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  • Writer's pictureKate

What are some cat terms?

Clowder. Queen. Tom. Smurgle. Caterwaul. Torbie.

Does it often sound like cat people have their own secret language? Well, they kind of do. But it's not a secret. And it's not just cat people, any species of animals has their own terminology, and the enthusiasts typically know these terms pretty well.

So let's go over some common, or maybe not so common, cat world terms!

Ailurophiles - Cat lover, broken down from the Greek terms ailouros which means cat, and -phile which means lover. Catnip & Coffee is full of Ailurophiles!

Alter - To neuter. Neutering means to make neutral, so the term technically applies to either sex.

Castrate - To surgically render sterile via the removal testes.

Cattery - A building where cats are kept. Catnip & Coffee's Cat Lounge is a Cattery!

Clowder - A group of cats. The cats that live at Catnip & Coffee's Cattery is a Clowder.

Colony - A clowder of feral cats. Belle & Mavis came from a feral cat colony.

Domestic - An animal that has been adapted to humans over many generations, with a genetic predisposition to tameness. All adoptable cats at Catnip & Coffee are domesticated.

Ex-feral - A feral cat that has been tamed and now lives as a pet (example, Belle & Mavis!).

Feral - A domestic cat that is not socialized because it has not had human contact, or has gone so long without human contact that they are no longer accustomed to it.

Gib - A castrated male cat, although the term has fallen out of favor, and "neutered male" is commonly used.

Intact - A cat that hasn't been spayed (female) or neutered (male or either sex).

Kitten - A young cat. Usually under 5-6 months of age. You won't find any kittens at Catnip & Coffee, we take in cats 6 months and older, to help prevent the spread of common upper respiratory diseases often found in kittens.

Neuter - To surgically render sterile; applies to either sex, but usually used as a euphemism for castration.

Queen - An un-spayed female. FYI, none of the adoptable cats at Catnip & Coffee are Queens! Well, at least not in this definition of the term. We (and they) think they are royalty.

Smurgle - A unique way of felines showing affection to their favorite humans, consisting of kneading, purring, and drooling! Trust me, it's sweet.

Spay - To surgically render sterile via the removal of ovaries and uterus.

Stray - A domestic cat, that is not feral, but doesn't have a home. Many of the cats at Catnip & Coffee lived as stray's before getting veterinary care at Berkeley Animal Center, and becoming adoptable.

Tom- An intact male cat. None of the cats at Catnip & Coffee are Tom Cats!

Torbie - A cat with tabby stripes but tortoiseshell colors (black, and ginger/red)

Did you learn anything today?

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