Simple Cat Face Painting for Children

by Carla Jean McKinney
Cat faces can be painted in a variety of styles and colors.

Cat faces can be painted in a variety of styles and colors.

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Cat face painting offers a simple way to create a costumed look for parties or Halloween. Only a few strokes can transform a child's or adult's face into a sweet kitty or a fierce lion or tiger. Nontoxic face paints, tapered brushes and a bit of glitter or shimmering eyeshadow allow professional and amateur face painters to create a cat face in minutes.

Cat Face Styles

A painted cat face can stand alone, or add the finishing touch to a cat costume. Cat faces can be as simple as a few whiskers painted on the cheeks and a black cat nose, or as complex as a fully painted tiger face complete with stripes and "fur." Face styles range from a pink kitty look with lots of glitter for a little girl, to a more ferocious lion or tiger in bold colors for boys.

Paints and Materials

Nontoxic face paints allow painters to create cat faces in a variety of colors, for varying degrees of realism. Eyeliner and eyeshadow can also be used to create an elongated cat's eye look, and shimmering shadows add a bright touch, especially for the kitty face style. Sponges add paint to large areas of the cheeks and nose, and a variety of brushes create outlines, whiskers, lips and noses. More fanciful looks can also incorporate self-stick jewels and sequins.

Cat Features

A basic cat's face includes ears drawn above the eyebrows, lines between and around the eyes to suggest whiskers and fur patterns, and a black cat nose with a vertical line beneath it which runs down to the upper lip. Painters can also add lines from the corners of the lips to the edges of the nostrils, and paint in dots on the cheeks as another way to suggest whiskers. This essential pattern can be adapted for a variety of cat looks, from the abstract to the realistic.


Along with paint, cat faces can be embellished with jewels and stick-on decorations, and accessories such as cloth or felt cat ears on a headband can add to the effect. Pulling the hair away from the face helps to showcase the painted cat face, and a black cap or scarf which hides the hair can also emphasize the face paint for a more dramatic look.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images