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Alternative forms[edit]


Unknown; possibly a Wanderwort,[1] compare Proto-Uralic *käďwä (female (of a fur animal)),[2] or perhaps borrowed from a Nilo-Saharan or Afroasiatic language,[3] compare Nubian kadī (cat), Arabicقِطّ(qiṭṭ, cat, tomcat), Classical Syriacܩܛܘ(qaṭṭu, cat).



cattus m (genitive cattī); second declension[4][5][6]

  1. (Late Latin, Medieval Latin) a cat
    • c. 4th-5th century, Servius, In Vergilii Aeneidem commentarii 5.610.1:
      Nulli visa ad ipsum retulit numen: nam arcus semper videtur: quem non Irim, sed viam Iridis dixit. alii celeritatis esse volunt 'nulli visa'. notandum sane etiam de Iride arcum genere masculino dicere Vergilium: Catullus et alii genere feminino ponunt, referentes ad originem, sicut 'haec cattus' et 'haec gallus' legimus.
    • 1558, Martin Luther, Theologiae Martini Lutheri Trimembris Epitome, De Tertio Statu Hominis:
      Affirmant quod quanto sceleratior es, tanto citius Deus gratiam infundit: si autem adornes te, ut cattus bonis operibus, ut te Deus acceptet, nihil efficias.
      They assert that the more a miscreant you are, the sooner God showers grace upon you: if, however, you should adorn yourself, like a cat, with good works, so that God accepts you, you shall bring about nothing.
    • 1656, Guillaume Pepin, Conciones Mysticae et Morales in Septem Psalmos Poenitentiales, page 38:
      [...] illa accepit bovem & cattum, et utrumque duxit ad forum. Cumque quiddam venisset qui bovem emere veller. Illa respondit. Nullus habebit bovem, nisi etiam emat & cattum. Cumque ille dixisset non velle emere cattum, abiit. Et statim venit alius & interrogat quanti pretii utrumque foret. Illa dixit se velle vendere cattum pro una marcha argentari, sed bovem pro denario, & sic convenerunt.
      [...] she took the ox and the cat, and led both to the market. Anytime someone came who wanted to buy the ox, she responded: None shall have an ox, unless besides he also buys a cat. Any time someone said he did not want to buy a cat, he left. And immediately another came and asked what price for each. She said she wanted to sell a cat for one silver mark, but an ox for a denarius, and so they came to an agreement.


Second-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative cattus cattī
Genitive cattī cattōrum
Dative cattō cattīs
Accusative cattum cattōs
Ablative cattō cattīs
Vocative catte cattī


Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ Friedrich Kluge (1989), “Katze”, in Elmar Seebold, editor, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache [Etymological Dictionary of the German Language] (in German), 22nd edition, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, →ISBN, page 362
  2. ^ Kroonen, Guus (2013), “*kattōn-”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 11), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, pages 281-282
  3. ^ Mallory, J. P.; Adams, D. Q. (2006) The Oxford introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European world, Oxford University Press, page 141
  4. ^ cattus in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  5. ^ cattus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  6. ^ cattus in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[1], pre-publication website, 2005-2016