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Animal Tattoos And Designs-Animal Tattoo Ideas And Symbols

Updated on June 24, 2013
thelyricwriter profile image

Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.


One popular tattoo category that you may want to choose is animal tattoos. Animal tattoos are very popular and worn by both men and women. When it comes to animal tattoos, any animal may be used. Animal tattoos represents the traits and attributes of the animal being portrayed. For example, we will look at the bear. The bear is large, fearless, independent, and powerful. The bear tattoo can represent the same meanings.

In this article, we will discuss a variety of different animal tattoos and animal tattoo designs. We will also review several different animal tattoo meanings. You also have the chance to view all the animal tattoo designs pictured below. In the end, we hope that you are able to find ideas and inspiration for your own tattoo.



When it comes to animal tattoos, there are several different species to choose from. Most animal tattoos hold deep symbolic meanings that can be linked and associated to our personal characteristics, traits, and personalities. Most men and women that choose to get an animal tattoo find that the animal is unique to them in a variety of ways. Since animal tattoos are popular, we will discuss which animal tattoos are popular and tattooed the most.

As your briefly read above, there are thousands of animals that can be designed as a tattoo. Nearly all animals have symbolic meanings and they all have personal traits that make them unique. Some animals are fast while others are slow. Some animals are strong why others are weak. Men and women usually choose to get an animal that they feel that they share a personal bond with. It means that a person can find certain characteristics and traits within a variety of different animals. One great example of this is the wolf. When we look at the wolf in the wild, we find that they are fast, strong, and they live in packs. According to these personal traits, a wolf tattoo can represent a bond, strength, power, and family. When we look for the perfect animal tattoo to match our personal traits, we look at them in the same manner as we just looked at the wolf.

Now that you know how to look at specific traits of an animal, we are going to look at some of the more common animals used for animal tattoos. We will also discuss what each specific animal tattoo symbolizes. Now, there are many animal tattoos that can be worn by both men and women. You can choose to wear any animal tattoo despite your gender. That is your choice. However, there are certain animals that are usually only chosen by men or women. For example, look at the butterfly. The butterfly symbolizes femininity. You will not see many men with such a tattoo. The same can be said about the bull. The bull tattoo is mainly worn by men. A great example of an animal that is worn by men and women is the swallow. This just shows how each animal can differ from the next. Some animals can be worn by men, women, or both.

Animal tattoos are very symbolic and can represent something that is unique to us. Some animal tattoos hold positive meanings while others may have negative meanings. Some animal tattoos can have good and bad meanings associated to the animal, such as the bat or snake tattoo. Even if you don't find the symbolic meaning you want, you may like a certain animal and want to have it tattooed. Men and women do choose animal tattoos just because they feel that they share a bond with a certain animal. This is mainly true when it comes to dog and cat tattoos. You may be a wildlife ranger that helps rescue eagles. For whatever reason it may be, you have a good chance of finding what you need in an animal tattoo, symbolic or not.



As you already know, there are many different animals that can be used for animal tattoos. Although any animal can be tattooed, we have chosen a variety of the mot popular animals used for tattoos. To learn the symbolic meaning of an animal tattoo, we have to figure out which animal is being inked. Below, you can find a list of the most popular animals used for tattoos and their symbolic meanings.

  • Alligator- Agility, Speed, Fearless, Independent, Strength
  • Bald Eagle- Freedom, Independence, Flight, America, Protection
  • Bat- Rebirth, Prosperity, Hunter, Agility, Sexual
  • Bear- Strength, Family, Power, Authority, Masculinity
  • Bull- Power, Strength, Fearless, Authority, Anger
  • Butterfly- Transformation, Beauty, Freedom, Femininity, Soul
  • Cardinal- Protection, Graceful, Aggression, Determined, Happiness
  • Cat- Vision, Longevity, Balance, Hunter, Pride
  • Cougar- Independent, Fearless, Hunter, Pride, Masculinity
  • Dog- Loyalty, Family, Sense, Friendship, Perseverance
  • Dolphin- Graceful, Wisdom, Family, Guidance, Prosperity
  • Dove- Peace, Love, Hope, Inspiration, Christianity
  • Dragon- Masculinity, Freedom, Balance In Life, Good Luck, Fearless
  • Eagle- Freedom, Sight, Protection, Flight, Wisdom, Devotion
  • Flamingo- Family, Protection, Grace, Balance, Beauty
  • Frog- Transformation, Wealth, Christianity, Purity, Good Luck
  • Horse- Pride, Passion, Friendship, Loyalty, Virtue
  • Hummingbird- Love, Joy, Hope, Agility, Life, Charm, Energy
  • Koi- Bravery, Courage, Good Luck, Good Fortune, Masculinity
  • Ladybug- Good Luck, Friendship, Energetic, Loyalty, Joy
  • Leopard- Balance, Wisdom, Freedom, Power, Strength
  • Lion- Authority, Strength, Family, Power, Masculinity
  • Lizard- Escape, Longevity, Mobility, Speed, Renewal
  • Panther- Power, Masculinity, Courage, Knowledge, Strength
  • Parrot- Partnership, Miracle, Guardian, Love, Beauty
  • Phoenix- Rebirth, Faith, Grace, Femininity, Grace
  • Pitbull- Authority, Masculinity, Fighter, Fearless, Loyalty, Strength
  • Rottweiler- Family, Strength, Fearless, Fight, Power
  • Scorpion- Passion, Fighter, Protection, Loyalty, Perseverance
  • Shark- Strength, Power, Sense, Security, Protection
  • Snake- Change, Rebirth, Death, Patience, Knowledge, Temptation
  • Spider- Death, Fear, Fertility, Unique, Wisdom, Creativity
  • Swallow- Good Luck, Hope, Devotion, Peace, Resurrection
  • Swan- Graceful, Love, Mystery, Beauty, Balance
  • Tiger- Freedom, Independence, Vengeance. Pride, Beauty, Balance
  • Turtle- Longevity, Peaceful, Healing, Gentleness, Hope
  • Unicorn- Purity, Independence, Freedom, Dreams, Peace, Everything Good
  • Whale- Family, Longevity, Bravery, Wisdom, Hope
  • Wolf- Family, Devotion, Fearless, Loyalty, Masculinity

There are some important things you need to remember before you choose to get your tattoo. If your wanting to choose an animal tattoo, most people try to choose one that fits their personality, It is very important to do your own research and understand what your tattoo means and represents. Don't rush to get inked! Take your time, weigh out your options, and make sure the tattoo is what you really want. Remember, you will wear this for the rest of your life. Make sure you take the time to view other tattoo designs so you can get an idea of what is out there. This can also give you inspiration and ideas for your next tattoo. If you feel that you want to learn more about a specific animal tattoo, follow the links above to view more animal tattoo designs, ideas, and meanings. Thanks for your visit.



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    • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      8 years ago from West Virginia

      *Lovedoctor, thanks for everything. The wolf is my fav also. You can't go wrong with either of your choices. Thanks for the comment, your time, and votes:) Take care.

      *TToombs, it is always a pleasure. I appreciate the kind words. Have you showed any pics of your widow? I would love to see it.

      *Sueswan, thanks for asking. So so busy, but doing good. I always am appreciative of your visits. Many thanks:)

      *Unknownspy, thanks for taking the time to drop by. Love the ladybug tattoo and symbolism behind them. A great choice.

      *Jasmine, thanks again for the comment and your time. Glad you enjoyed the pics. That parrot tattoo would have taken awhile:) I don't mind standing still but not for half the day.

      *Max, if I did choose a spider tat, it would not be up front, it would be in the back. I just can't go that way cause I hate spiders. No thanks:)

      *Alocsin, the tiger is an awesome tattoo. I can't decide which one I like better, the bengal or the white. Appreciate your time, comment, and vote pal.

      *AE, those are two great choices also Ruby. Thanks for taking the time to read this and everything else:)

      *Gypsy, animal tattoos do offer you the opportunity to get a colorful tattoo design, for those who want the color in their tattoo. Thanks.

      *KJ, there you go! That is one way to look at it. KJ, I just appreciate you having an open mind on them and being willing to learn about them. We can never go wrong learning as much as we can from one another. When we want to learn more, we challenge ourselves. I am very thankful my dear friend.

    • kj force profile image


      8 years ago from Florida

      Hey, the perfect pet for those that want one, but, don't want the responsibility.....

      very beautiful pics..thanks for the info..I have learned about a subject I had little knowledge of..thanks to your mission on tattoo's....thumb's up great job...

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      8 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Love those crazy and colorful animal tattoos.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 years ago from Southern Illinois

      The animal tattoos are very beautiful. I especially liked the Hummingbird and the Dolphin. GREAT hub. Thank you Ricky...

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      8 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I like the brightly colored animal tattoos the best. The tiger one is quite striking. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

    • BeyondMax profile image


      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      That spider... I'd bite my hand off, just to make sure I won't see it anymore. LOL What a collection! I love the colors.

    • vox vocis profile image


      8 years ago

      Oh, yes, butterflies, dolphins and seahorses are ladies' favorites. Guys - the usual: eagle, lion or dragon. Great choice of photos; I like the parrot tattoo on the back of a brave girl who endured quite a lot until she had it done!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi Ricky

      I like the butterfly, ladybug, and hummingbird tattoos.

      Voted up and awesome.

      I hope you are doing well my friend. :)

      Take care

    • unknown spy profile image

      Life Under Construction 

      8 years ago from Neverland

      Amazing animal tattoos! i want a ladybug :)

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      8 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      You always highlight some of the most outstanding artwork. I love it! I actually have a black widow tat on my right shoulder blade. :) Excellent as always! :) VUM.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow! These animal tattoos are so cute. The wolf is my favorite. I like the list of animals with characteristics and traits that you provided. The swan is nice too. Voted up awesome, beautiful & interesting. Let me vote first before I forget.


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