Difference Wiki

Cat vs. Catfish: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 13, 2023
A cat is a small, domesticated carnivorous mammal often kept as a pet, while a catfish is a type of fish with whisker-like barbels around the mouth.

Key Differences

Cats, belonging to the family Felidae, are small, furry mammals commonly kept as pets. Catfish, on the other hand, are a diverse group of ray-finned fish known for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers.
Domestic cats are known for their playful behavior, agility, and ability to purr, characteristics that make them popular pets. Catfish, found in freshwater environments, are noted for their lack of scales and varied sizes, ranging from small to very large.
Cats primarily feed on small mammals and birds, being skilled hunters. Catfish are typically bottom dwellers in their aquatic habitats, with diets varying widely among different species.
Cats have been domesticated for thousands of years and are celebrated in various cultures for companionship and their ability to control pests. Catfish are valued in many cuisines around the world and are also important in aquatic ecosystems.
While cats are known for their independence and territorial behavior, catfish are noted for their unique adaptations to diverse aquatic environments, including some species that can detect electrical fields.

Comparison Chart


Mammal, Felidae family
Fish, diverse species with barbels


Land, domestic environments
Freshwater and some marine environments

Physical Traits

Furry, agile, can purr
Scaleless, barbels around the mouth


Carnivorous, small mammals, and birds
Varied, often bottom feeders


Pets, pest control
Food source, ecosystem roles

Cat and Catfish Definitions


A feline pet known for its agility and playfulness.
The cat jumped gracefully onto the fence.


A type of fish with whisker-like barbels.
The catfish stirred the muddy bottom of the pond.


A mammal that can purr and hunt.
The cat purred contentedly on my lap.


A freshwater fish, often scaleless.
Catfish are a common sight in this river.


A common house pet that catches mice.
Our cat is an excellent mouse hunter.


Fish known for diverse sizes and species.
The aquarium houses several exotic catfish.


A small domesticated carnivorous mammal.
My cat loves to nap in the sun.


A fish valued in cuisine and fishing.
Grilled catfish is a popular dish in this region.


An animal with a reputation for independence.
The neighborhood cat roams freely.


A bottom-dwelling fish in aquatic ecosystems.
Catfish play a vital role in the river's ecosystem.


A small domesticated carnivorous mammal (Felis catus), kept as a pet and as catcher of vermin, and existing in a variety of breeds.


Any of numerous scaleless, chiefly freshwater fishes of the order Siluriformes, characteristically having whiskerlike barbels extending from the upper jaw. Also called regionally mud cat.


Any of various other carnivorous mammals of the family Felidae, including the lion, tiger, leopard, and lynx.


Any fish of the order Siluriformes, mainly found in fresh water, lacking scales, and having barbels like whiskers around the mouth.


(Informal) A woman who is regarded as spiteful.


The meat of such a fish, popular in the Southern U.S. and Central Europe.


(internet) Someone who creates a fake profile on a social media platform in order to deceive people.


(internet) Such a fake profile.


To fish for catfish.
I only use this rod for catfishing.


To create and operate a fake online profile to deceive (someone).


A name given in the United States to various species of siluroid fishes; as, the yellow cat (Amiurus natalis); the bind cat (Gronias nigrilabrus); the mud cat (Pilodictic oilwaris), the stone cat (Noturus flavus); the sea cat (Arius felis), etc. This name is also sometimes applied to the wolf fish. See Bullhrad.


Flesh of scaleless food fish of the southern United States; often farmed


Large ferocious northern deep-sea food fishes with strong teeth and no pelvic fins


Any of numerous mostly freshwater bottom-living fishes of Eurasia and North America with barbels like whiskers around the mouth


Can catfish live in saltwater?

Some catfish species can live in saltwater, but most are found in freshwater.

How long do domestic cats usually live?

Domestic cats typically live for 12-15 years.

Do all cats hate water?

Not all, but many cats dislike being in water.

Can cats swim?

Yes, most cats can swim but usually prefer not to.

Are catfish good to eat?

Yes, many catfish species are considered delicious and are a staple in various cuisines.

What do catfish eat?

Catfish diets vary, but many feed on algae, aquatic plants, insects, and small fish.

Can cats be trained?

Yes, cats can be trained, although they may not be as responsive as dogs.

Are cats solitary animals?

Cats are often independent, but they can also enjoy companionship.

Do cats have good night vision?

Yes, cats have excellent night vision.

How do cats communicate?

Cats communicate through vocalizations, body language, and scent marking.

How do catfish breathe?

Catfish breathe through gills like other fish.

Are cats loyal to their owners?

Cats can form strong bonds with their owners, showing loyalty in their way.

Can catfish survive in polluted water?

Some catfish are hardy and can survive in less than ideal water conditions.

Are all catfish bottom feeders?

Many are, but not all catfish species feed at the bottom.

Do cats sleep a lot?

Yes, cats sleep an average of 12-16 hours a day.

Do catfish have teeth?

Yes, many catfish species have small, sandpaper-like teeth.

Is it true that some catfish can walk on land?

Some species of catfish can move short distances on land to find water.

Why do cats purr?

Cats purr for various reasons, including contentment and communication.

What's the biggest catfish ever caught?

The Mekong giant catfish is one of the largest, with some specimens weighing over 600 pounds.

Are catfish active at night?

Many catfish are nocturnal and more active at night.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons