What’s The Meaning of A Leopard Print Tattoo?

With its beautiful skin pattern and deadly instincts, the leopard has tantalized the human mind for centuries. Leopard print tattoos have been in the tattoo scene since ancient times. The beautiful and symmetrical spotted pattern is sure to turn a few heads and create an aura of mystery around the tattoo wearer.

But, Every tattoo carries a meaning within itself. So, what is the meaning of a leopard print tattoo?

The meaning of the leopard print tattoo is that the tattoo wearer inhabits one of the key characteristics of the leopard. Thus, the primary meaning of the tattoo is intelligence, cunning, solitude, and opportunism. The tattoo wearer is strong as a leopard while maintaining the stealthy nature of the animal.

The leopard print tattoo is also seen as a regal or noble symbol as ancient monarchies wore leopard skin as a luxury. Some cultures also interpret the leopard print as divine armor.

In this article, we will discuss the major meanings associated with the leopard print tattoo. We will also discuss some major designs and where to place them in your body. Without wasting any more time, let’s jump the gun!

The Meaning of A Leopard Print Tattoo

The leopard print pattern has been used by humans for centuries as a popular tattoo and clothing design. The symmetrical dots and their unique coloring have made the animal and anything associated with the leopard print design exotic.

Thus, several meanings have been associated with the leopard print tattoo from which very few persist.


The leopard is known as an intelligent animal. They have to survive in harsh terrains and some leopards even have to survive in the freezing temperatures of the Himalayas.

Catching prey in these harsh terrains requires a complete understanding of the environment while anticipating the movements of the prey. This requires high intelligence and exceptional perception.

Thus, the leopard was considered by the ancients as a divine animal and is now scientifically confirmed to be the most intelligent animal of the big cat family.

People who get the leopard print tattoo might want to express their firm belief in their intelligence. They might believe that they are highly intelligent and perceptive like animals. They can also get this tattoo in the hope to gain these amazing traits!

Brute Strength

While the leopard is not that big in stature, they possess exceptional strength. In fact, A leopard is thought to be seven times stronger than your average human.

They hunt big animals such as bison, eland, and wildebeest which are two times bigger than the leopard. Matter of fact, the leopard can drag a carcass that’s thrice its body size.

Their jaw strength is also very commendable as they can easily break the neck of a deer on a bite.

People who get the leopard print tattoo might want to gain this type of brute strength. Not necessarily physically, they might want to be mentally stronger than they are at the present.

The tattoo can also be a sort of warning that the tattoo wearer is strong and isn’t hesitant to use his/her strength.


The leopard is known as a solitary animal. Unlike hyenas or wolfs, they don’t hunt in packs and operate alone. They only communicate with others of their species to mate or to fight for territory.

A leopard spends all of its life in solitude and doesn’t even ask for companionship. Their solitary lifestyle is a testament to their mental strength and in solitude, they are at their best.

People who prefer to lead a solitary lifestyle might get the leopard print tattoo. They might want to send a clear message that they are at their best when they are left alone. The tattoo can also indicate that a person strives to be fully independent of any bonds like the leopard.


The leopard is a calculating animal. They are known to be very patient while hunting. They often wait more than hours in bushes to catch their prey. Only when the prey has completely discarded their guard, the leopard strikes with a lightning pace and delivers the killing blow.

This opportunistic nature makes the leopard one of nature’s deadliest and most efficient hunters.

The leopard print tattoo carries the theme of opportunism with it. The tattoo wearer might want to send the message that they are not docile or lazy.

They are just waiting for the right time to strike and completely obliterate their enemies. Another way to interpret this notion is by this that the tattoo wearer is always on their move to strike and is just calculating their next move.


The leopard has padded footings that muffle any sound and their shallow breathings completely mask their auditory presence.

The spotted skin of the leopard is a perfect camouflage for the animal as the spots enable the animal to hide in the high grass, bushes, and even hillsides. The combination of this visual and auditory camouflage yields a great result, as the prey can’t even anticipate from where the leopard might strike.

The leopard print tattoo can thus be interpreted as the urge to be stealthy like the leopard. The tattoo wearer might want to mask their presence like the leopard while waiting for the precise moment to deliver the finishing blow.


The leopard is seen as a divine guardian in many cultures. In Hindu mythology, The Devas often wore leopard skin as armor. Like the Hindu religion, the Aztecs, Incas, and Egyptians also identified the leopard pelt as divine armor.

Placing religious belief aside, the leopard pelt was used as armor by Gaelic and Celtic warriors as the skin is pretty tough to piece by arrows. Also, the leopard was seen as a guardian deity in many pagan religions for its majestic and regal nature.

People who get the leopard print tattoo want to send a message that their skin is tough as the leopard. They won’t be hurt by the traps that their enemies may set for them. Also, some treat the leopard print tattoo as divine protection due to their religious beliefs.

