Cat tattoos are popular because, well, cats.
Since the rise of visual social media platforms, we’ve gone paw-sitively cat potty.
It’s not enough for people to have their own cats, now they can follow other people’s cats online.
Another juggernaut in the age of social media is tattoos.
People love showing off their new ink, and it’s become less of a big deal to get tattoos just for fun.
Tattoos can act as a kind of scrapbook, a way to show off your interests.
Naturally, cat tattoos have skyrocketed in popularity as these two elements work together.
Cat tattoos are cool because cats are visually appealing.
They’re as cute and cuddly as they are mysterious and majestic.
They inspire cartoony imagery, or something a little more regal.
Cat Tattoo Symbolism
Cats will ruin your couch, knock over your knick-knacks, and eat your plants.
Yet, they’re such a popular pet people are immortalizing them in tattoo form.
Where a dog thrives on positive reinforcement, a cat is clever enough to know that you’ll care for them either way.
People get cat tattoos because, psychologically, they’d like a bit of that attitude.
A cat tattoo can remind you not to care so much what other people think.
Cat tattoos can also be a symbol of your choice to stay independent.
- Sphynx Cat Tattoos
With a unique appearance and a regal air about them, sphynx cat tattoos are not only symbols of good luck, but also a symbol of prestige.
They are also associated with mysticism and alchemy.
- Tuxedo Cat Tattoos
The aesthetics of black and white are at the core of the tuxedo cat’s allure.
While the public links black cat tattoos with Halloween, witches, and bad luck, tuxedo cat tattoos represent a more nuanced range of meanings.
White can represent many things, such as good fortune or purity of spirit.
The tuxedo cat tattoo represents a balance between the two.
- Calico Cat Tattoos
The coloring of the Calico cat can range from pure white to orange, red, brown, black, and every shade in between.
Legend has it that calico cats bring good luck and happiness to their owners, and in some parts of the United States, they are often referred to as “money cats”.
In Japan, these cats are the official symbol of fortune, while they are called “lucky cats” in Germany.
- Siamese Cat Tattoos
Siamese cats, a symbol of good luck, have a legendary history.
Its elegant physique and sweet personality make it one of the most sought-after cats in the world.
They are said to have been a gift from the gods, originating from the temples of Siam, which is now known as Thailand.
They are one of the first recognized cat breeds and are thought to ward off evil spirits.
- Tabby Cat Tattoos
The tabby’s coat comes in a wide variety of patterns and is one of the most recognizable cat coat types.
Tabby cat tattoos feature distinctive stripes, dots, or swirling patterns.
A natural-born leader, the orange tabby cat tattoo is a symbol of leadership.
The most distinctive feature that is shared by all tabby cats is the “M” symbol on their foreheads.
So you’ve decided you’d like a cat tattoo.
Whether you’re looking to create a tattoo that looks like your favorite pet or create your unique spin on cat tattoos, there are many different motifs to help you find the perfect tattoo design.
Although some are more popular than others, there are many different ideas and themes for cat tattoos ranging from the cute to the ferocious.
Here are some popular cat tattoo ideas:
Sleeping Cat Tattoos
A sleeping cat tattoo is one of the sweetest and most innocent cat tattoo ideas you can find.
A sweet sleeping cat tattoo might represent the innocence, purity, and sentimentality of a sweet and sleeping cat that seems to appeal to everyone.
It might also be the perfect tattoo for a lazy or napping person that feels drawn to resting and napping in the sun!
Cat with Flower Tattoos
Cats and flowers may not be the best of friends in real life, but they both make great options for tattoo designs!
Both represent beauty, grace, and statuesque coloring and stance that can be seen in real life or in artistic form.
A cat with a flower tattoo might represent a love of nature and beauty as well as the love of feline and floral grace!
Flower tattoos are often associated with feminine beauty, elegance, and grace.
The intricate forms of flowers have always been a source of inspiration for tattoo artists, painters, and other creative minds.
