What Is A Group Of Cats Called?

big tabby cat sitting with smaller younger black cat. there are other black cats in the background.

One day I was talking to my mum about cats, naturally, and we both couldn’t work out what a group of cats were called. It was one of those situations where we couldn’t possibly move on with our lives until we knew!

What is a group of cats called? The Correct Term for a group of cats is called a clowder. (Pronunciation like “chowder.”)

What Other Terms Refer To A Group Of Cats?

Although Clowder is the most commonly used term for groups of cats, there are other terms used to describe three or more felines:

  • Cluster of cats
  • Dout of cats
  • Clutter of cats
  • Pounce of cats
  • Destruction of cats
  • Nuisance of cats
  • Glaring of cats

We now know what a group of cats known as, totally weird, right? It is just the beginning because you can even casually understand a group of cats.

There are similar eccentric names for groups of wild or feral cats. Wild/Feral cat group is often known as “Colonies.”

If you refer to the group of kittens or young cats, you can use the traditional term “Cat litter.” You may be on the lookout to buy a cat from the market. Watch out! A young cat group is usually written above a kitten cage/enclosure in the pet store on the far wall note.

Today, we will focus on the term “clouder” and how it originated.

The Origin Of The term “A Clowder Of Cats”

“Walking” isn’t the first thing you think of describing cats, so how did the term come to be?

According to Dictionary.com, the term cloud derives from “Calder.”Clowder is a Middle English term that originated in the late 1700s and was used to describe “frozen mass.” With time this term has evolved into the current form, “Clowder.”

How To Use The Term “A Clowder Of Cats”

Now that you know what a group of cats called, how do you use the word “Clowder”? Chances are, if you throw “Clowder” into everyday conversation, your friends won’t know what you’re talking about.

The term may be useful if you are writing something scientific or talking to a vet or professional cat trainers.

[icon name=”info-circle” prefix=”fas fa-2x”] You may also be interested in our article on What Plants Are Toxic To Cats

Are Groups Of Cats Common?

How common are groups of cats, anyway? The answer depends on whether the cats are domesticated and living in your home or living in the wild.

When in your home, cats may not form large groups unless you own several of them. Cats are very lonely by nature, but some cats have strong bonds and choose to sleep, play, and even eat together.

Whether or not your home cats form groups will depend on the number of cats in your home, the amount of space in your home, and the cats’ personalities and preferences. Some cats will have to endure each other, while others can become great friends.

Things are a little different when you talk about cats in the wild. Traditionally, cats do not live together in groups. Still, feral cats can form groups of different sizes depending on food availability and the cats’ living conditions.

What Is The Most Common Type Of A Group Of Cats?

The most common type of wild cat is the animal colony. These colonies occur when small groups of females and kittens develop and co-operate to survive. Although groups of cats live together, they hunt individually and do not act like packs of dogs.

Every cat colony has a complex set of relationships, but cats do not make appointments as you would see in a herd of horses or a pack of dogs. Some cats in a colony will have close relationships but have long distances with other colony members.

Cats may form a social group, but hunting – the activity that is the key to their survival – remains an activity that they only perform alone.

Cats work well when they do not have to compete for food and get to know each other. Kittens on the same litter can have a close relationship, and multiple females can nurse kittens in wild colonies.

a group of young tabby cats in a group

Do Male Cats Live In Cat Colonies?

When it comes to male cats, you won’t usually find them in small cat colonies. Instead, males do not become an integral part of a single group and can instead enter and leave multiple cat colonies in the same area. Females generally have a larger group than males.

Domestic Cat Relationships

As mentioned above, in multi-cat families, you may find that some cats have a strong bond with each other. While the cat’s ancestors were very lonely, many cats still work very well with other cats in the house. Domestic cats today tend to be more social than their ancestors.

An article in the Journal of Reproduction and fertility discovered that spontaneous ovulation may also occur in a group of cats. When they are affectionate towards each other.

In a multi-cat household, your cats will follow a complex hierarchy. According to studies on the Effects of prepubertal gonadectomy on physical and behavioral development in cats, cats make special friends that they prefer over others, and cats can become tightly bound couples. is a study on young cats and kittens that concluded that it is why you will sometimes see a group of animals rescued simultaneously, which means that cats have a bond and should be adopted simultaneously.

How Do Cats Establish Rankings In Their Groups?

To establish their rankings, cats will rub against each other and match their scent. When a cat rubs against another cat, they show that the other cat is higher in the rankings.

Most of the time, the cat has to rub against the other cat, which has a higher ranking. You can observe this behaviour to get a sense of who is in charge of your family.

When new cats declared to this group, it interferes with the current classification is when fights can take place, and cats can be preserved differently. If one cat dies, it also changes the organizational structure, and another cat usually takes the dead one’s position.

tabby cat sitting with a younger black cat. there are other black cats in the background

How To Keep The Peace In Your Domestic Cat Group

If you keep your domestic cat group peaceful, it is advisable to feed the cats in different house areas in separate bowls. Remember that even in the wild, cat colonies hunt (and eat) alone. Your home will have the same texture, so putting food together can reduce unnecessary stress at mealtimes.

Remember that your cats have created their separate classification, so if you need to introduce a new cat to the house, do it carefully and slowly. Keep the new cat separate in your room, and gradually raise the other cats from the door.

Each cat will need its food and litter box area, as well as plenty of time to get to know each other, especially with careful monitoring at first glance. Proving your home with a cat is as essential as providing a baby.
If you’ve ever had trouble or have questions about the group of cats, consult your doctor or a professional cat trainer


Cats can rarely make groups. They love to live alone, both in the wild or in houses. There are many names for the group of domestic cats, but the most common name for the group is “Clowder.” While the wild/feral cat group is termed as “Colonies.” A Group of young kittens is traditionally known as “Cat litter.”

Whether cats live in groups or not, they always eat alone. So make sure you feed them separately.


Rochelle is a self-claimed crazy cat lady and proud cat mum to Owlie! She has owned, rescued, and fostered cats throughout her whole life. Rochelle created Cats On My Mind as a hub for likeminded cat parents to get all the information they will ever need to give their fur babies their best life!

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