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Estudios Idiomas
Posted: Monday, March 23, 2020 2:22:31 PM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 5/31/2018
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Location: Bucaramanga, Santander, Colombia
Hello!

I have a doubt. I don't know why, but when I search the web for "les chattes" it appears to me that it's vulgar. So I want to know how to say "the cats" (in the feminine) in French.

Thank you.
Hope123
Posted: Monday, March 23, 2020 8:56:46 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
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Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
It has been a long time since I studied French but I think it is just les chats.

There are other words too such as félin

https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/the-meaning-of/french-word-d6a9973ba1aec99713a1691ad1ef02e2f7869810.html

From what I saw online les chattes means women on a porn site but it was in French so I'm just guessing.

SandraM
Posted: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 5:11:43 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/2009
Posts: 424
Neurons: 2,234
Hi there,
Yes the feminine for cat in French is "chatte" ("chattes" in the plural). It also happen to be the slang term for female genitals (see English "pussy"). Because of that, in French, sometime people avoid using the perfectly correct "chatte", because they don't want to trigger sniggering or that kind of association (depending on the rest of the sentence). If they are scientists, they may use "les chats femelles" (= "the female cats") but generally, if you have to express something that relates specifically to female cats, you can use "chattes".
HTH
Kampong
Posted: Saturday, June 20, 2020 8:58:03 AM
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Joined: 9/30/2017
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Location: Stavanger, Rogaland, Norway
it is also possible to use the synonym of cat (un minet) with the female form: une minette, but as so often happens, the word is also used in popular slang, in this case for young girl.
coxygru
Posted: Thursday, November 26, 2020 7:32:12 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 9/9/2019
Posts: 8
Neurons: 25,993
Location: Évreux, Haute-Normandie, France
Other comments here are jolly on the spot. We Frenchies do indeed use the word "chatte" in the same ways English speakers use the word "pussy", even as a term of endearment for a female person. "Eh oui, ma jolie chatte !" https://www.larousse.fr/dictionnaires/francais/chatte/14893?q=chatte#14766

The French language does offer synonyms. Aside from "minette", there is "fauve" and "les fauves" for the plural. While this term is gender neutral, and can mean any type of feline besides the house cat, it does elegantly manage to snuff out any potential sniggering. "La fauve rôdait dans l'obscurité de la nuit." (The feline lurked in the evening shadows.)

Don't be afraid to use the word "chatte" in writing. Context always triumphs over ambiguity. Suppose you have some kittens to give away, you could write, "Don : chatons. 2 femelles et 1 mâle." But you could also write to a friend in an e-mail, "Ma chatte vient de faire des petits." (My cat just had kittens.)
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