Nobility and Regality

The leopard was often dubbed as a noble creature of the jungle. They were hard to hunt and often, the hunters became the leopard’s prey. This made the leopard pelt an extremely valuable item that very few could afford to wear.

Only the nobility and the royalty could afford to wear leopard pelts due to their wealth.

In fact, many monarchies solely used leopard pelts as regal dresses as they believed the leopard pelt enabled them to access many of the leopard’s abilities alongside the belief that the leopard pelt is a sign of their authority.

People who get this tattoo often times use the tattoo as an expression of their own perceived nobility. They want to make themselves exceptional from the mass as the tattoo makes them appear more authoritative and special with its unique design.


The leopard was previously associated with several pagan fertility deities. Ancient religions venerated the leopard as a virile creature who could bestow fertility to the infertile. This old belief has been revamped in the modern era as a sign of sensuality.

Many fashion icons used leopard print as a sensual design that can cause arousal in people.

This led to a boom in leopard-printed clothes and tattoos as people wanted to send the signal that they are virile as the leopard.

Variations of The Leopard Print Tattoo

Here you go with some prominent variations of the leopard print tattoo. 

Floral Leopard Print Tattoo

Traditionally, the leopard print tattoo was considered to be a masculine tattoo highlighting male fertility and vigor.

Later on, flowers and bows were added to the design to add a little bit of feminine touch. This enables the tattoo to achieve a whole different meaning than the original design.

Every flower is associated with a different meaning. A rose is a symbol of love while the lotus is a symbol of enlightenment. By adding a specific flower to the design, you can easily customize the meaning for yourself.

For example, A tattoo design consisting of leopard print paired with a lotus may represent that the tattoo wearer is trying to transcend the human sensuality which keeps us blind to the ultimate truth. Like this, you can add any flower or floral pattern to your tattoo to make it more appealing and meaningful.

Usually, floral tattoos like this tend to have bright colors such as pink, purple, crimson, or yellow. The bright colors compliment the tattoo’s floral patterns while making the tattoo more eye catchy.

Claw Mark Leopard Print Tattoo

The claw mark leopard print tattoo is one of the most common designs regarding the leopard print tattoo. The claw marks are introduced to the pattern to emphasize the predatory instinct of the leopard.

The leopard is one of the most lethal and biggest predators in the wild. They are skilled hunters who hunt animals larger than them with the use of their razor-sharp claws and fangs.

Paired with the leopard print, the claw mark represents the tattoo wearer’s innermost desire to hunt and rule like the leopard.

Sometimes, the claw mark can also be interpreted as a sign of victimization. People often commemorate the trauma they survived with some type of memory. The permanent body art makes sure that the tattoo wearer never forgets his/her struggle while also showing the survival instinct of the tattoo wearer.

Thus, We can interpret the claw marks tattoo as both the instinct to hunt and the memory of survival of the tattoo wearer. These two contrary meanings make this tattoo more interesting and the tattoo wearer more mysterious than ever.

The color palate for this tattoo is pretty simple. The leopard print is usually done in the traditional colors of black and yellow while the claw marks can be anywhere from red to crimson depending on the tattoo wearer’s intended meaning.

Paw Print Leopard Print Tattoo

The paw print leopard print tattoo has a meaning that is totally different from the claw marks leopard print tattoo. While the claw represents the predatory instincts of the leopard, the paw represents the physical attributes of the leopard.

The leopard is known for its high speed and its agility. In fact, the leopard is the most agile among the big cats which include tigers, lions, and panthers. It also represents that the tattoo wearer possesses or aspires to possess the physical attributes of the leopard.

The paw mark can also be interpreted as a sort of divine protection as many cultures still venerate the leopard as a spiritual protector.

Usually, The paw mark is placed beside the leopard print tattoo. But, some also prefer to place the paw mark directly on the leopard print to give a more intimate effect. The color palate of the paw mark is usually darkish to complement the leopard print.

Size and Placement of A Leopard Tattoo

Let’s talk about the placement first as it influences the size of the tattoo.

The leopard print can be placed almost anywhere on the body. They can be placed on your neck, arm, chest, back, and even on your face.

But, the tattoo looks odd in the lower part of your body such as the legs, thighs, and pubic area. The tattoo looks great on your chest and on your arms but it looks stunning on your face and neck. The face leopard print tattoo is sure to turn a few heads.

The size depends on your preference and on the judgment of your tattoo artist. it can be up to 2-3 inches or even up to covering the whole limb. So, we suggest relying on your tattoo artist’s expertise and deciding the size based on a discussion.

Last Words

Now that you know the meaning behind the leopard print tattoo, we are sure that now you know the whole significance behind the design.

The meaning of the leopard print tattoo is that the tattoo wear embodies one of the leopard’s major traits which is intelligence, cunning, seclusion, and opportunism. The leopard tattoo bearer is as strong and stealthy as the beast.

We hope that this article was enough to satisfy your curiosity. Now, Don’t wait any longer and unleash the beast inside you!

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