Traditionally thought to be borrowed from Latin cattus, from Afroasiatic. However, this presents problems, and Huehnergard opines it is "equally likely that the forms might derive from an ancient Germanic word, imported into Latin and thence to Greek and to Syriac and Arabic". Kroonen also considers the word to be native to Germanic (due to morphological alternations) and Northern Europe, and suggests that it might ultimately be borrowed from Uralic, cf. Northern Sami gáđfi (“female stoat”) and Hungarian hölgy (“stoat; lady, bride”) from Proto-Uralic *käďwä (“female (of a fur animal)”). See cat for more.
- Latin: cattus (possibly)
- Old English: catt m; catte f
- Old Frisian: katte
- Old Saxon: katto m; katta f
- Old Dutch: *katta
- Old High German: kazzo m; kazza f
- Old Norse: köttr, kǫttr; (ketta)