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Home > Cats > What Is a Group of Cats Called? 5 Adorable Terms

What Is a Group of Cats Called? 5 Adorable Terms

Three Maine Coon cats on a DIY cat tree

Cats are mostly solitary animals, preferring to keep to themselves and hunt on their own. In stark contrast to their close relatives, lions, who most often move in groups called prides. However, it’s not uncommon to see cats in groups, especially stray and alley cats. This begs the question: What is a group of cats called?

Of course, you could always call them a group of cats, but there’s no fun in that. If you want to sound smart and informed, then calling them a clowder works best. Today, we’ll explore what the term “clowder” means, its origins, and other words that mean the same.

divider-cat What Is a Clowder?

As stated earlier, a clowder refers to a group of cats. Clowder is to cats what herd is to cows, and a pack is to wolves. But where did the term originate from?

Clowder is a derivative of the word “clodder,” which means to clot or coagulate. This is an archaic, late 17th-century term that referred to a clotted mass of a substance. Over the years, the term evolved to become “clowder,” which is pronounced almost the same as “chowder.” Many groups of cats are thus called “clowders.”

Back in the day, cats weren’t part of the average family, let alone house pets. Instead, they stayed in barns and shelters where they kept farms clear of rodents and pests. This formed the ideal environment for cat socialization. Unlike modern homes in the 21st century, cats weren’t secluded in their homes but would interact freely in barns and farms, like the cats we see in our back alleys.

Stray cats on the streets of Cyprus
Image Credit: Oxana Oliferovskaya, Shutterstock

What Other Terms Mean the Same as Clowder?

There are a few other terms you can use to refer to a group of cats. These might sound less awkward in a conversation. They include:

  • Destruction
  • Cluster
  • Glaring
  • Nuisance
  • Pounce

A cluster of cats certainly fits seamlessly into a sentence compared to a clowder of cats. Either way, you can use any of the above terms to refer to a group of cats without breaking the sacred rules of English grammar.

How Do Cats Relate With Each Other?

Cats aren’t known for their social nature, which raises the question of whether you can even spot a group of cats. If you only own a single cat, then your best bet for seeing a clowder of cats is by walking through back alleys and peeking inside garbage bins on the street.

If you have several cats or just a handful of them, you’ve probably noticed a little grouping. Although solitary creatures, cats can form pretty strong bonds with each other. If you notice one of your cats rubbing against another, it means they trust each other. By allowing their scents to mingle, they can become bosom buddies. Over time, these bonds grow, and before you know it, you have a clowder of cats looking to overthrow your household.

In the wild, feral cats with kittens may work together, forming clowders. Every member of the clowder will work for the common good of the group. However, they can still hunt individually and live separate lives despite being in a clowder. Feral cats work the same way, only in a different environment.

Two cats playing
Image credit: Dina Voicu, Pixabay

divider-cat Final Thoughts

Now that you know what a group of cats is called feel free to use the term at your discretion. You can use it during conversations with your dinner guests to sound smart. You can write it in your essays or in your social media captions. Anything goes as long as the rest of your sentence obeys the rules of grammar.

So, what’s better than an adorable cat? A clowder of adorable cats, of course!


Featured Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

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