German words you need to know: Der Stubentiger

Kate Brady
Kate Brady - [email protected]
German words you need to know: Der Stubentiger
A Stubentiger stretches in Hanover. Photo: DPA.

Cats rule, dogs drool? That's the motto that fans of this word might embrace.


What does it mean? 

'Der Stubentiger' is a fun German word that all cat lovers should know. ‘Der Tiger’ is, of course, a tiger and ‘Die Stube’ refers to the living room. 

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about having a pet in Germany

Put those two words together and you have a wonderful nickname that Germans sometimes use to talk about their cats: literally, the room tiger. This is another way of saying 'Die Hauskatze', or the house cat.

Cat lovers and dog lovers can agree that cats do exercise a certain spunk and arrogance that this word captures perfectly. 


'Die Katze' means the male or female cat in German. Der Kater means tomcat and can be used to describe a certain type of male cat…or a hangover. 

The nickname Stubentiger can also be used as a loving way to describe men who, as soon as they get home, put on cozy slippers and settle in on the sofa, newspaper and beer in hand. 

READ ALSO: Cat hungover after seven week drinking session 

Cats vs. dogs 

While Germans can often be seen enjoying walks with their adorable and very disciplined dogs, recent surveys suggest that even more have a cat waiting for them at home. 

This chart shows which house pets are most frequently owned by Germans. Photo: DPA/

According to this survey by Sparwelt, a German website devoted to online discounts, 25 percent of Germans own a cat while 20 percent have a dog. 

The difference is perhaps due to the fact that cat owners must not pay a special tax for their pet, while dog owners are required to pay annually. Cats are still required to be registered. 

READ ALSO: Should Germans have to pay tax on pet cats?

Example Sentences: 

Tuschi wohnt als Stubentiger drinnen. 

Tuschi lives inside as a house cat. 

Sie ist ein wunderschöner Stubentiger. 

She is a wonderful room tiger (house cat).

Er ist nach der Arbeit ein echter Stubentiger. 

He is a real 'house cat' after work. 


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