Much like our other little furry friend the dog, cats are also popular among Koreans. Therefore, knowing how to say “cat” in Korean will be a splendid little addition to your basic vocabulary. It’s easy to learn, and you’ll hear the word all the time if you’re living in Korea.
Follow along and find out how to say ‘cat’ in Korean!
“Cat” in Korean
In comparison to the word for “dog” in Korean, the word for “cat” might be considered slightly more difficult to remember and pronounce. But what is the actual word? The word for “cat” is 고양이 (goyangi) in Korean! It’s three syllables, but it’s actually quite simple to pronounce.
To best enhance your learning and memorization, below are some sample sentences through which you can see and remember how the word for “cat” is used in practice. Learning these sentences can help you develop your knowledge of Korean grammar and Korean sentence structure.
우리 고양이가 보통 개를 안좋아해요 (uri goyangiga botong gaereul anjoahaeyo)
Our cat doesn’t usually like dogs.
너는 고양이와 개 중에서 어느 쪽을 더 좋아해? (neoneun goyangiwa gae jungeseo eoneu jjogeul deo joahae)
Do you prefer cats or dogs?
오늘 같이 고양이카페로 놀러 갈래? (oneul gachi goyangikapero nolleo gallae)
Do you want to go to a cat café together today?
“Kitten” in Korean
There isn’t officially another word for “kitten” in Korean, as you can also use the word 고양이 (goyangi) to say it. However, if you want to make a clear distinction between a “cat” and a “kitten,” you can use the words below.
고양이 (goyangi) = cat
새끼 고양이 (saekki goyangi) = kitten
“Meow” in Korean
Also, the word for “meow” in Korean, which is the sound (Korean onomatopoeia) that cats make, is 야옹 (yaong).
고양이가 야옹야옹 울고 있어요 (goyangiga yaongyaong ulgo isseoyo)
The cat is meowing.
A Word of Caution About Romanization
Even though we provide the romanized version of the Korean words we teach, you’ll do much better if you learn Hangul (the Korean alphabet). Romanization takes the Korean word and uses similar-sounding letter combinations in English. Since it’s much less precise than Hangul, it’s easy to mispronounce words or not understand what the other person is saying.
It’s much simpler to learn the Korean alphabet, especially since it can be done in about 1 hour. It’s very motivating to be able to read Korean vowels and consonants. Once you do, you’ll find yourself reading Korean letters all the time!
Then you can use the resources on this page to up your Korean language skills.
The word 고양이 (goyangi) specifically means cat – and the other equivalent words for “cat” in English – so every time you see the word around, there should be very little confusion over the meaning of the word!
Now that you know how to say “cat” in Korean, it’s time to go use it in the real world, perhaps by visiting your nearest cat café.
If you’d like to know more animal terms in Korean, our separate article on Animals in Korean can help you learn!