Top 12 Animal Tattoo Designs With Meanings

Let the magnificence and majesty of a beautiful animal ink express your personality.

Reviewed by Jingxi Gu, Licensed Tattoo Artist
Written by Jyotsana Rao, BE
Edited by Subhrojyoti Mukherjee, MA (English)
Fact-checked by Shreya Mukherjee, MA (English)  • 

Tattoo is a form of art that is generally meant to symbolize something for the wearer. Animal or wildlife tattoo designs are a good choice if you want your tattoo to hold a specific meaning. Each animal tattoo is meaningful and has a distinct symbolism. These tattoos are not gender-specific and can be inked anywhere on the skin.

Animal tattoos are highly sought after and can be designed in many different styles. Some are pretty straightforward, like the tattoo of a beloved pet, while others may carry symbolic meanings for the owners, like a zodiac symbol or spirit animal.

Whatever the reason, if you are looking for meaningful animal tattoo inspiration, we have curated a list of the most popular animal tattoo choices with their meanings. Keeping reading.

The Most Loved Animal Tattoos

Here are a few animal tattoo designs worth considering.

1. Horse Tattoo

Horse tattoos are not only great style symbols but also represent strength and beauty. A majestic stallion in motion is a great tattoo idea. A simple and adorable tattoo idea would be that of a dala horse or a carnival horse.

2. Bear Tattoo

Bear tattoos represent immense strength and an overbearing personality that can crush others. Some bear species like the koala bear could represent cuteness and innocence. Winnie the Pooh is an animated bear that one could consider inking.

3. Raven Tattoo

The raven was originally a white bird. There are many legends describing the reason for the raven turning black. Some say Noah sent out the raven to test the level of water before sending out the dove. But instead of returning the raven settled into the land. This enraged God and he turned the Raven black. Ravens convey bad omens and mystery.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Larger areas such as the shoulder, chest, back, arm, and sleeve are the ideal places to get a raven tattoo because of the intricate detailing (especially on the feathers) that goes into it.

4. Peacock Tattoo

Peacocks are very charming, elegant, and beautiful creatures. They represent beauty, dignity, pride and self assurance. They represent beauty, dignity, pride, and self-assurance. Peacocks have a variety of colors on them which make tattooing them a lot of fun. This is indeed a gorgeous being to tattoo on oneself. One could also tattoo a peacock feather if tattooing an entire peacock seems too much.

5. Lion Tattoo

Lions are the king of animals. Lions represent leadership and strength. Lions are admirable animals and have awe-striking tattoo ideas. An animated touch might be added by inking Simba, the character from the animated film The Lion King.

protip_icon Trivia
Charisma Carpenter, Marsha Ambrosius, Chiara Ferragni, Ella Mai, and Rumer Willis are well-known celebrities with lion tattoos.

6. Tiger Tattoo

Tigers are very fierce animals. They represent bravery, fierceness, strength, and courage. 3D touches might be added to bring out the ferocity of the tiger. The entire body of the tiger may be tattooed or just the face. Whichever way it is inked, this is a majestic animal tattoo design to have.

7. Dog Tattoo

Dogs make great pets. They are loyal and provide good companionship. A dog tattoo can be made to resemble a pet you once had or simply as a style statement. Cartoon touches may be added to the tattoo to make it comical and fun. There is great variety in these tattoo designs and in the range of colors.

8. Fish Tattoo

Fish have biblical allusions and represent miracles and magic. They also convey good fortune, prosperity, and foresight. The salmon fish in particular represents knowledge. Fish tattoos can be made in tribal or brushwork designs and in a range of colors.

9. Cat Tattoo

Cats are related to mysticism and supernatural powers. They also portray feminine energy and independence. A black cat might represent an interest in witchcraft and the supernatural. Cats have many species and thus form a variety of tattoo ideas.

10. Snake Tattoo

Snakes are slithery and dangerous beings. They can injure humans with just one bite. Snake bites can be poisonous and fatal. Therefore, snake tattoos convey danger and fierceness of character.

11. Dragon Tattoo

Dragon Tattoo
Image: Shutterstock

Dragons are considered powerful creatures in some cultures, while in others they are associated with wisdom and knowledge. A dragon tattoo symbolizes strength, courage, an ability to overcome challenges, a representation of intellectual prowess, or a thirst for learning. It may also symbolize good luck and yang energy, as some Chinese folklore consider dragons as positive beings.

12. Wolf Tattoo

Wolf Tattoo
Image: Shutterstock

Wolves are powerful animals with a strong sense of loyalty to their pack. They also have keen instincts and survival skills. A wolf tattoo is symbolic of strength, resilience, companionship, and loyalty. It also represents guidance and protection, as wolves are seen as spiritual guides in some mythologies.

Infographic: 10 Commonly Tattooed Animals And Their Symbolism

It’s interesting how humans can symbolize animals based on their observations and interactions with them. That said, animals and fantastical creatures are some of the most commonly chosen figures for tattoo designs. These tattoos are meant not just to be symbolic but also express how an individual relates to them. In the infographic below, we have summarized all the animal symbolisms we have seen in the article. Take a look!

10 commonly tattooed animals and their symbolism (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Animal tattoo designs are not just limited to animal lovers. Each animal signifies specific emotions and characteristics. You can use these patterns to celebrate your pets as well. Add your own touch and personalize your animal tattoo to make it aesthetic, fashionable, and unique. You can get a sweet minimalist pattern or choose a bold and massive design. You can go the traditional monotone way or add life to your patterns by making them colorful. That said, make sure you follow the aftercare prescribed to prevent your tattoo from getting infected or inflamed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which animal tattoo is lucky?

According to Chinese culture, panda tattoos represent prosperity and good luck.

What does a butterfly tattoo mean?

Butterfly tattoos represent femininity, beauty, young love, and joy.

What does a bee tattoo mean?

A bee tattoo represents loyalty, honor, and duty.

What does a bird tattoo mean?

Different birds represent different meanings. However, generally, a bird represents the desire to live free and happy.

Want to get inspired and find the perfect animal tattoo for yourself? Check out this awesome video featuring 100 animal tattoos for men!

Image source: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 10
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