ASL sign for CAT


Definition: a small domesticated carnivorous mammal with soft fur, a short snout, and retractile claws.

Phonological variation in handshape. Either handshapes "F" or "20" are both acceptable.

Thanks to Kibe the Cat, the mascot of handspeak.com for her contribution to the video.


Antonym: DOG.

Related words: ANIMAL, BOBCAT, MEOW, PET.

Gloss: mouse[left] cat[right] look-at[loc] walk-away[loc]

English equivalent: The cat looked at the mouse and walked away.

Establish the reference points for the mouse (left) and the cat (right), using spatial points, eye gaze, and body shift. The ASL verb "look-at" points towards the left (mouse). The facial expression describes the manner of the cat. The ASL verb predicate "walk-away" points towards the right, referring to the cat.

ASL printable for CAT
ASL writing for CAT

ASL written digits (two versions/handshapes) for CAT. Contributed by Adrean Clark, 2015. Later added the little circle inside the handshape.

Deaf Humor

Did you know that Kibe taps my shoulder as if she was a human being? At times, her tapping confuses me with that of my young daughter. Same stories with some Deaf owners of the cats (in the "smart camp").

Kibe the Cat learns way faster and understands Deaf culture way better, I'm afraid, better than hearing human beings!

The Catty Show

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the university officially announced a move from in-class delivery to online delivery immediately during the weekend. I worked hard on the transition over the weekend and Monday (classes cancelled across the university). On the first day of live class delivery on Tuesday within about 5 minutes, Kibe (the Handspeak mascot/supervisor/cat) sat on a small table behind me looking at the black backdrop behind me. As I talked in ASL to my students on the screen, I could see myself and the cat behind me on my monitor. Suddenly, everyone gasped as the cat jumped high. In slow motion of this two-second incident, she intended to land on the horizontal bar but the bar wasn't strong enough to boost her. As she landed on the bar, the pole on one end pulled down and the bar tilted. The cat tried to grab with her paws as she was falling down. She landed on her feet and ran out. The class laughed hard. Regretfully, there was no video recording through the webcam. -- Jolanta, March 2020.