Why are cats called pussycats? A History of the Word “Pussycat”

You’re not alone if you’ve ever wondered why cats are called pussycats. Unfortunately, it’s a common question with a somewhat complicated answer. To understand where the word “pussycat” came from, we have to look at the history of the word “pussy.”


Why are cats called pussycats?


There are several theories about the origins of the word “pussycat.” One possibility is that it derives from the Old English word “puse,” meaning “female cat.

Another possibility is related to the Dutch word “poes,” which has a similar meaning. It is also possible that the word “pussy” was initially used as a term of endearment for young children and that this usage eventually transferred to cats.

Whatever its origins, the word “pussycat” has been used for centuries and shows no signs of disappearing anytime soon.

Cats have long been associated with feminine qualities such as beauty, grace, and affection, making them the perfect recipients of this charming nickname.


The Origins of the Word “Pussy”


The word “pussy” has a long and complicated history. It’s derived from the Latin word for “cat,” which is “pus.” The Old English word for cat was “catt,” which comes from the Latin word for cat, “catus.” Over time, these words morphed into the modern English word “cat.

However, “pussy” wasn’t always used to refer to cats. In Middle English, the word “pussy” was used as a term for endearment for young girls. However, it wasn’t until the 16th century that the word started to refer to cats.


How Cats Became Known as Pussycats


There are a few theories about how cats became known as pussycats. One idea is that it’s simply a corruption of the Old English word for cat, “catt.” Another theory is that it references how soft and furry cats are.

It’s also possible that using the word “pussycat” to refer to cats is simply a play on words. After all, cats are often called “kittens,” another endearment term for young girls. So it stands to reason that calling a cat a pussycat would be humorous.


Why are cats called Moggies?


The term “moggie” is thought to be derived from the Latin word “mala,” meaning “female cat.” The word moggie eventually became English in the early 1800s and was first used to refer to a mixed-breed cat.

Over time, the term came to be used more broadly to refer to any domestic cat, regardless of breed. For example, cats are often referred to as moggies in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. In the United States, the term is less common but can still be used from time to time.

So next time you call your cat a moggie, you can rest assured that you’re using a centuries-old term with a rich history.




No one knows why cats are called pussycats, but there are a few theories about how the word came about. The most likely explanation is that it’s simply a corruption of the Old English word for cat, “catt.” However, it’s also possible that it references how soft and furry cats are or that it’s simply a play on words since cats are also often called kittens. Whichever explanation you believe, one thing is for sure: cats have been called pussycats for centuries!

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Michael Grover

About Me I have been a pet owner for most of my life. I am now retired and spend my days writing about problems relating to cats, dogs, and funeral poems. I am passionate about stopping animal cruelty in any shape or form. My passion is to help people like you identify behavior problems in cats and dogs. That is what I do. Over the years of my life, I have always kept cats and dogs. About four years ago I retired and found I had a lot of time on my hands, so I started to write all about dog and cat problems. It was suggested that I start up a website and publish my words to help people with their pet problems. I am still writing every day and hope you find my articles useful. Regards Mike Grover

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