This will be an ode to all the kitties. It's not that we don't love dogs, because believe us...we can always hang with a puppy pal by our side, but we sure do love our cool cats. It's true: some cat's couldn't care less if you were there or not, as long as they're fed and the cat box is clean. However, there are some cute kitties that wait for you to come home, cuddle you when you're sick, and make you giggle with their ridiculous curiosity. These cat tattoos are dedicated to those swanky little fuzz balls; the ones that actually care about their human companions.
Pet portraits, cat tattoos, doggy portrayals...all these marvelous animal pieces will never go out of style, because true love is always trendy. There's nothing like an animal friend that totally gets who you are. And getting a tattoo to commemorate that love is hella sweet. Time may pass, but these cat tattoos will help make sure you never forget the creature confidant that made a difference in your life. All animals tattoos are cool, really, but it's even cooler when the animal has a deep connection with its owner.
But let's be real: one can never own a cat. That’s part of their charm. Some of these cat tattoos actually capture that wild, anarchistic quality that these curious lil babies are naturally endowed with. Cats are awesome because if they do what you want them to, it's because they want to, not because you said so. They are the perfect embodiments of freedom, of being in the moment, of doing things wholeheartedly, and devoting some real enjoyment when resting and relaxing. If reincarnation is real, we hope that we'll come back as a cat. Or a cat tattoo. That'd be cool too.
Cat Tattoo Meaning
What is behind a cat tattoo meaning? A cat tattoo meaning is all about love. We promise.
We actually even have a well thought out theory behind this. Our furry friends are, indeed, some of our closest pals..so it makes sense that we'd get their likeness tattooed all over ourselves! Cat tattoos are among the most popular and it's sort of obvious why: pets are the bomb. For the most part, they don't get in fights with us, are always there when we need them, they make us smile when we're down, they keep us from feeling lonely, they're great travel companions...now, clearly these are all generalizations. Some cats will tear apart a year's supply of toilet paper...but usually it's just all in good fun! And plus, that guilty look they get on their face when they know they've done something bad is soooooo cute! So these kitty tats, and the meaning behind them, is just to celebrate how much we love our pets, and all of the reasons why we keep them around even when sometimes they drive us crazy. See? Like we said...it’s all about love.
Small Cat Tattoo
Looking for a small cat tattoo? We got you. Not everyone wants to scream to the world their love for these adorable lil animals. And, to be perfectly honest, we know that some cat lovers out there get really really tired of the crazy cat lady jokes or cat themed Christmas gifts. So sometimes a little cat tattoo is the perfect thing. Keep your undying kitty love on the down low. We also feel like a simple cat tattoo will fit with certain aesthetics more than a really large project. The same goes for a tiny cat tattoo...and, really, sometimes a small cat tattoo can do a better job at capturing the ultra cuteness of these critters.
See more: 20 Minimalist Cat Tattoos for the Subtle Cat-Lover
Cat Outline Tattoo
A cat outline tattoo is perfect for those that are looking for something simple or small. And whether you’re planning on getting way more tattoos, or none at all, a minimalist cat tattoo can either be something that you can work with later when adding in other designs, or it can look great all by its lonesome. One idea for a minimal cat tattoo that we love is the clean and uncluttered cat line tattoo. To be sure, the actual body of an average kitty is the essence of grace...some people even go as far as to call them the ballerinas of the animal world! We’ve also seen a cat silhouette tattoo that uses the bold shape of a cat to balance out other design aspects like star scenes, sunsets, or landscapes. A good tattoo artist can take whatever idea you have, no matter how simple, and really work with it so that it’s just as unique as you are. This includes cat outline tattoos too!
See more: 20 Minimalist Cat Tattoos for the Subtle Cat Lover
The Most Popular Cat Tattoo Styles
Any style is purrfect for a cat tattoo but here we’ll give you some cat tattoo design ideas using specific aesthetics. Choosing from the most popular cat tattoo styles is great because it narrows down so many influences for you...it can be totally overwhelming to choose exactly what kind of kitten tattoo or matching cat tattoo you may want...but this list will definitely help!
Geometric Cat Tattoo
For those of you who are looking for a cat tattoo design that is more minimalist or simple, a geometric cat tattoo may be the right fit for you. Adding in shapes or sacred geometric elements to your piece can be really powerful! But don’t get us wrong...we’ve also seen a giant geometric cat tattoo that blends dotwork mandalas and fibonacci spirals, so you can get as complicated or as minimal as you want with this style!
Japanese Cat Tattoo
It’s definitely no secret. The Japanese love their cats. And whether you want to pick up a charming Hello Kitty tattoo or one of Horitomo’s famous Monmon cats, a Japanese cat tattoo is always a good way to go. An Irezumi cattoo would go great with the addition of cherry blossoms or chopsticks...there’s so many different ways to go with this!
Traditional Cat Tattoo
Just like a Japanese cat tattoo, a Traditional cat tattoo is one where you just can’t go wrong. It always just depends on your style...and you’ll know if you’re drawn to kickin’ it old school or if you’re looking for something more modern. There are also tons of tattooists who do an incredible Traditional cat tattoo by merging it with other ideas. Again, an old school cat tattoo? It could be your favorite piece forever.
Cat Portrait Tattoo
Most of the pieces you see in this article are a cat portrait tattoo, but there’s always a way to make them special. In fact, many pet portraits may be of a kitty or a puppy...maybe even a parrot, but what makes it unique is that your cat portrait tattoo, if done by a tattoo artist who knows their stuff, can really capture those tiny, but important, details about your pet...like a tiny white speck above their nose or giant whiskers or tufts of the softest ear fur ever.
See more: 32 Majestic Cat Portrait Tattoos
Watercolor Cat Tattoo
For those of you who are looking to capture the whimsy of your kitty, you may want to check out watercolor cat tattoos. The great thing about watercolor tattoos is that they really embody movement and fluidity, something that kitties certainly got in the bag. And a watercolor cat tattoo doesn’t have to be a random splash of color. We promise that there are cattooists out there who can really whip up something special.
Tribal Cat Tattoo
Much like Old School and Irezumi, a Tribal cat tattoo harnesses the power of one of the oldest tattoo styles out there. You can either go Neo-Tribal or work with a tattoo artist who knows Polynesian pieces really well and incorporate specific symbolism that will make your Tribal cat tattoo particularly meaningful.
Realistic Cat Tattoo
As we pointed out earlier, many people get cat tattoos because they want to memorialize a pet who has passed. This means that sometimes something minimal or decorative won’t exactly capture the essence of your fur pal perfectly. So we’d suggest a Realistic cat tattoo if this is the case. A truly great Realism tattooist can depict your pet with an exactness that will take your breath away!
Neo Traditional Cat Tattoo
Because Neo Traditional is known for the lavish and luxe details like pearls, feathers, and art nouveau filigree, a Neo Traditional cat tattoo is a beautiful option for those of you who want a really specific custom piece. Sometimes it’s not only the main idea, but the added elements that really pull a great design together. With the right artist, a Neo Traditional cat tattoo can capture the grace and beauty of a favorite animal puurrrfectly.
The Most Popular Cat Tattoo Motifs
Below we give you some of the most popular cat tattoo motifs to get your inspiration gears turning...from the top famous kitties of all to simple details and additions that will make your cat tattoo special, we promise you'll find something here that get you purring with love!
Black Cat Tattoo
From ancient times, and even now, a kitty the shade of midnight was thought to bring bad luck...but black cat tattoos continue to be one of the most popular cat tattoo motifs out there. It may be similar to sailors getting an anchor to protect against shipwreck; some people get a black cat tattoo to harness the magic of these creatures….and others just like to get a lil witchy.
See more: 13 Cute Purrfect Black Cat Tattoos
Cheshire Cat Tattoo
Perhaps one of the most infamous kitties out there, a Cheshire cat tattoo pays homage to one of the most popular cats in literature history. Mischievous, clever, and with the ability to disappear at a moment's notice, a Cheshire cat tattoo will never be complete with a cute, but kinda creepy, smile.
See more: 17 Mad and Mischievous Cheshire Cat Tattoos
Hello Kitty Tattoo
Another famous kitty of history is definitely Japan’s own Hello Kitty. Lovers of Sanrio will often get a Hello Kitty tattoo since it’s one of the most iconic Japanese characters of all time. A Hello Kitty tattoo is great too, since she can wear different outfits, be decorated with a plethora of adorable details, and can be added to any other cute cat tattoos you may have!
See more: 12 Cute Colorful Crazy Hello Kitty Tattoos
Cat Paw Tattoo
If you’re not interested in getting a cat portrait tattoo but still want to do an homage to your fave furry pal, a cat paw tattoo may be perfect for you! We’ve seen many different kinds of these….some are simple outlines, some are Neo Traditional, some are ultra-realistic. Like many of the most popular cat tattoo motifs on this list, a cat paw tattoo is incredibly adaptable to any style you may love.
See More: Cat Paw Tattoos
A Disney favorite from 1970, an Aristocats tattoo can say a lot about a person! The film not only has five of the cutest cats in film history, but it also has a score of some incredible jazzy tunes. People get Aristocats tattoos because they love the adventure, romance, comedy and characters of this wonderful animated favorite.
See More: Aristocats Tattoo
Lucky Cat Tattoo
We also covered Lucky Cat Tattoos in our Guide to Mythological Japanese Creatures. It’s a very important symbol for Chinese and Japanese that brings prosperity and, you guessed it, luck. You’ll often see one of these cute little guys sitting in the corner of your favorite Asian restaurant but some people love them so much, they go ahead and get their own Lucky Cat tattoo! How about you?
See More: 15 Purrfect Lucky Cat Tattoos
Fat Cat Tattoo
There’s something about really big round kitties that we just can’t get enough of. And some more famous cattoos include Garfield, Muta of the Studio Ghibli hit “The Cat Returns”, plus the several social media sensations...some of which you can see on the IG Round Boys. A fat cat tattoo is certainly something special...more cushion for cuddles, and more lumps to love on.
