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6 Cat-Themed Jack-o-Lantern Ideas for You and Your Kids

Here are fun, age-appropriate, DIY ideas for creating a feline jack-o-lantern this Halloween.

Angie Bailey  |  Oct 9th 2014


I’ve always loved the Halloween season — well, autumn in general is my favorite time of the year. The crisp air, the blaze of the trees growing deeper in color with every passing day, and the apples and pumpkins. For nearly 15 years, our family has visited the same apple orchard in the fall. It’s a fabulous place with oodles of charm. We always grab a cup of coffee and a fresh turnover before venturing out onto the property to visit the farm animals and walk the trails.

Before we leave the orchard, we stock up on apples (Honeycrisp are our favorite) and choose a few of pumpkins to carve and place on our spooky porch in preparation for Halloween night. Our neighborhood is serious, too — we usually get about 200 or so trick-or-treaters knocking at our door, bags held open for handfuls of Kit Kats and Dubble Bubble gum. It’s a good time.

A few days before Halloween, we carve our pumpkins into fun jack-o-lanterns. The kids each design their own, and I typically choose some sort of cat-o-lantern (surprise!). When the kids were young, we kept the designs simple, and as they grew older, we started to see some more detailed pieces of gourd art. Over the years, especially when the kids were very young, it was easier to paint pumpkins of all sizes — the tiny ones were especially cute. We’ve gone between carving and painting, loving each finished product.

If you’re looking for some new ideas for cat-themed designs this season, I’ve rounded up six for you — with selections appropriate for most any age level. Click on the name of the pumpkin for additional information, and in some cases, instructions.

1. Simple Kitty

Here’s a basic kitty-cat jack-o-lantern. The shapes are simple, and there aren’t too many details for young hands using carving tools for the first time. This is also a great one for adults like me who just want to create something easy and adorable. Another cool benefit of this design: The site offers a pattern!

2. Hissing kitty

A few fine details make this one a fun choice for older kids who are more comfortable with a carving tool. It could also be a team-carving situation with younger children taking the larger pieces and adults or older kids managing the smaller details. Again, this one offers a pattern. Score!

3. Grumpy Cat

A painted Grumpy Cat pumpkin? She’d hate the idea, but we’d love creating it! This blog’s step-by-step instructions make this miserable project fun for the whole family. Trick-or-treat! No.

4. Stack ‘o lantern

This stacked jack-o-lantern reminds me a little of Felix the Cat. The large cut-outs would make this a fairly easy carving experience, plus the bottom pumpkin makes kitty look plump. I guess he’s like a combination of Felix and Garfield.

5. Painted black cats

I especially love these cats, and have never seen this type of painted kitty-cat pumpkin. You’d need various sizes of gourds, and plenty of black paint. The orange eyes happen when you carve the shapes and pull away the black outer layer. Pretty cool, huh? And again with the stacked pumpkins — I’m so in love with this idea.

6. Cat with ears

This one is probably my favorite cut-out option — look how sassy this cat is! The details seem suitable for intermediately skilled carvers, and it looks as if the ears come from the eye pieces. It’s just full of personality. I’m thinking I’ll try the ears on my jack-o-lantern this year.

Have you ever carved or painted a cat-themed pumpkin? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

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About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in a comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.