Everyone that has ever had a cat knows that they make the best of friends. And people without cats just don’t understand. Why do you think some people have what seems like a hundred cats? It’s because they’re so darn cool! So it should come as no surprise that many people want to keep their cats forever—even 38 years is far to short. Here are some of the best examples of people who have memorialised their cat, in ink, forever.
A cosmic cat tattoo
If you’re not familiar with Adrian’s work, then let me tell you one thing right now: When it comes to color composition, few artists do it better than him. And by color composition I mean colors that compliment each other in the best possible way.
A bengal cat
Bengal cats are a domestic breed developed to look like jungle cats such as leopards, ocelots, and margays. Bengal’s look feral, but they are in reality a completely domesticated breed. They are often prized for their exotic coats, which usually include spots not commonly seen in other domesticated breeds.
A glimpse of perfection
Youyeon is one of those artists that can literally take your breath away. He specializes in small designs, like this little grey cat, and manages to pack in details that bring his designs to life in a way that few other artists are able to achieve. Have you seen a more realistic cat tattoo? ‘Cause I haven’t.
A set of eyes
So you don’t need to get an actual cat tattoo to be cool. In fact, after seeing this gorgeous set of green eyes, one could even argue that a single set of eyes is just as polarizing, or perhaps even more so, than an entire cat. This tattoo has been around for a while but it’s one of my favorite examples and I just couldn’t bring myself to leave it from the list.
People tend to put their pets on pedestals. And why not? They deserve it! I have a few dogs, and even though they are far from perfect, labeling them anything less than royalty just wouldn’t be fair or right.
A watercolor cat
Maybe a better description of this design would be “a cat-shaped brushstroke.” If you’re looking for a creative way to get a cat tattoo, an abstract design can give you a classy and sophisticated feel. Bang Bang resident artist Georgia Grey has a thing for brushstroke designs, and if you’re impressed with what you see here, I recommend checking out her Instagram portfolio for more amazing works of art.
A brother and sister
Yes, this is real. No, this isn’t a photograph. In order to ink any white object, you need to have a firm grasp on the art of shading and its properties. As you can see here, Youyeon obviously knows his stuff, but how he manages to pull it off with a needle is almost beyond comprehension.
A few friends
As anyone that owns a cat knows, they are incredibly observant creatures by nature. Cats often spend hours on end frozen in the window monitoring life outside. And if your cat is anything like my grandmas, you’re probably more familiar with its backside than its front. So when it comes to immortalizing our friends in ink, we often choose to remember them, well, how we remember them.
A safe landing
Cats always land on their feet. Well, almost always. While they do have an uncanny ability to seemingly right themselves in midair, I can assure you that their gravity-defying abilities do have their limits. A simple Youtube search will back me up.
A watercolor cat
Some artists have such a unique style that their work is instantly recognizable. Polish artist Ewa Sroka is one of those artists. Her vivid abstract watercolor creations have a tendency to feature animals as well as other naturalist themes, and if it’s cats you’re after, you’ll be happy to know that Ewa’s Instagram is full of them.
An upside down kitten
You wouldn’t want to have to turn your heard upside down every time you want to get a look at your little kitten now would you? If your cats are anything like my dogs, they probably spend a fair amount of time on their backs. This is a great pose, which also gives you the benefit of looking at your cat in the correct orientation while seated.
An unlikely friendship
Cats and dogs aren’t known to have the most amicable of relationships, but those of you with both species under the same roof know that under the right circumstances, cats and dogs can get along swimmingly.
A touch of brown
An expert use of negative space and just a hint of watercolor fill give this cat an air of elegance and intrigue. But don’t spend too much time in the sun, or your kitty might just disappear.
A decorative design
Little “extras” that can be seen around this cat that tend to remind you of Doctor Woo’s work. Impeccable detail and the smallest addition of color for the nose and eyes.
A playful kitty
Lounging in the company of a single stalk of wheat, Sona is rendered in a three-dimensional sense with her paw reaching out towards you. Adding the cats name to the piece is a nice touch.
