O meaning of cat tattoos is very much associated with independence. The cat tattoo can also signify quick recovery and freedom of thought, and due to their ability to fall from great heights has given cats a reputation for having 7 lives (9 lives in the US).
The symbolic meaning of cat tattoos varies greatly according to world region and era.
According to paleontologists, the cat originated, approximately 50 million years ago, as a small carnivore skilled with its retractable claws. Since then it has been part of human culture.
Cats in Ancient Egypt
Cats are highly revered in Ancient Egypt, being symbolized by the goddess Bastet, a symbol of fertility and motherhood, and also associated with the moon. Cats appear in the Book of the Dead as having defeated the evil god Apep.
The cat was such a protected animal in Ancient Egypt that it was forbidden to export it, and killing a cat led to the death of its executioner, and cats were mummified and had their own tombs.
Other meanings of cat tattoos
In Thailand the Siamese Cat was the sacred temple cat.
In Japan and India the cat is considered ambiguous, having ignored the Buddha's ascension, which may also represent that he was the only one who really understood Buddhism, being indifferent to events to reach enlightenment.
In Europe domestic cats had a varied reception over the centuries. They were seen as a mute companion who cared only for his life, even as an exalted soul. They are also associated with playfulness, some indifference, and a lot of affection.
In the middle ages, cats were associated with witches, being represented in black cat tattoos, serving as a guardian, or protector of the night as well.
The Norse goddess Freya had cats pulling her chariot.
For sailors cat tattoos symbolized good luck, and cats were accepted as a valuable crew member for keeping the rodent population low on ships.
For the Celtic culture, cats are mistrusted
Symbol of cunning for the Pawnee Indian people of North America
Attracted to clairvoyant behavior in Central Africa.
Most Popular Cat Tattoos
The tattoos that are most commonly done today are: