By: Amanda Kampermann
history about cats.
The English word cat (Old English catt) is in origin a loanword, introduced to many languages of Europe from Latin cattus and Byzantine Greek κάττα, including Portuguese and Spanish gato, French chat, German Katze, Lithuanian katė and Old Church Slavonic kotka, among others. The ultimate source of the word is Afroasiatic, presumably from Late Egyptian čaute, the feminine of čaus "wildcat". The word was introduced, together with the domestic animal itself, to the Roman Republic by the 1st century BC. An alternative word with cognates in many languages is English puss (pussycat). Attested only from the 16th century, it may have been introduced from Dutch poes or from Low German puuskatte, related to Swedish kattepus, or Norwegian pus, pusekatt. Similar forms exist in Lithuanian puižė and Irish puisín. The etymology of this word is unknown, but it may have simply arisen from a sound used to attract a cat.