1 The name of the purchase by which a ship's anchor, before the days of the stockless anchor, was hoisted to the cathead before stowing it or letting it go.
2 Originally, one of the five principal types of merchant ship hulls in the days before sailing ships were identified by their rig. It was also the name given to Northumbrian vessels which moved coal around the east coast of England.
3 The short name by which the cat-o'-nine-tails was known.
4 When used as a verb it was the process of hoisting an anchor by its ring so that it hung at the cathead, either in readiness for letting go or, after it has been weighed, in preparation for securing it on the anchor bed. Catting an anchor was only necessary with anchors fitted with stocks. See also catboat.