25 Simple Black Cat Tattoo Design Ideas

Black cats are awesome.

Some people don’t like how weird and imperceptible they can look in photographs—but that’s what makes them so great!

In real life, you get a super classy, elegant fluff ball. And on the photo, you get a vaguely cat-shaped…blob of darkness…

It’s hard to understand if you don’t own your own void kitty…but it’s honestly like getting the best of both worlds.

If you want a constant companion by your side, a black cat tattoo is a way to go. They’re classy and fun and come in a variety of awesome styles.

In this article, I’ve compiled 25 simple black cat tattoos. I’ve made sure to keep some variety within the samples so you can have an easy time looking for a style you like.

Each artist is given due credit, so if you want to check out more of their work or message them directly, their names and Instagram accounts are all there.

Towards the end, I’ll also answer some FAQs and talk about the various symbolisms associated with black cats, so keep reading!

Black Cat Tattoos

Minimalist Black Cat Tattoos

Cats are great. They’re extremely fascinating creatures, and when treated right, one of the most loving companions. They can be a bit unpredictable at times, but they’re usually super chill. 

A great way to make sure this is shown in your tattoo is by adopting a minimalist style. Minimalism is great for communicating emotions such as contentment, relaxation, balance, and harmony.

By illustrating images using fewer elements and looser but more carefully concentrated details, your tattoo can be a beautiful, simple abstraction in this complicated life.

black cat tattoo

by Ta-ink. (@taink_osijek on Instagram).

black cat tattoo

by Nicole Kendrick. (@nicolekendricktattoos on Instagram).

small black cat tattoo

by Basement Tattoo Parlour. (@basementtattoo on Instagram).

black cat tattoo designs

by Unknown Artist.

traditional black cat tattoo

by Black Cat Tattoo Art. (@blackcat_tattooart on Instagram).

black cat tattoo designs

by Bucanan Tattoo. (@bucanan_tattoo on Instagram).

Realistic Black Cat Tattoos

One of the greatest things about art is you can tell right away how much time someone has spent working on their masterpiece, perfecting it, so that it can look its absolute best.

In the case of tattoos, realistic tattoos are some of the hardest to pull off. Other than tattoo already being a difficult medium, realism is a style that demands skill—not talent.

And when your artist is skilled enough to pull it off, the results can be amazing. So if you want your black cat tattoo to evoke much more powerful emotions, consider adopting a realistic style for your design.

small black cat tattoo

by CALIZ PIERCING & TATTOO. (@calizpiercingtattoo on Instagram).

black cat tattoo designs

by The Underground Tattoo. (@underground.tattoo on Instagram).

small black cat tattoo

by Lucija Bradicic. (@rogue.tattoobylullu on Instagram).

traditional black cat tattoo

by Martyna Majstrak. (@morki_tatuaze on Instagram).

Black Cat Silhouette Tattoos

Black cats are notorious for being ridiculously un-photogenic. The way their fur absorbs all light can make some very funny (and sometimes downright unusual) photos.

But despite all the flak they get, their shadow-like appearance is really what makes them special. Their silhouettes are luxurious as their eyes are captivating.

Everything from the shape of their heads to the confidence of their posture gives their silhouettes a very regal appearance.

This makes silhouette tattoos really appealing, especially to people who like keeping a low profile.

And since their silhouettes are so recognizable and eye-catching, the customization options are endless. It’s a great tattoo theme that’s super simple to pull off.

black cat tattoo

by Sabrina Savage. (@sabrinasavagetattoo_ on Instagram).

black cat tattoo

by Reyanna Jackson. (@reyanna.jackson.bodyarts on Instagram).

small black cat tattoo

by Ta-ink. (@taink_osijek on Instagram).

Abstract Black Cat Tattoos

If you’re looking for something with a more creative edge, adopting an abstract style might just be the thing for you.

Abstract art often gets a lot of flak outside of the creative community since it can be difficult to interpret and are often niche-specific.

But if you can conceptualize an abstract design that looks good and suits your tastes, it can be very satisfying and memorable.

black cat tattoo designs

by BeAtroce. (@beatroce_tat2 on Instagram).

black cat tattoo designs

by The Underground Tattoo. (@underground.tattoo on Instagram).

traditional black cat tattoo

by The Break Room Tattoo Lounge. (@thebreakroomtattoo on Instagram).

traditional black cat tattoo

by Lucija Bradicic. (@rogue.tattoobylullu on Instagram).

black cat tattoo

by Anik Art. (@anikartstyle on Instagram).

Cute Black Cat Tattoos

Black cats are awesome at two things: turning invisible…and being cute.

It’s pretty unfair, too, since they don’t even have to try. Even when they merge into the darkness of the night and all you can see are their beautiful yellow eyes…it’s pretty hard to keep yourself from melting!

Getting a black cat tattoo in a cute style or scene can give the same energy. You can have one sprawling across the floor or just slap a bowtie on one that’s clearly confused.

If you have your own black cat at home, try recreating a fun memory of them for your tattoo. This’ll give it a nice personal touch and make it a solid remembrance of happy times with your void kitty.

black cat tattoo designs

by Sandblasted Skin Art. (@akaydovmeci on Instagram).

black cat tattoo designs

by Erika Jeanne. (@airrreka on Instagram).

black cat tattoo designs

by kerien tsang. (@kerien_tsang on Instagram).

small black cat tattoo

by Ashlie Layne. (@ashlietattoos on Instagram).

traditional black cat tattoo designs

by Jenny. (@jenny_tat2 on Instagram).

black cat tattoo design

by Alice. (@bubblegumbitch_tattoo on Instagram).

black cat tattoo designs

by rosnie_tattoos. (@rosnie_tattoos on Instagram).

What do black cats symbolize?

Some people aren’t fond of black cats because they apparently don’t photograph very well. Black fur absorbs light. 

And when this happens, it can cause some problems to the camera’s functionality, so in photos, black cats often look like shadows or black blobs.

But a lot of cat lovers find this unique effect charming. In fact, part of the reason people love black cats so much is that they look so classy and mysterious. 

But the charm doesn’t stop there. Black cats are known to symbolize many things. In this section, I’ll try to help you understand your black cat tattoo better by listing down the different ideas they’re associated with.

Bad Luck

In most of the Western world, black cats are generally considered evil omens or symbols of bad luck.

A lot of this stems from their association with witches way back during the 14th century. Women who were unfortunately dubbed by the townspeople as witches often owned cats. 

And some of these cats were black.

black cat tattoo(Source)

They had an ominous appearance and blended well into the darkness of the night. Under the right circumstances, the only discernible feature of a black cat would be its eerily glowing eyes.

Because of this, people came to the assumption that they were demons, shape-shifters, and spies of Satan.

And if you owned a black cat, you were sure to get into some serious trouble. Anyone caught owning a black cat would be severely punished. Or worse…killed.

And the idea stuck. Up until now, people still tell their children that seeing a black cat meant bad luck.

Unfortunately some people take these myths too seriously. Even now, people legitimately believe that black cats bring bad luck. When they see one, they’ll act foolishly and mean. Even to the point of hurting the innocent cat. 

These myths are also part of the reason why black cats aren’t very popular among adopters. In fact, black cats are the hardest to rehome.

The belief that black cats bring bad luck is just that strong.

So if you own a black cat, it’s a smart choice to take extra care that they don’t wander off too much, especially during times like Halloween when superstition often prevails over logic.

Anarchism

Do you know what a cat looks like when it’s alarmed or threatened? It arches its back, its hairs stand up, and it lets out an angry hiss.

Like in this symbol.

black cat tattoo design

The black cat symbol of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). It is a symbol of anarchism and sabotage. (Source)

For people who grew up being told that black cats were symbols of bad luck, the association can be hard to shake off.

Even when you consciously believe it’s merely a foolish superstition, the association still exists in your mind. So when a black cat crosses your path, sometimes you can’t help but feel uneasy.

And the anarchist unions of the early 20th century used this superstition to represent their ideologies.

The black cat’s image as a symbol of malignant and sinister purposes had already been ingrained into popular culture, so as a symbol of defiance—of sabotage—the IWW adopted the iconic black cat symbol above.

Since then, the black cat has been used as an anarchist symbol in many different settings.

Good Luck

The black cat can also be a symbol of good luck.

Weird, right? I’m just as confused as you.

But, in a few countries, the notion that it’s bad luck to see a black cat crossing the path in front of you …didn’t really stick. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

If you were to go to the United Kingdom or Japan and freak out at the sight of a black cat, you’d likely get some weird looks.

Although most of the Western world believes otherwise, black cats are actually considered as good omens in places like the UK, Japan, and Scotland.

