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Traditionally thought to be from some Afro-Asiatic language.[1] Presumably borrowed into Germanic and Slavic languages along with the introduction of domesticated cats, though it is possible that the Latin word was derived from Proto-Germanic *kattuz instead. See cat for more.


  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈkat.tus/, [ˈkat̪.t̪ʊs]
  • (file)


cattus m (genitive cattī); second declension

  1. a cat
    • 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, p. 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.
      [...] he took the ox and the cat, and led both to the market. Anytime someone came who wanted to buy the ox, he 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. He said he 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. ^ Jean-Paul Savignac, Dictionnaire français-gaulois, s.v. "chat" (Paris: Errance, 2004), 82.