A watercolor cat
While reflecting on our love for watercolor tattoo designs of any sort, I can’t help but notice my second favorite style of ink (sketched) is also incorporated into this design. Cute, abstract, and oh so original.
A curious kitty
Although the majority of the designs on this list are packed full of intricate details, this little kitten’s pupils just might end up stealing the show.
A geometric design
Over the past few years, gradient color patterns have been absolutely everywhere. And by everywhere, I’m mainly talking about the wide world of web design. But that doesn’t mean that these magical transitions of color haven’t influenced other aspects of design as well. This geometric cat illustrates a smooth transition of color, which fades from blue, to purple, to red.
A realistic representation
People get tattoos of their cats because they want to remember them. And there’s no better way to remember a furry friend than by getting the most realistic representation of them possible. So if you can find an artist with the skill to do your cat justice you’ll be able to remember your cat exactly as they were.
First of all, can we just take a minute to appreciate the beauty and creativity of this wonderful composition? Youyeon is a extraordinary artist and his work gives the word “perfection” new meaning. And we’re glad he has a fondness for our feline friends—more cat tattoos for everyone!
A creative cat
I’m not going to pretend to know what’s going on here but I can tell you that this particular design falls exactly in line with what someone would assume a cat designed by David Peyote would look like. Lots of gradient fades set against bold black fill makes for powerful imagery.
A couple cats just doing life
You know what they say, “Two cats are cuter than one.” Okay, maybe I’m getting my phrases confused but I think anyone who loves cats would agree that two cats are definitely cuter to watch playing together than one by his or herself. And as any cat lover knows, one cat quickly turns into two cats and before you know it, you’ve got a clowder.
A delightful dotwork design
It’s no secret that the dotwork style of design is the most popular trend of the last decade. Creating any design in a way that leaves each individual dot discernible to the naked eye gives an image a soft and inviting appearance.
A cute kitten
If you get a tattoo of anything even close to resembling this little adorable ball of fluff, then I can guarantee that you’ll never be sad again. Boyfriend dumps you? Just look at your wrist. Drop your phone in the toilet? Just look at your wrist. Keeping a small reminder of everything that’s good in this world can have serious emotional benefits.
A cosmic kitty
There’s no denying that the whole “cosmic” thing has been everywhere as of late. Constellations, nebulas, entire galaxies, it’s the wonder of space no doubt that has everyone clamoring for more. A grey cat is beautiful by itself, but add a little cosmic flare to the mix and bingo, you’ve got yourself an instant classic.
A floral cat
Women love flowers. We want them all the time. We take time to revel in their beauty and we smell them any chance we get. Oh ya. We also like to put them into our tattoos.
A gradient outline
Color gradients aren’t just for signup boxes, logos, and text fill. They also make for some pretty epic tattoo designs—specifically when used to color a single outline.
Call me silly, but some of my favorite time with my dogs is when I’m laying on the bed and they’re giving me this exact look from this exact position. They get me, and I get them. And while I may not have cats, I can imagine that any cat owners have the same feels.
A TV to play with
Not to bring up my dogs again, but it’s really the only way I can relate since I have no cats, nor have I ever (it’s an allergy thing, cats are adorable and I’m sure I’d have a few if I wasn’t so allergic), but the youngest of my two dogs spends more time than my neighbors would like barking at the TV. However it is hilarious, and getting a tattoo of something that made me smile would be a great way to remember them.
Cats are natural hiders. This cat taking refuge in the shadow of its owner’s bosom is an adorable concept that I just might have to steal! If you want to take your little one with you forever, choosing a creative placement will make it all the more special.
A large thigh piece
This large thigh piece is more “cat mural” than “cat tattoo.” This is just a cat tattoo but look at those stripes. This is a great example of what your cat tattoo can look like if you’re looking for something on a larger scale.
A pair of Siamese cats
There are so many different kinds of cats, but if you don’t know much about cats, the one breed you’re likely to know by name is the beautiful Siamese. The Siamese is one of the most distinctive breeds of asian cats, and known for their dark nose and ears.
