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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 the inverse direction (from Germanic to Latin) has also been suggested. See cat for more.



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.

Case Singular Plural
nominative cattus cattī
genitive cattī cattōrum
dative cattō cattīs
accusative cattum cattōs
ablative cattō cattīs
vocative catte cattī


Related termsEdit



  • du Cange, Charles (1883), “cattus”, in G. A. Louis Henschel, Pierre Carpentier, Léopold Favre, editors, Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (in Latin), Niort: L. Favre
  • cattus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français [Illustrated Latin-French Dictionary], Hachette
  • cattus in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[1], pre-publication website, 2005-2016
  1. ^ Jean-Paul Savignac, Dictionnaire français-gaulois, s.v. "chat" (Paris: Errance, 2004), 82.