Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world, right up there with dogs. It’s no wonder that there are numerous cat-related words in Spanish given that cats are free-thinking, crafty, and affectionate creatures. Here’s a list of a few of the many Spanish words for cat.
How Do You Say Cat in Spanish
1: The Spanish Word for Cat is “Gato.”
We’ll explain how various Latin words led to the creation of the word “gato.” Domestic cats were called cattus in Ancient Rome.
This is only conjecture, however, as the word’s other possible derivations include cautus, meaning “prudent” or “cunning,” catus, meaning “skilled” or “ingenious,” and catum, meaning “to capture,” as this is an animal that catches rodents.
However, this name is not only used to refer to the animal, but also as an adjective to characterise a thief or a crafty person, and even as an insult to someone who incurs debt to pay for prostitutes in nations like Argentina.
In these countries, “cat” is still most commonly used to refer to the feline animal, albeit its meaning might shift depending on the speaker’s tone of voice and facial expression.
2: A Kitten is called a Gatito or a Gatico.
Kittens are referred to as gatito, the tiny form of gato. Even the larger cats that we adore can benefit from this. Use this term when referring to a domestic cat in front of its owner for the highest level of politeness.
When used as an adjective, however, they take on a quite different meaning than when used in the former context. When you call someone a gatito or gatico, you’re telling them that you think they’re cute, cuddly, or even sneaky for their size.
3: Gatuno – Catlike
Although the literal meaning of gatuno is “of the cat” or “relating to the cat,” the word is also used to refer to cats as pets or feline friends (catlike friend). Numerous veterinary clinics and hospitals make extensive use of this word when discussing cat-specific drugs and accessories.
4: Cats are called Felino – Feline in Spanish.
In the same way as gatuno implies “connected to the cat” or “having cat traits,” the word feline conveys this sense. Because of this, the use of the word as an adjective and even a simile in some forms of literature and the press is very usual.
You can also use felino or amigo felino to talk about the cat (feline friend).
5: Puss – Minino
The Latin diminutive minino is still in use to this day in Latin American and Spanish-speaking nations to refer to cats. This pet’s name originates with the onomatopoeic word min, which is commonly used in the home.
Minino is also the most common Spanish given name for cats, especially strays like the ones that hang about our house. It’s akin to the fulano cat version of the phrase.
6: Misino – Missino
Like minino, misino is a diminutive given to cats in Latin. It comes from the word for mouse (musio) and alludes to the traditional role of the cat as a mouser.
Because they were the most effective type of pest management available at the time and kept rats away without any work on the part of the Romans, the term “rat catcher” was also adopted as a loving way to refer to them.
7: Micifuz/Misifús – Cat character from a popular poem
Misifs is a Germanic word that means “cat’s paw,” but it is also used to describe prostitutes and women who like to dress up, are conceited, or frequent nightclubs because of its secondary meaning of “to walk stealthily,” much like a cat’s paw.
Lope de Vega’s epic and burlesque poem, in which the protagonist, a cat named Micifuz, falls in love with another cat named Zapaquilda, is largely responsible for popularising the use of the term Micifuz to indicate cat in Spanish.