Skip to Content

Cath Palug: Mythical Creatures

Cath Palug is a mythical creature that is deeply embedded in Welsh and Breton folklore. The figure of Cath Palug, or “Palug’s Cat,” is said to be a monstrous feline whose story is a mix of mythology, superstition, and perhaps a bit of historical reality. According to Welsh Triads, Cath Palug was born of the sow Hen Wen when she was chased across Britain by her owner, Coll ap Collfrewy.

The animal Cath Palug is described as a gigantic cat raised on the isle of Anglesey by the sons of Palug, who was presumably a local king. It is one of Britain’s many “Big Cat” monsters, and it is even referenced in Arthurian legend. This legend also differs from many “Big Cat” legends as the Cath Palug is also semi-aquatic, a trait not usually connected to cats.

While the name Cat Palug may mean “scratching cat,” it is just one of a range of possible meanings. The word palug is theorized to have a common pal- stem, which may mean: “hit, strike,” “cut, lop,” “scratch, claw,” or even “dig, pierce.” Nonetheless, the story of Cath Palug remains a fascinating and enduring part of Welsh mythology.

Origins of Cath Palug

Welsh Folklore

Cath Palug is a mythical creature that originates from Welsh folklore. According to the Welsh Triads, Cath Palug was born as a black kitten from the great white sow Henwen at the black rock in Llanfair. It is also said that the kitten was thrown into the ocean in an attempt to kill it, but it got caught up in a fisherman’s net and was rescued. The kitten was then raised on an island by humans who were unaware of its destructive nature.

Arthurian Legend

Cath Palug is also mentioned in Arthurian legend. It is believed that Cath Palug may have served as a model for Chalapu, a monstrous cat of Arthurian tradition. In one story, it is said that nine score warriors fell to make food for the cat, and it was eventually killed by Cei. While some stories claim that Cath Palug was born from a sow after eating mysterious grains, others claim that it was a part of the spawn of the infamous Henwen, a magical white pig of Welsh lore.

Overall, Cath Palug is a fascinating creature that has captured the imagination of people for centuries. Its origins in Welsh folklore and its connection to Arthurian legend make it a unique and intriguing addition to the world of mythical creatures.

Physical Description

Cath Palug, also known as “Palug’s Cat,” is a monstrous feline creature from Welsh mythology. It is described as having dark fur with a speckled pattern and razor-sharp claws that can easily tear through flesh. The size of Cath Palug varies depending on the source, but it is generally depicted as being larger than an average domestic cat.

According to legend, Cath Palug has a single eye that glows with a fierce red light, which strikes fear into the hearts of those who see it. It is also said to have a long, powerful tail that it uses to knock over its prey before pouncing on them with its sharp claws.

Despite its fearsome appearance, Cath Palug is said to be incredibly agile and quick, able to move with lightning-fast speed and disappear into the shadows at a moment’s notice. Its stealth and hunting abilities are said to be unmatched, making it a formidable opponent for any warrior who dares to cross its path.

Overall, Cath Palug is a terrifying creature that strikes fear into the hearts of those who encounter it. Its combination of strength, speed, and stealth make it a truly formidable opponent, and its dark, speckled fur and glowing red eye only add to its menacing appearance.

Tales and Legends

Cath Palug was a monstrous cat in Welsh legend, believed to have been born to the pig Henwen of Cornwall in Gwynedd. The cat later haunted the Isle of Anglesey, where it was said to have killed 180 warriors when Sir Kay went to the island to hunt it down.

The Isle of Anglesey

The Isle of Anglesey was terrorized by Cath Palug, who was said to have been a giant cat with razor-sharp claws and teeth. The people of the island were so afraid of the creature that they would lock themselves indoors at night. Sir Kay eventually went to the island to hunt down the beast, but it took him three attempts to finally defeat it.

Connection with King Arthur

Cath Palug is also referenced in Arthurian legend. According to one tale, King Arthur was forced to kill the monstrous cat to prove his worthiness as a king. In another tale, Cath Palug is said to have been created by the sorceress Ceridwen, who was seeking revenge against King Arthur.

Despite its fearsome reputation, Cath Palug has become a beloved figure in Welsh mythology, inspiring countless tales and legends. Its legacy lives on to this day, inspiring storytellers and artists alike to create new interpretations of this legendary creature.

Symbolism and Interpretation

Cath Palug is a creature of great significance in Welsh mythology. Its symbolism and interpretation have been the subject of much debate among scholars and enthusiasts alike.

Some believe that Cath Palug represents the destructive forces of nature, as it is said to have killed many warriors and caused great devastation on the Isle of Anglesey. Others interpret the cat as a symbol of chaos and disorder, unleashing its wrath upon the world.

Despite its fearsome reputation, some also see Cath Palug as a symbol of strength and resilience. The cat is said to have been born from the sow Henwen, who was able to travel great distances and bring good fortune wherever she went.

Overall, Cath Palug remains a complex and enigmatic figure in Welsh mythology, whose true meaning and significance may never be fully understood.

Cultural Impact


Cath Palug has been a popular figure in Welsh and Breton folklore for centuries. It has been referenced in various literary works, including the Welsh Triads, a collection of medieval Welsh texts that record Welsh tradition and history. In the Triads, it is mentioned that Cath Palug devoured nine score warriors.

In addition, Cath Palug has also been mentioned in Arthurian literature. It is believed that Cath Palug may have served as a model for Chalapu, a cat-like creature in Arthurian tradition.

Modern Media

Cath Palug continues to capture imaginations today and has been featured in various modern media. It has been depicted in video games, such as “Final Fantasy XIV” and “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”.

Moreover, Cath Palug has also been featured in television shows, such as “Merlin” and “The Librarians”. It has also been referenced in various books, including “The Iron Druid Chronicles” by Kevin Hearne and “The Dark is Rising” by Susan Cooper.

Overall, Cath Palug’s popularity has endured through the centuries and continues to inspire modern media.

Comparative Mythology

Comparative mythology is the study of similarities and differences in myths across different cultures. In the case of Cath Palug, there are several comparable myths that involve monstrous cats. For example, the Scottish myth of the Cat Sìth, which is a fairy creature that takes the form of a black cat with a white spot on its chest, is similar to Cath Palug in some ways.

Another comparable myth is that of the Egyptian goddess Bastet, who was depicted as a cat or a woman with a cat’s head. She was the goddess of home, fertility, and childbirth, and was often associated with protection and good luck. While Bastet is not a monstrous cat like Cath Palug, the cat is still an important symbol in her mythology.

Comparative mythology can help us understand the cultural significance of certain myths and symbols. By comparing different myths from around the world, we can see how similar themes and symbols have been interpreted and adapted in different cultures.