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Panther Tattoo Designs and Meanings

The Panther Tattoo

A unique design that you may want to consider is the panther tattoo, which is worn by both sexes. Just like all animal tattoos, this one represents the characteristics and traits of the panther. Since there are several different species in the panther family, designs can vary.

In this article, we will review many panther tattoo designs and meanings. In the end, we hope that you find inspiration and ideas for your next tattoo project.

Panther Tattoo Design Options

There are a variety of different ways that the panther can be portrayed.

  • Crawling: One of the most popular variations is the "crawling panther tattoo" which has the appearance of a panther crawling on your skin, its nails dug in.
  • Slashing Claws: Another design depicts the panther's claws slashing through the skin. The slashing panther is a great way to represent strength and power.
  • Black Panther: The black panther is by far the most popular. In fact, the black crawling panther design was first created in the early 19th century and continues to be popular.
  • Cartoonish or Realistic: Some prefer a panther with a cartoon look to it, while others choose a more realistic depiction. Some choose a tribal panther design.
  • Other Props: Flowers, swords, or other objects may be added to the design to downplay or accentuate the panther's aggressive look.
  • Body or Just Face: Some designs depict the entire animal, some just depict the face.
  • The Jungle: Some choose to depict the animal in its natural environment, the jungle. For example, you may see a tattoo that shows the panther peeking through the leaves.
  • Water: Some designs portray the panther in water. The blue and black colors go great with each other.

There are plenty of things you can do to personalize this design and create a creative, unique tattoo that fits your personality.

The Panther Tattoo in History

  • At first, the panther tattoo was popular among sailors, gangs, and inmates.
  • It then became a backseat tattoo design before coming popular again among young African Americans, probably in conjunction with the Black Panther civil rights movement founded in 1966.
  • Popularity decreased once again after the Vietnam War, but at the turn of this century, they began to regain popularity in the tattoo world.
  • Today, they are more popular than ever.

Panther Tattoo Meanings and Symbolism

Just like most animal tattoos, panther tattoo meanings are based on the personal traits and characteristics of the panther, a skilled, fierce, and powerful animal, the top predator in the jungle. Although it is aggressive, it is also a fiercely loving and caring parent. If needed, the mother panther will risk her life to defend her young.

The panther also has a variety of symbolic meanings and might be chosen for symbolic purposes rather than the beauty of its design. These are the characteristics a panther might represent:

  • Valor
  • Confidence
  • Guardianship
  • Beauty
  • Femininity
  • Freedom
  • Power
  • Strength
  • Courage
  • Agility
  • Perseverance
  • Grace
  • Leadership

Before You Tattoo

There are a few different things you need to consider before getting your panther tattoo.

  1. You want to make sure you take the time to do research and view a variety of design options.
  2. Don't rush to get inked. So many people end up regretting it later on down the road.
  3. Lastly, make sure you take the time to learn what your tattoo represents before getting inked.


Richard Ricky Hale (author) from West Virginia on April 26, 2012:




Thank you all for your comments and time my friends. AE, it all depends. When it comes to tattoos, you usually pay for quality. In this day and age, there are a lot of people that give tattoos, licensed or not. Those that are not, they may be great and charge $50-$100 for a decent sized panther. If you go to a professional, you may pay a few hundred more for the same tattoo. But, many don't want to take the chance. They would rather pay a few hundred more for a professional tattoo. It all depends on the size and how long it takes as well. The arm tattoo (last picture) is a beautiful and good sized tattoo. It probably cost $300-$500.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 19, 2012:

These are beautiful too Ricky. I wonder how much it would cost to have a Panther tattoo done? Not for me!! Just thinking out loud...

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on April 19, 2012:

I love the panther tattoos up and awesome

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on April 18, 2012:

Voted up and awesome. Some really wild and crazy cats. lol