Russian Slang and Idioms. Lesson 15.

Cats in RussianAre you getting ready for tomorrow? Tomorrow, August 8th is the International Cat Day (Всемирный день кошек)! Did you know that? I’ve only learned this yesterday, and am very excited for our cute little furry friends. If you love pets, you will love this post. Whether you are going to throw a huge party for your cute kitty (or kitties) or not, it’s always a good idea to expand your vocabulary and learn some interesting kitty words in Russian. 
And so we begin.
As you know, Russian nouns have a gender, and this is why we have two words for word “cat”: a masculine and a feminine form:

Кот [KOT] cat (masculine)
Кошка [KOSH-ka] cat (feminine)

Also, in Russian we use a lot of diminutives to express how we feel about someone or something. In this lesson I will teach you many different diminutive words that you might come across in Russian.

Котик [KO-teek] masculine diminutive form of word “cat”

Here are a few diminutive nouns from the Russian word “cat”:
Кошечка [KO-sheech-ka] feminine diminutive form of word “cat”
Киса [KEE-sa] feminine diminutive form of word “cat”
Киска [KEES-ka] feminine diminutive form of word “cat”

Котёнок [ka-TYO-nak] kitten (always masculine)

If you like reading Russian forums or follow Russian pages on Facebook, you might come across word:
Котэ [ka-TE] it’s a diminutive of word “cat” – I’ve seen this word a lot online nowadays

And this is how Russian kitties talk:
Мяу [MYA-oo] meow
Мяукать [MYA-oo-kat’] to meow

Муррр [MOORRR] purr
Мурлыкать [moor-LI-kat’] to purr

Parts of cat’s body:
Морда [MOR-da] cat’s face
Мордочка [MOR-dach-ka] diminutive for cat’s face

Усы [oo-SI] whiskers
Усики [OO-see-kee] diminutive for whiskers

Лапы [LA-pi] paws
Лапки [LAP-kee] diminutive for paws
Лапочки [LA-pach-kee] diminutive for paws

Когти [KOG-tee] claws
Коготочки [ka-ga-TOCH-kee] diminutive for claws

Хвост [HVOST] tail
Хвостик [HVOS-teek] diminutive for tail


Cats in RussianBelow are a few adjectives to help you describe your kitty. Let’s start with some colors and describing the looks:

Белый [BYE-liy] white
Чёрный [CHOR-niy] black
Рыжий [RI-zhiy] red
Полосатый [pa-la-SA-tiy] stripy
Пятнистый [pyat-NEES-tiy] spotty
Пушистый [poo-SHEES-tiy] fluffy
Короткошерстный [ka-rat-ka-SHER-sniy] short-haired
Породистый [pa-RO-dees-tiy] purebred
Маленький [MA-lyen’-keey] small
Большой [bal’-SHOY] big

If you would like to be affectionate with your kitty:

Симпатичный [seem-pa-TEECH-niy] cute
Сладенький [SLA-dyen’-keey] sweet
Нежный [NYEZH-niey] tender, gentle
Ласковый [LAS-ka-viy] gentle, tender
Чудный [CHOOD-niy] wonderful
Хорошенький [ha-RO-shyen’-keey] sweet, cute

And, of course, a few examples of how you can affectionately address your kitty:

Маленький симпатичный котёнок
[MA-lyen’-keey seem-pa-TEECH-niy ka-TYO-nak]
Little cute kitten

Хорошенький котик [ha-RO-sheey KO-teek] good kitty
Сладенькая кошечка [SLA-dyen’-ka-ya KO-shech-ka] sweet kitty

And if you are lost for words you can simply say:
Ути-пути [OO-tee – POO-tee] pretty cutie

A few verbs that will help you describe the actions that involve cats and kittens:
Скрутиться в клубок [skroo-TEE-tsa f kloo-BOK] to curl into a ball
Играть [eeg-RAT’] to play
Кушать [KOO-shat’] to eat
Пить молоко [PEET’ ma-la-KO] to drink milk
Лизать [lee-ZAT’] to lick
Кусать [koo-SAT’] to bite
Царапать [tsa-RA-pat’] to scratch

A few more words you will need to know if you have a kitty:

Наполнитель для кошачих туалетов
[na-pal-NEE-tyel’ dlya ka-SHA-cheeh too-a-LYE-taf] cat litter
Лакомство [LA-ka-mstva] treat
Кость [KOST’] bone
Миска [MEES-ka] plate
Игрушка [eeg-ROOSH-ka] toy

You probably already know that in Russian we use a lot of diminutives to express love and affection. We even use cute diminutive words – names of animals to express how we feel. In my Conversational Russian Video Course as well as Romantic Russian Video Course I talk more about the diminutive words and the many ways to express your affection to a loved one, but today I will teach you a few diminutive words that came from the word “cat”:

Киса [KEE-sa] feminine
Кися [KEE-sya] feminine
Кисюня [kee-SYOO-nya] feminine
Кисюля [kee-SYOO-lya] feminine

Котёнок [ka-TYO-nak] kitten

Котик [KO-teek] masculine
Котя [KO-tya] masculine
Котюся [ko-TYOO-sya] masculine
Котюня [ko-TYOO-nya] masculine
Китюня [kee-TYOO-nya] masculine
Кисюня-манюня [kee-SYOO-nya – ma-NYOO-nya]
Котюля [ka-TYOO-lya] masculine

You can use all of the above diminutives with your loved ones. Let me give you a few examples:
Моя сладенькая кися – my sweet kitty
Мой нежный котёнок – my tender kitten

Мой замечательный котик – my wonderful kitty (cat)
Мой милый котя – my beloved kitty

Allrighty. I think this is all for today. For all you kitty lovers out there, I hope you enjoyed this lesson. If you aren’t planning on having a party in your kitty’s honor, then give them a nice face rub, some yummy treats, and allow them to take it easy tomorrow. After all they’ve worked really hard all year on making you feel good and giving you smiles. Have a fun celebration!

Would you like to learn more Russian words? Get my FREE ebook –  Basic Conversational Russian in 7 Days and learn basic conversational Russian words and phrases in only 7 days!

Study with Maxim Achkasov


The courses of Russian as a foreign language with Russian4real take place online via Skype. The teacher works with adults individually since he is convinced that each person must receive maximum time for practice and professional attention while learning a foreign language.