Bing pixel The History of Why We Get Tattoos of Cats

CATTOOS – The History of Why We Get Tattoos of Cats

Ever wonder why people get tattoos of their cats? It’s simple. It’s called cat love.

Cat tattoos — or Cattoos — appear to be one of the best ways cat people like to show their affection for their feline friends.

In fact, there are many well-documented reasons and myths as to why cat tattoos are popular, but first, let’s give you the scoop on the history behind them.


There is no direct evidence of when our ancestors first started marking themselves with cat tattoos — but it’s safe to assume that cat tats have been around since humans started marking themselves in the Stone Age.

As one of the earliest domesticated animals, cats have always had a place in the lives of humans and were often celebrated in cultural symbolism such as paintings, murals, drawings, etc.  

So, it’s only logical to assume that cat tattoos have been around thousands and thousands of years.

There’s no shortage of reasons why we love cats, but not everyone who loves cats get them permanently tattooed on their bodies.


While there is undoubtedly an endless number of reasons someone might get a cattoo, there appear to be a few that are connected with common cat myths and beliefs.  

Here’s a few of them:

  • Cats Symbolize Spirituality —  Cats can symbolize something special beyond just companionship and love. For some it’s all about the mind, body and spirit, which is why a lot of cat lovers who get tattoos of their feline friends do it because of the spiritual connection they feel comes with having a cat.
  • Cats Represent Resilience — There’s a reason people believe cats have nine lives. It’s because cats represent resilience, and a lot of people choose to get a cat tattoo — most notably their paws — because of what it means for life after death and having luck in life.
  • Cats are Exotic and Adventurous — Cats are known to be curious creatures, which is why it’s no surprise that the people who crave fun and adventure often gravitate toward getting a cat tattoo — most notably the Cheshire Cat, a character from Louis Carol’s classic work ‘Alice in Wonderland.’

And lastly, according to this breakdown of meanings behind cat tattoos, a lot of people choose specific breeds of cats because they symbolize a variety of different things, such as strength and elegance.

Some cat people choose to get tatted for other reasons altogether.


It appears that one very popular reason for getting a cattoo is charity, and spreading awareness of the important work of animal shelters.

For example, an annual “Tats for Cats” event in Salt Lake City has proven to be very popular over the years. The most recent event held earlier this summer proved to be a big hit and raised over $2,300 for the shelter’s injured animal fund.

Another cat tattoo event can be found in Florida, where each year they hold Cattoo Day — a special event that helps link people with cats to adopt, as well as raise some money by offering custom cattoos. The tattoo portion of the event was so popular that it sold out in mere minutes.

But we all know the biggest reason why people get cat tattoos.

THE #1 REASON WHY We GET Tattoos of Cats

It’s love. Cattoos are all about showing the cat love.

Whether it’s for your best bud who makes each and every day brighter or an old feline friend who has since passed but their memory lives on – getting a cat tattoo is all about showing love and affection.

For those who’ve lost a cat, what better way to remember them by getting some ink on your body. Responsibly done of course.

It’s also very popular for people to bring in an image of their cat and allow for the tattoo artist to tattoo on a sketch of their cat. This way, their cat will be with them wherever they may go!

For others – getting a cat tattoo is all about letting the world know that there’s no better friend than one with whiskers.

So, whether someone gets a cat tattoo because of the meaning of hope and peace, to spread awareness of cats in need, or to remember an old pal, cat tattoos appear to be very popular among a lot of people — for a lot of amazing reasons.


Fill out the form and include a picture of your cat tattoo(s) for a chance to have it featured on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts

Cat Tattoo 2021 Form
Upload Your Photo

Maximum file size: 10MB