What is the Cat in Lawn Bowls?

  • By: Jack Toucher
  • Date: March 18, 2023

Another name for the small, white target ball in lawn bowls is the “kitty”. It’s quite an old-fashioned name. To complicate matters, in South Africa Afrikaans-speaking bowlers have translated the word literally to the word “kat”. And then English-speaking bowlers have re-translated the word to “cat”.

So the cat is in fact yet another name for the white target bowl.

Other names for the cat in lawn bowls

The “cat” is one of several names for the little white target ball in lawn bowls. The aim of the game is for your team to get your bowls as close to the cat as possible. Other names for the cat in lawn bowls are: white ball, kitty and jack.

Is the white ball in lawn bowls round?

The white ball in lawn bowls (also called the cat, the kitty, the cat and the jack) is perfectly spherical. This is in contra-distinction to the bowls themselves, which are cambered on one side, giving them a “shoulder”. The off-circular shape of a bowl enables it to curve gently as it travels, making it possible to glide around a bowl toward the jack.