When animals get together in a group, there is a specific name for that group. The most commonly known is probably that a group of dogs is a pack. But what about cats? These felines have some very interesting names for their groups. Let’s dig in and learn more about the one for cats.
Three or more cats are called a “clowder.” There are other ways to refer to a group of cats, like a clutter, a glaring or a pounce. When only two cats are together they are called a pair. We will use clowder whenever more than a pair of cats is together at a time.
Do you enjoy writing or talking about cats? Or about pets in general? Then, there are tons of words that you need to learn to express yourself in the ideal and effective form in English language.
Recently, cats — and pets — have started to be included in our lives at a rapid rate. Therefore the importance of being able to create much richer sentences when deciding the types of collective names we should use when referring to those pets.
Let’s dig deeper to learn more fun and useful collective names you can use when talking about a group of cats that stand together.
A Little Bit About The History Of Plural Nouns
Collective nouns for groups of animals are said to date all the way back to medieval times, which may actually explain why some of these names can be a bit surprising, strange, or downright funny to us.
Collective Names For Cats
There are several other collective terms used for a group of cats, such as a clowder, a clutter, a glaring, or a pounce as mentioned above. We have put together a list of groups of cats and their collective names – cat groups can have more than one collective name – that you may or may not have heard of. Whenever cats gather in groups, they are called:
A Clowder Of Cats
Merriam-Webster defines it just as “a group of cats” and it is most likely the first definition you will find. Clowder is the word used to refer to a group of three or more cats, and it is most likely an all-time favorite.
It is believed that the meaning for clowder originated from England in the early 1700s according to most dictionaries. They believed the word clowder derived from “clutter” or “clotted”, although there isn’t any other explanation as to why these words were chosen in the first place.
A Glaring Of Cats
This is more frequently used when the cats are unfamiliar and unsure of each other (and maybe are all glaring at one another.
A Pounce Of Cats
While there is not a specific definition for this, we all know that cats love to pounce on just about anything that passes by. Whether it’s a human, an object, or another fellow cat, so pounce makes sense and this makes it a very fitting name.
A Colony Of Cats
This word is normally used to describe a group of (typically) stray cats that live together in a particular territory. Generally, you can find colonies of stray cats around fishing ports when there is plenty of food.
We can also refer to a group of cats as clutter (which makes sense, we suppose) and as a cluster of cats, as well.
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Cartoons have used this collective representation of cats to entertain kids — and adults. The most popular one is probably Top Cat, it is an American animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and created in 1961; about a cat leader and his gang of alley cats living in an alley.
Collective Names Based On Gender, Age Or Group
What Is A Group Of Baby Cats Called?
Kittens have their own unique way to be named when two or more are together. They are referred to as:
A Kindle Of Kittens
Yes, just like the famous electronic eReader device available now. This word can be used to describe a group of kittens in exactly the same way as the word litter, however, it is less frequently used. The collective noun “Kindle” comes from a combination of the German word kinder (meaning children) and the old English word kindelen (meaning to give birth to). And somewhere along the line, this word became associated with cats. Another source indicates that in Old English, “kindling” was a term that was used for birthing, and this is most probably where the noun originated from.
A Litter Of Kittens
The most common collective name is of course “Litter”. Yet, this is only used when all of the kittens are siblings who were born together.
An Intrigue Of Kittens
It is not frequently used but anyone who has ever had kittens will know that this is a very appropriate word to use for a group of kittens since they are indeed perpetually curious.
Entanglement Of Kittens
It is a rarely used collective name, however one which makes perfect sense when you have seen a group of newborn kittens with their limbs seemingly impossibly entangled together. So a loud group of kittens can definitely be defined as an entanglement of little furry bodies.
What Is A Group Of Wild Cats Called?
The collective name for a group of wild cats is “destruction.” This is a very fitting word considering you are referring to a group of wild cats. However, I wouldn’t agree that all feral cats cause destruction, they do claim their own territory and make themselves known. Also, if you think about the time period of when these phrases are believed to have originated, probably feral cats did cause some form of destruction in relatively small towns.
If you get to see a group of those big cats in the wild – hopefully, it will be very far away. Their collective names are very interesting, and in some cases, even suitable.
Tigers: Ambush Or Streak
A group of several tigers is called a streak or an ambush. A female tigress and her cubs qualify as a streak. Those tigers in captivity, that are forced to dwell together due to the restrictions in their habitat’s size, are also called a streak.
Leopards: Leap (A Leap Of Leopards)
The name comes due to their ability to leap over 20 feet and are able to jump up to 10 feet into the air. Though, leopards don’t leap together as a group — they’re solitary big cats. But their leaping skills help them to nab prey as speedy gazelles.
Lions: Troop, Pride, Salut, Sowse
Lions are the only cats that are more social than solitary. A pride might vary in composition but will occasionally include as many as 30 individual cats.
Most of the time, a coalition will be contained by brothers — born in the same litter — who stayed together after weaning, however, biologically unrelated males are often allowed in the group as well.
When Should We Use The Plural Form
Collective nouns refer to an exclusive class of nouns that symbolizes a group of people, objects, animals, ideas, or concepts as a single individual. This group is considered either as a whole or collectively.
The main issue that usually comes up when using collective names for cats is whether to use it with a singular verb or a plural verb. Collective names can be used either in a singular form or a plural form, depending on the sentence and how we want to use the word.
- Singular verb usage: In the event, the full collective group is working in unison, as one unit, a singular verb will go with it.
- Example: She currently resides in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and a mighty clowder of cats (The “clowder”, which is a group of cats, a mighty clowder of cats).
- Plural verb usage: Whenever the different individuals within the collective group are working independently, plural verb and plural pronouns will go with it.
- Example: A litter of kittens showed up at our door. (The individual kittens in the “litter” all walked to the door).
How To Use Collective Names For Cats Correctly?
Some of these collective nouns for groups of cats are not very popular and are mostly known by people of specific professions related to cats, or other animals. Many of those terms are not very used, to the point that even scientists who specialize in studying specific animals have not heard of some of these terms. So our best option is to get familiar with the topic.
Groups of cats can be called in many different ways, these are the several words associated with cat groups, including “clowder”, “clutter”, “cluster”, “clutch” and “pounce”. But, be on the lookout if anyone offers to play with their mischief of kittens, you may want to decline that opportunity. A group of rats is sometimes called a “mischief.” Baby rats and mice are called pups or kittens. So, a mischief of kittens would actually mean a group of baby rats, not cuddly little felines, so do not confuse them for a group of kittens.
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Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.