Besides serving as a beautiful decoration, floral tattoos also carry spiritual meaning.
These tattoos can add both aesthetics and symbolism to your cat tattoo.
Cat Portrait Tattoos
Tattoos can serve as a permanent reminder of the most important people in our lives — and that applies to pets too.
A portrait tattoo of your cat can be a powerful image.
If you have a cat that means the world to you, why not immortalize its presence with a tattoo?
You could bring your tattoo artist a special photo and tell them a bit about your pet.
They’ll be able to capture their essence, and then your kitty stays by your side forever.
A professional tattooist will be able to capture the best features — the color and texture of their fur, their cute little face, their playful demeanor — and they’ll incorporate these aspects into your tattoo.
A cat portrait is a powerful image, so make sure you get a tattoo of your cat that is as unique as they are.
These are generally done in realistic or illustrative portrait style but can be adapted to suit your personality.
Cat Paw Tattoos
If you want something smaller with less detail, a cat paw tattoo is a nice way to go.
It shows off your love of cats but can hide discreetly anywhere on your body.
Cat & Lettering Tattoos
Any perfect cat portrait needs to be finished off with their name (or some funny dialogue to match).
Whether you want to add some fresh and funky lettering tattoo to your cat tattoo to remember their name or add your own cartoon style lettering and comic relief, lettering pairs perfectly with cat tattoos for a personal and creative touch to an already personal and creative tattoo!
Sugar Skull Cat Tattoos
If you’re not afraid to get a tattoo that reflects your personality, and you have a bit of a witchy side, consider getting a sugar skull cat tattoo.
Also, this tattoo design is well suited for pet owners who have lost their animal companions.
Sugar skull tattoos may be the perfect memorial for a lost pet.
Egyptian Cat Tattoos
Egyptian cats, also called Bastet, are a common choice for cat lovers and fans of Egyptian tattoo mythology.
Egyptian cat tattoos are unique for their ability to draw inspiration from both ancient and modern sources.
The goddess Bastet is well-known as the protector of families, and throughout history, she was associated with fertility.
Egyptian tattoo motifs may include ankh tattoos and Horus tattoos while modern takes will often pair Egyptian cats with flowers.
Lucky Cat Tattoos
The history of Maneki Neko is steeped in mystery and often surrounded by fake information.
No one knows the exact origin of Maneki Neko, but all can agree that it is a symbol of good fortune and prosperity.
Lucky cats are believed to be a Japanese invention, but they draw imagery from Chinese folklore and legends.
The colors in lucky cat tattoos are vivid and the lines are smooth, so it will look great as a traditional Japanese tattoo or a minimalist style.
Cat Tattoo Styles
Have we said a meowthful?
Cats are symbols of independence, mystery, healthy boundaries, and intuition.
Inspired to immortalize your companion?
Check out our cat tattoo gallery to find your purrfect match!
Realistic Cat Tattoos
Cats have been honorable guardians and pets since the beginning of time.
A realistic cat tattoo is a perfect way of bringing a guardian cat with you everywhere that is both powerful, comforting, and wise.
A realistic cat tattoo is a good way to memorialize a beloved past pet cat or to carry a famous cat of your own with you into life.
Micro-realist Cat Tattoos
Popularized by Hollywood tattoo artist, Dr. Woo, single-needle tattooing has become a hot trend.
As seen on the skin of celebrities, the single needle tattoo technique gives the artist greater control, resulting in a tattoo with depth that has incredible detail.
Single needle tattooing is a great way to add texture to your small cat tattoo.
Colorful or black and grey, micro-realist tattoos can be placed on any part of the body.
Realistic Black & Grey Cat Tattoos
Cats are standout options as black and grey tattoo options because the shading and design range you can get with black and grey allow you to put incredible detail into every detail of your cat’s figure, from its fur to its whiskers and even its eyes.
A black and grey cat tattoo symbolizes a fierce, fearless, and loving cat that can be a beacon of protection and warmth for you to carry with you!