They were even carried on expeditions by sailors as symbols of good luck. Fishermen’s wives were known to keep black cats at home, in hopes that they would help protect their husbands at sea.

traditional black cat tattoo

A black “ship’s cat” (Source)

In Scottish lore, when a black cat honors your home with its presence, this signifies a prosperous future. And some legends say that when a lady owns a black cat, she will have many suitors.

If the people you know are more familiar with how black cats represent bad luck, getting a black cat tattoo for good luck can be pretty fun.

Confusing for others, but fun for you. It’s a great icebreaker and an overall fantastic addition to your tattoo collection.

Black Cat Tattoo FAQs

Why should I get a black cat tattoo?

Black cat tattoos are very popular among the cat-loving community. Part of the reason why is because they’re elegant and wacky at the same time. 

When you try taking a snap of them in a classy or adorable pose in seemingly perfect lighting, it usually ends up with a frustrated grunt on your end. Because you realize that you’ve just taken a picture of an unrecognizable black blob (with undeniably gorgeous eyes).

And because of things like this, black cats are usually very memorable pets, and they’re probably the most underrated ones.

So if you have a personal fondness for these ninja kitties, you’ll probably enjoy getting a black cat tattoo.

It can also be really fun explaining how they don’t actually bring bad luck. Overall, it’s a great looking tattoo theme and an even better icebreaker.

Where should I put my black cat tattoo?

Since black cat tattoo designs often don’t incorporate a lot of additional elements or complex backgrounds, you can pretty much put them anywhere you like.

But some of the most popular tattoo placements for black cat tattoos are on the forearm, thigh, and ankle.

You can try basing your decision off the size and orientation of your tattoo design. 

If your design is more on the long and slender side (like a black cat stretching or sprawling across the floor), then it’ll likely look good on your forearm or calf.

But if you’re dealing with something more rectangular or even square in dimension, the thighs, upper arm, chest, and back are smart choices since they can accommodate the extra space.

How much will it hurt?

The intensity of the pain you’ll experience will largely depend on a few things:

  • Size & complexity of the design
  • Experience
  • Pain tolerance
  • Tattoo placement

Let’s talk about how each factor affects your tattoo’s pain level and what you can do to offset the pain.

Size & complexity of the design

As you might have seen above, most black cat tattoos are small. 

This is because cats are characterized as being stealthy, mischievous, and sometimes…a bit judgmental.

Because of this, cats (when they aren’t being bombarded with head pats and neck scratches) will usually blend into the background, unnoticed. And that’s why most black cat tattoos are small.

And when your design is small and simple to do, it won’t take a long time to finish. This gives your body enough time to adjust and release the needed endorphins and adrenaline to keep the pain at bay.

Pain tolerance

If you want to minimize the pain, you should:

  • Get enough sleep before the tattoo session (Important!)
  • Stay sober. Alcohol is a blood thinner that can cause bleeding and bruising. (Important!)
  • Stay hydrated to make sure your skin doesn’t dry up 
  • Whenever the pain gets too intense, ask your tattoo artist to take a short break 

Experience

According to research, a person’s pain tolerance is directly affected by their experience with tattoos. This means that if you’ve had tattoos done in the past, you’ll likely feel less pain.

Tattoo placement

Where you place your tattoo is one of the biggest factors. This is because some parts of the body generally hurt to tattoo more than others.

The reason for this is because some parts of the body generally have thicker skin and more fat and muscle.

Take the forearms, thighs, or chest for example. These are the meatier parts of the body. When you tattoo these body parts, the pain isn’t as intense.

On the other hand, body parts like the wrist and ankle have noticeably less fat and muscle, which is why they hurt much more to tattoo. 

For a comprehensive discussion on which body parts hurt most when getting tattooed, check out this article by Healthline on tattoo pain.

Conclusion

If you ever need a friend to keep you company in the dark of the night, a black cat tattoo is a perfect companion to keep you safe.

Not only will they look extra cute for you and your fellow cat-loving friends, but they’ll also help ward off any evil spells. 

Just make sure you pick a void kitty tattoo design that resonates well with you. 

And if you’re confused about the conflicting symbolisms, remember that the tattoo means what you want it to mean. If anyone asks you about it, it can lead to some very interesting conversations!

Did you enjoy these black cat tattoo designs or are you looking for more inspiration? Check out the following links to see more designs from talented artists.