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What Is a Group of Cats Called?

Did you know that a group of cats is called a clowder? And have you ever wondered exactly how many cats do you need to make a clowder? When we think of a clowder of cats, we often think about the group of alley cats in an old cartoon. Protecting their street in their trash cans with fish bones scattered about. That is because when cats aren’t domesticated in a home, they love to group together.

Why do they call a group of cats a clowder?

While there are a few other names for these groups of felines, clowder is one of the most popular names. According to Dictionary.com, clowder originated between 1795-1805 in England (Middle English). It is thought to come from the word clodder or clotted mass. Another word origin is a variant of clutter. An early collective term for cats was “a clutter of cats”. So, with the different dialects and accents in that part of the world, clutter eventually evolved into clowder.

How many cats do you need for a clowder?

Two cats are generally called a pair. According to a Toluna poll, 47% of people agree that any more than two is a clowder, but 17% of people that voted seem to think that a clowder involves at least 7 cats or more.

What are some other names for a group of cats?

  • Glaring
  • Pounce
  • Clutter
  • Litter (Kittens)
  • Kindle (Kittens)

Why do cats group together?

Although we tend to think of cats as independent and aloof, they are actually quite social creatures. If you think about their big cat ancestors you will notice that they all travel in groups. The lone lion is not a strong lion. However, these groups not packs like dogs form. They are looser in structure with social guidelines and friendships. These aren’t really packs, they are “prides.” They consist of a few dominant males and a larger number of females. These felines work together in a cooperative structure for the good of everyone in the pride.

Similarly, clowders have learned to rely on each other. The domestic cat can be isolated, but they truly do love the company of others. Cats are a little territorial, but the social structure they build with other cats usually helps them negotiate turf issues. If left alone on the street or are feral they will group together. They know that they safer that way. That’s why we always see the back alleys of stray cats in movies. They are stronger as a clowder than by themselves.

Do you have a clowder, or more than two cats, in your home? How do you deal with their behavior and territorial issues? We would love to hear about your experiences!

And of course, we are always helping to take care of your beloved clowder. Even though they have one another to keep each other company, they also have one another with which to get into mischief. Our sitters are more than happy to check in on your cats while you are away to make sure they are not getting into to much trouble. Visit our cat sitting page for more information.



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