Geometric Cat Tattoos
A cat is a powerful symbol of protection and beauty, considered to be one of the most majestic and stately animals in nature.
A geometric cat tattoo is a perfect way to honor the symmetry and majesty of the cat through its shapely and statuesque appearance.
The geometric power and performance of the cat is carefully laid out and designed in these elegant and well-designed geometric tattoos that show both their strength and grace.
Illustrative Cat Tattoos
For the cat owner who wants to take their love of cats to the next level, an illustrative cat tattoo is a perfect choice.
An illustrative tattoo features a striking color palette, a striking profile or portrait, and piercing faces, and fierce stares.
An illustrative cat tattoo is a statuesque and powerful statement that allows you to intimidate anyone who comes into contact with you.
Graphic Cat Tattoos
Graphic tattoos bring in elements of precise design, geometric shape, and elegant flow and line shading.
The cat, already a statuesque and powerful figure, becomes even more incredible as a powerful tattoo with graphic design and imagery.
A graphic cat tattoo is the perfect example of precision, design, and detail that stuns as much as the piercing gaze of the cat.
Watercolor Cat Tattoos
Want a cat that’s a little less literal?
A watercolor cat tattoo can give you the impression of a cat, but make it a little more artsy and mysterious.
Go to watercolor tattoo for more!
Neo-traditional Cat Tattoos
Neo-traditional tattoos bring together modern outlines, fresh color palettes, and exciting props, and additional design elements that bring contemporary art and design into the focus.
A Neo-traditional cat tattoo helps to emphasize the young, exciting, and ever-evolving image of the cat, making this the perfect homage to a modern cat owner who loves art, design, and feline friends.
Single Needle Cat Tattoos
A single needle cat tattoo adds additional delicate design to an already perfectly detailed and freshly designed tattoo.
A single needle tattoo uses just one main tattoo needle to do the outlining, shading, and color addition of your tattoo.
With a single needle, you can get much finer detail, especially in fur, whiskers, and more.
A single needle cat tattoo is the perfect way to emphasize the personal delicate details of your cat and to emphasize the personal significance of your feline friend.
New School Cat Tattoos
Put a postmodern spin on your favorite cat friends with a New School tattoo.
New School tattoos bring out brash and bold color palettes as well as oversized, often caricatured drawings or portraits of their subjects.
A New School cat tattoo adds a fresh spin to cat tattoos with their graphic imagery and bold design and color choices.
Contemporary Cat Tattoos
If you want a non-traditional cat tattoo that stands out from all the rest, a contemporary cat tattoo is likely the perfect choice for you.
Blending fresh tattoo designs, pastel colors, fun modern trends, and pretty skylines into your cat tattoo is a great way to introduce contemporary themes and colors into your cat tattoo and create the perfect modern homage to cats and kittens.
Cat Tattoo Ideas
If you’ve decided on your favorite cat tattoo style, one of the final steps is to pick out a specific pose or idea in order to create the perfect personal cat design.
Whether you’re designing a specific tattoo style based on your beloved pet or looking to create your own unique cat tattoo spin, there are plenty of options available to help you pick out the perfect design!
New tattoo enthusiasts may opt for a small cat tattoo, while those who want something more elaborate may choose to get a large cat tattoo.
Whether it’s just a simple tattoo outline or something more complex, here are our top ideas for small cat tattoos:
Small Cat Tattoos
Getting a small tattoo of your cat might be the perfect way to immortalize the special relationship between you and your feline companion.
A small cat makes for the perfect playmate tattoo that can be put anywhere on your body for a small and subtle yet beautiful cat tattoo.
This small little feline friend could be playful, sweet, sleeping, or shy, and can be placed almost anywhere on your body.
You can discover the excitement and personality of your cat with a small cat tattoo that perfectly memorializes a beloved cat.
A small cat is a perfect size for a discreet and cute tattoo that can be placed anywhere on your body.
You could get it in the form of a playful, sleeping, or shy little cat.
Black Cat Tattoos
Black cats have a mythology of all their own as powerful protectors and magical guardians of the world.
They are considered bringers of bad luck by some people, but many people actually view black cats as the ultimate protector and symbol of strength.
A black cat tattoo allows you to select your favorite Black Cat Guardian and carry them with you always as a symbol of strength and protection.
Black cats are mystical and magical, often considered the most powerful charm against the forces of evil.
For centuries, people have associated the black cat with magic and witchcraft surrounding them with magical ability.
A black cat tattoo is the perfect token of mystery and allure, being a powerful choice for any fan of the felines.
Simple Cat Tattoos
On the flip side, minimalist cat tattoos are great for people who prefer simple line work and don’t want an elaborate design.
Simple cat tattoos are fun, basic outlines that provide the illusion of feline grace and play anywhere with simple and sweet tattoos.
These basic silhouettes and designs allow you plenty of artistic freedom with how you choose to design your cat tattoo, whether it’s just the silhouette of your cat or a full on design with other elements involved.
A minimalist cat tattoo provides a cute way to capture a cat in its prime.
A simple cat tattoo is a great way to remember sweet, simple, and cute cats everywhere!
These tattoos work to provide simple and powerful illustrations with the vibrancy, creativity, and curiosity of cats.
The look is light and airy as if it had been sketched with a fine-tip marker — giving off a feeling of effortless style and sophistication.
However you choose to remember and experience your cat, these tattoo designs are a great way to remember your cute little kitty in a personal way!
These tattoos can be further emphasized by utilizing the rest of the space with other small motifs like paw prints, moon and star tattoos, or flower tattoos.
Cartoon Cat Tattoos
Cat lovers live to pay homage to famous felines.
You might consider Luna and Artemis from Sailor Moon, Hello Kitty, or Felix the cat for some retro flair.
- Cheshire Cat Tattoos
The Cheshire Cat tattoo is a fan favorite and one of the most popular characters from Alice in Wonderland.
This cat is known for its unusual ability to disappear and then reappear a little later, and also for its large smile.
- Jiji Cat Tattoos
Jiji cat tattoos are standouts among the countless representations of the black feline.
An anime favorite, the Jiji cat is characterized by its large eyes and ears.
Jiji cat tattoos are distinguished by their use of bold black ink and minimalist look.
These tattoos capture the cuteness and the playful side of Jiji.
- Felix The Cat Tattoos
A mischievous black cat with white eyes and a black body, Felix is instantly recognizable to millions of people even today, nearly 100 years after his first appearance.
Felix cat tattoos are the embodiment of curiosity and the pursuit of joy.
- Garfield Tattoos
Garfield is full of personality, making him the quintessential cat for the internet age.
Garfield tattoos span a range of vibrant colors and styles, making it easy for anyone to find a Garfield tattoo that matches their personality and interests.
Not only does it have a funny cartoon style that appeals to people regardless of age, but it also has a catchphrase that many choose as the foundation for their designs: ”I hate Mondays.”
However, there are other tattoos of Garfield featuring the cat wearing clothes, playing various musical instruments or doing activities like surfing or skateboarding.
- Hello Kitty Tattoos
Hello Kitty tattoos may not be a common choice for a matching tattoo between best friends, but like the character herself, they symbolize love and friendship.
These are friendship tattoos that symbolize togetherness and love, and you can easily get them for yourself and your bestie.
Hello Kitty tattoos are cute and unique — they can be a great homage to the anime, while also being just the thing to show off your quirky style.
The cat tattoo pose you choose is an important aspect of your design.
By choosing a specific cat pose, you can help refine your overall design and set it apart from similar cat tattoo designs.
Whether you’ve had a beloved cat in your life or are simply an animal lover, cat tattoos are a great way to show your appreciation for their magic.
It can also be a way to show off your personality and individuality.
As always, you should consider which cat tattoo style will best suit your personality and personal tastes.
A cat tattoo can remind you not to care so much what other people think, and let your individuality show through.