We cat lovers spend oodles of time oohing and aahing over every inch of our cats’ little bodies. We know there are anatomically correct ways of describing certain body parts, but sometimes we choose cuter, more fun names. And why wouldn’t we?
Here are six body parts that I call by other names, or have heard others do the same.
You know the muzzle, right? We’re used to hearing that term used in conjunction with dogs, but cats do indeed have muzzles. I’ve always called this part a “snout.” I think it sounds way cuter than a muzzle, which — to me — brings to mind a restraint device. I’ve also heard the side of the muzzle referred to as “whisker mounds.” I love smoothing the whiskers back and planting kisses right on top of those little mounds. Mounds … now I want a candy bar. Cats and food — sometimes I believe those thoughts occupy my mind the most.
Cats instinctively knead on objects such as clothing, blankets, and human bodies. Many of us simply refer to those paws as “kneading,” which I suppose is the most universal term. I prefer the much cuter description of “making biscuits.”
When I was in college, I worked the overnight shift at a Hardee’s fast food restaurant. At about 2 a.n., a grandma-type employee clocked in and began the important business of making real biscuits. She was kind of a legend around there, and I’d heard rumors that she’d been making biscuits nearly every day for 20 years. Incredible! I used to watch her masterful kneading and her hands totally reminded me of a cat’s paws. I’ve heard others call this action “making muffins,” which is also ridiculously sweet.
Most people I know call a cat’s legs “legs.” That’s easy, and no one can deny the accurate description of the body part. I, of course, have other, more colorful ways of characterizing these feline extremities. I usually call them “fuzzy pants” or “furry pants.” I also refer to the upper leg as a “tender haunch.” One of my friends calls her cat’s back leg a “turkey leg.” Sometimes a cat’s legs are marked in such a way that they actually looks like a pair of pants. I love it when that happens!
As cats age, they sometimes get that swingy belly action going on. I’ve always called that a “jungle pouch” because I heard it once and it sounded like a “big tiger” word. I like it when big cat words are used to describe the little guys. The official term is “primordial pouch,” but it means the same exact thing, and “jungle” is way cuter. My mom used to call it their “jiggly fat.” One friend says her cat has “jelly belly.”
Cats are sometimes marked in ways that beg nicknames. My Cosmo has a little triangle of white fur on his lower belly, and I’ve always referred to it as his “man panties.” It embarrasses my kids to no end when I say that, but that just makes it all be more fun to say. I’ve seen cats with “bras,” “socks,” “pants,” and “mittens.” It seems like these names have to do with clothing, right? I want to see a cat with a “babushka” marking, or something interesting like that.
This one seems to be the the most popularly renamed body part. In fact, I don’t think I know many people who actually call these “paw pads.” When I was a small child, my mom called these, “jellybean toes.” Since then, it’s been the most popular name I’ve heard. My cats with black pads have “coffee beans.” Phoebe, my calico-tabby, has “spotty paws.” Overall, “jellybeans” is the clear winner in the paw-pad category.
What do you call your cats’ body parts? Do you have interesting or funny nicknames? Share them in the comments!