Cats or Cats’ or Cat’s? (Helpful Examples)

“Cats,” “cats’,” and “cat’s” all come up in the discussion about the possessive forms of “cat.” Don’t worry, though. We’ve got all the answers to help you separate these three forms and no which is which.

Cats or Cats’ or Cat’s?

“Cats” is plural. It should not be used for any possessive sentences. “Cats'” is the plural possessive form, showing multiple cats owning something (“the cats’ beds”). “Cat’s” is the singular possessive form, showing a single cat owning something (“the cat’s life”).

Cats or Cats' or Cat's

Here’s a quick rundown of the main forms you need to remember:

Singular Cat
Plural Cats
Singular possessive Cat’s
Plural possessive Cats’

So, you can get the singular possessive form quite easily from the singular form. You only need to add an apostrophe and an “s” to the end of “cat” when you want to show a “cat” owning something (i.e. “the cat’s bed”).

The same grammar rules apply to the plural possessive form, though the “s” after the apostrophe is unnecessary. Since “cats” (the plural form) already ends in “s,” you only need to add an apostrophe to show multiple cats owning something (i.e. “many cats’ dreams”).


“Cat’s” is the singular possessive form that comes from the singular root “cat.” You should use this when only one cat owns an object (it can still be a plural object). This is commonly seen in writing when referring to something a cat might have (i.e. “cat’s collar”).

You’ll find the object coming after the noun again here. It’s very common for this to happen to make it as clear as possible to the reader where the possession comes from.

  • That cat’s collar is far too tight. It’s a risk to let a cat have a collar in the first place. Take it off.
  • I’m not sure about the cat’s bed. I think it’s far too uncomfortable. We should change it.


“Cats'” is the plural possessive form. This form appears in sentences when many cats own an object or group of similar objects. You’ll almost always find the owned object in the plural form itself to make it much clearer to the reader how many cats are in the sentence.

With the plural possessive form, the owned object always comes after “cats’.” You should make this clear to the reader to show where the possession comes in (i.e. “many of the cats’ owners”).

  • The cats’ litter trays need emptying. Can you please do that for me?
  • What about the cats’ doors? Can we not order a few more to make room for them?


You should only use “cats” as a plural noun. It refers to multiple cats within your sentence. There is no possession involved when you use the noun in this way.

An apostrophe allows a noun to possess another noun. If there isn’t one present, you can assume you’re working with a plural form. The simple trick is that no apostrophe comes up in “cats.” Therefore, it’s only the plural form.

  • She has way too many cats. She’s definitely a bit of a crazy cat lady. I don’t know why you like her.
  • Those cats are a pain to deal with! I wish someone was able to calm them down.


You should use “cat’s” as the singular possessive form and “cats'” as the plural possessive form. The singular form shows one cat owning an object, while the plural form shows multiple cats owning an object.

“Cats” is not a possessive form. It is the plural form of the singular noun “cat.”