Luna Cat Tattoo
Another famous kitty that makes for some of the cutest cat tattoos ever is a character from the anime sensation Sailor Moon. A Luna cat tattoo is an homage to one of the most powerful kitties out there! She’s graceful, super smart, and was the character who actually discovered Sailor Moon!
Pusheen Cat Tattoo
Believe it or not, a Pusheen tattoo is actually based on a real cat! Created by comic artists Claire Belton and Andrew Duff, Pusheen sort of defines a generation just like Hello Kitty defined her generation when she was first introduced. Now Pusheen tattoos have actually become so popular, and it's not hard to see why: she has 9 million likes on Facebook and over 180,000 followers on Twitter. That's one famous kitty!
Sphynx Cat Tattoos
Whether you have a love for hairless cats with oodles of character, or a love for the oldest known monumental sculpture in Egypt, a Sphynx cat tattoos, like many other pieces in this collection, is a wonderful way to show to the world aspects of your personality. A Sphynx cat tattoo will always be unique...especially if you get the right artist to pull it off.
See More: 30 Oddly Charming Sphynx Cat Tattoos
Cat Skull Tattoo
You have to admit...kitties do give off that sort of magic, esoteric, witchy vibe sometimes...and if you’re super into that, then a cat skull tattoo may be the thing for you. We’ve seen wonderful cat skull tattoos in Geometric, Blackwork, Dotwork and Realism styles...but just because they’re often illustrated in classic black and grey, doesn’t mean your skull can’t have a pop of color!
See More: 15 Curious Cat Skull Tattoos
Pink Panther Cat Tattoo
The last famous kitty on our list is perfect for you if you’re looking for a cool cat tattoo. He’s got style, seduction, and a knack for mystery...a Pink Panther cat tattoo will tell everyone that you’ve got those same qualities in heaps. But if a Pink Panther cat tattoo isn’t cool enough for you, check out Fritz the Cat...that’s another killer kitty who knows what’s up.
See More: Pickled Pink - Hilarious Pink Panther Tattoos
Cat Tattoo Artists
We realize there is the ancient argument of cat versus dog...but we couldn’t care less. We’re down for both, and we’re also super stoked that some artists naturally gravitate one way or the other. Here you have some cat tattoo artists who really pull out all the stops with their cute cattoos! We adore Iris Lys who is known for her Traditional take on a classic design. Guen Douglas is also known for her wonderful humor and incredible skills to really make a custom tattoo something seriously special. If you’re looking for a funny cat tattoo, look no further than Guen. For a Realism touch, Megan Massacre can’t be beat...she’s also super involved with many charities that raise funds for animal shelters! She actually has done tons of flash events with stray cat tattoo art to bring in money for support for rescue centers too.
A few other mentions are Hugo Tattooer, aka Hugocide, who has a truly unique way of merging illustrative with anime-esque designs. His pieces remind us of Bee and Puppycat in the best kinda way. Another cat tattoo artist we totally love is Woo Loves You, who has a knack for bringing together two wild ideas and making them one...he’s done cats in the shape of hearts and skulls, and also whips out perfect Pink Panther tattoos here and there too! Mick Gore, based in Taiwan, does awesome cattoos in his dark Traditional style. Whether you want a cuddly lil bb kittay or a vicious panther head, he can definitely pull it off.
Cat Tattoo Conclusion
Animal tattoos are some of our favorites...doesn't it say something about someone when you look at their arm and BAM there's a freakin chameleon tattooed on their forearm? It says something about that person. Just like any tattoo we suppose...but showing your inner spirit animal is kind of cool. And maybe a cat tattoo doesn't really show your spirit animal or familiar, but perhaps it's just a pet portrait of your favorite fur baby. Maybe your cat tattoo just tells the world how much you absolutely love kitties...some of us here at Tattoodo seriously can't go a few days without touching something cute, soft n warm...be it pupper or kitter.
Cat tattoos are fun probably because, well, they're freaking cute. Just looking at the kitty eye candy creations. Especially if it's a sleeping cuddly lil kitty just waiting for you to scoop it up and stuff its big warm tummy in your face. That's not weird, right? We knew a girl who liked to suck on her kitties ears when she was ten. Another one who would share her cups of water with her cats because they refused to drink out of their bowls. We promise it wasn't us. Probably. But seriously, these cat tattoos help prove the bond you have with your pet...it's the same with any animal tattoo really…
Just like any collection we do for the tattoo theme of the day these cat tattoos are super close to our hearts. We live for this art form just like we live for love, family, friends, and our fluffy lil fur balls. Next time you feel like getting a pet portrait, we hope that some of the pieces in this cat tattoo collection will inspire you and you'll hit up the artist who created them. And fur real, if you can't find someone in your area who sets the bar, we can help. Just hit us up. FUR REAL. Fur babies unite.