A stack of books
If there’s one thing that goes with a good book and a warm cup of coffee, it’s definitely a cat. I mean, how many movies have you seen that feature a house cat coming to greet its owner while they’re reading a book.
A watercolor design
I hope you’re viewing this image with a retina screen or something similar, because the vivid colors and crisp edges that make up this design are really a sight to behold. The quality of this design is insane! A good camera also helps.
A crescent moon
The first thing that comes to mind when looking at this design is “Is there some hidden design in that cat’s fur?” Perhaps not, but there’s no denying this cat is a prime candidate for a klecksography study.
A galaxy kitten
To say that kittens playing with balls of yarn is a cliche would be the understatement of the century. But what’s funny is that a ball of yarn actually makes for one of the worst cat toys imaginable. Respooling yards upon yards of yarn is not fun.
A perfect profile
If you’re still here, that means you’re pretty into cat tattoos. And since you’ve only made it through about half of this list, that means by the time you’re done, there’s a good chance you’ll be dreaming about cats for the next few days.
A white cat
Of all the designs on the list, this is the one that gets me the most excited. You see, I have two Maltese dogs (all white, in case you aren’t familiar with the breed), and I’ve always wanted to get some type of tattoo of the two so I’ll always have them with me. But tattooing all white subjects is a little tricky. White ink just looks odd to me and very few designs that I’ve seen have made me feel comfortable. That is, until I saw this Persian beauty.
If you find yourself questioning whether these three tattoos are real, you probably aren’t alone. Youyeon is known all over the world for his unparalleled ability to capture reality, and as someone who looks at tattoos all day, I can tell you that he’s one of the most technically skilled tattoo artists in the world.
A curious creature
Cats are curious creatures by nature, and will paw at just about any small animal they come across. I love the way the artist managed to capture the cat’s curiosity in this piece, and the details and proportions leave nothing to be desired.
A cat in a boat
You don’t need to go all super realistic when it comes to your cat tattoo. Simple illustrations can be just as impressive as their larger more detailed counterparts. This cat with a balloon in a boat is both cute and funny.
A tiny cat tattoo
Not everyone has the luxury or desire to get a 2 foot-long mural of their cat tattooed onto their body. While small tattoos may not be as impressive as some of the other designs on this list, they are exactly what many people are looking for.
A beautiful forearm piece
“I really should stop staring at this now,” is probably what just went through your brain. Crisp clean lines and the perfect amount of depth and contrast give this piece a hypnotic quality that makes it almost impossible not to stare.
A vivid watercolor display
Earlier you got a small taste of Ewa’s genius, and whether or not you’re a fan, here’s another example of her work for your viewing please. Ewa loves cats, and has enough cat designs to fill this entire list. For the sake of variety we decided to only include a couple, but if you’re eager for more, Ewa’s Instagram should be your next destination.
A lucky cat
The Maneki-neko cat is a Japanese figurine which is believed to bring good fortune. While luck is something we could all use a little more of, the overall composition and execution of this design is what really stands out.
An elegant forearm piece
This watercolor design has that loosely-drawn appearance that has great appeal and a vintage feel. Sometimes perfect isn’t perfect if you know what I mean. This drawing has a lot of style, and I like to think every cat owner pictures their cat surrounded by beautiful pink roses.
A friendly face
Location is very important, and I’m not just talking about real estate. I say this because I’m convinced that the “bicep” location, see above, is today was the wrist or ankle was 30 years ago. We’re starting to see a lot more designs in this particular location, and I hope the trend continues.
An interesting style
It’s easy to play it safe and get a small kitty tattoo on your wrist. But if you have a little more gumption, you’re often rewarded for boldly going where few have gone before. This stunning ornate example is proof that bigger sometimes is better.
An array of cats
It doesn’t take a genius to predict where this woman’s next tattoo will land. Three perfect cats decorate this slender arm. It would almost be a shame if a fourth didn’t show up eventually.
