the most interest. Darker blue on the map indicates that people in the country are more likely to search for this name.

    Longer bars in the bar graph indicate that people in the country are more interested in the name. Not all countries that have shown an interest in the name are listed in the bar graph.

    United States
    United Kingdom
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    Popularity in the US

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    Popularity of Cat as a last name

    The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Cat as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in , California, or Connecticut.

    Common last names for Cat

    • Nguyen

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Cat U.S.
      White 30.77% 64.26%
      African American 7.14% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 53.85% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 0.00% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 0.00% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 6.59% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Cat

    People with the last name Cat are most frequently White or Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Cat

    • How Popular is the name Cat? As a last name Cat was the 99,378th most popular name in 2010.
    • When was the first name Cat first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Cat is Thursday, August 2nd, 1894.
    • How unique is the name Cat? From 1880 to 2017 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Cat. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
    • Weird things about the name Cat: Your name in reverse order is Tac. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Act. How do you pronounce that?
    • How many people have the last name Cat? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 182 people with the last name Cat.
    • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Cat? Cat is one of the most unique last names recorded.

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    • Sources:
    • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
    • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
    • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
    • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
    • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.