What is Cat in French?

June 1, 2023

If you’ve ever been to France, seen a cat meme online, or a French film or TV show with a cat character in it, chances are you know that the French love their cats. In fact, you’ll find cat cafes in many cities, a variety of cute cat cards and stickers, as well as people that care about and feed stray cats and kittens. And of course, they’re also recognized as living creatures by law in France that shouldn’t be harmed.

So, what is a cat called in French? The word for a male cat is le chat, and a female cat is la chatte. However, be careful when using the word “chatte” as it can have a sexual connotation in French (since it’s slang for the female genitalia). You can avoid any possible misunderstandings by simply saying “le chat” or “la chatte.”

Another great term to add to your list of French cat vocabulary is minou. This is the closest translation to the English word kitty, and it can be used for any type of cat. It’s also the name of a popular card game in which you have to match pairs of cards. It’s important to note that many French idiomatic expressions and phrases use the word cat, so understanding the meaning of these is important for your language learning.

Some examples include: “Il y a plus de chats que de souris dans la ville” - this means there are more cats than mice. “Le chat qui dort, attrape le souris” - this is a idiom that says the cat that sleeps catch the mouse.


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