A black cat
For those of you with superstitions, a black cat may not be in the cards. Thanks to medieval times, black cats have had to deal with a seriously bad wrap. But as anyone that has ever owned a black cat will tell you, they’re oh so sweet.
An adorable couple
Although dogs are man’s best friend, cats are by far the most popular pet in the world. So it’s completely understandable why someone would want to immortalize their furry friends on one of the most painful locations known.
A mandala style design
This cat is done in the same beautiful style that we saw earlier, only this design is surrounded by gorgeous mandala designs done in a rhythmic dotwork style.
A couple of grey cats
I hope you brought an appetite, because there are two peas in this pod! Fact: Two cats are better than one. While experts argue whether cats indeed do get lonely, I’m a firm believer that it depends on the cat and their personality.
A cat and her friend
Banul has a beautifully unique style. She adds a sprinkle of fantasy to her realism works that give it just enough style to make it her own. Details but not too much detail if you know what I mean. There aren’t that many artists that posses a style so unique that it makes their work instantly recognizable.
A curious kitty
Zlata is another one of those artists that manages to capture reality in a way that few other artists are able to. This piece looks to be from a series, as the subject matter seems to be almost identical to the previous work we featured on this list.
A cosmic coat
This galaxy cat is flat out fun. Cats are fun, so there’s no reason why your cat tattoo shouldn’t be fun as well. Those quirky yellow eyes look like they are from another dimension as well.
A colorful cat
If you prefer something more vibrant, then bright colors will definitely make a statement. The splashes of electric blue and pink really grab the viewer’s attention, but it’s amazing how those green eyes still manage to posses so much power.
A love for cats
People love their pets in the same way that they would a human family member. Pets are part of the family, and the bond that we have with our pets is something that only a pet owner can understand. In fact, it’s often easier to love a cat or dog than a human!
A fluffy kitten
There are cute kittens and then there are cute kittens. This little pink-nosed bundle of cuddles is the latter. The way the artist captures the innocence in those eyes just melts my heart.
A Maine coon
This design is so much more than just a cat, but they did get something exactly right. The size of the Maine coon breed is something that really needs to be seen to be believed. They can be gigantic!
A black and grey ink design
This design captures the whole “sad and cute” thing perfectly. “I peed in your shoes.” Aww that’s OK. “I destroyed the wallpaper.” It was last year’s design. “I murdered your whole family.” It’s OK, I’ll get another.
Cats are crepuscular, which mean that they are mostly active during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. Otherwise you’ll probably find them sleeping. Which is an adorable way to remember them.
An elegant feline
This design is everything you could expect from a cat tattoo. The traditional cat pose if you will. And I gotta say, it looks great!
An X-ray cat
For some reason this design reminds me of an Egyptian cat. Maybe it’s the elaborate necklace but I think it’s the whole skeleton thing which is characteristic of those mummy cats you see in museums.
A miniature kitty
This small design is everything you need to remind yourself how precious your little kitty is to you. I’m planning to get tattoos of each of my two dogs, and this is exactly how I’m going to do it.
A kitty keepsake
The main reason people get tattoos of their cats is so they can remember them forever. A memorial to carry with them for the rest of their life.
A luminescent cat
Psychedelic designs will always hold a special place in my heart. And no, I don’t partake in that particular scene but I do love the art!
A double exposure design
As far as cool goes, this design comes in at numero uno on the list as far as I’m concerned. Maybe I’m just a sucker for those colorful comic skies. Can we just take a second to appreciate how much is going on in such a confined space. Simply mind-blowing.
A fluffy friend
Susanne Konig is an extraordinary illustrator. Her trademark style is a children’s book on its own, minus the words of course. It’s fun, comforting, and elegant all in one!
An abstract duo of watercolor cats
A lot of artists dabble in the watercolor style of tattooing, but there are only a few that really stick out in my mind and Adrian is one of those few. This is one of those tattoo designs you can just tell is going to age well.