Disclosure: This tiger eyes tattoo page contains affiliate links. Read full Disclosure Policy.
While the lion has long been considered the “King of the Jungle,” it is actually the tiger that has a history of royal associations. The tiger holds great significance across Asia, ranging from a revered protector to blood thirsty beast. In Chinese culture, the tiger represents masculinity and appears to be marked by the Chinese character for king in the stripes on its forehead. For Tibetans, the tiger held the key to immortality. Ancient Indian tribes told stories depicting man and tiger as brothers. Some Asian cultures even told stories of “were-tigers,” evil sorcerers or cursed men who ravaged villages. It is the image of a protector, however, that is the prevailing icon. Not only are tigers considered to be the guardians of the forest, but they also are known for watching over the souls of the dead. Tigers would protect the dead from evil spirits and allow them to rest in peace.
It is a small wonder then why so many people choose to feature tigers as part of their tattoo designs. As tigers are associated with power and intensity, to include one in a tattoo represents personal power or inner strength. The eyes of a tiger are often featured in these designs, as though they are calming, staring into the soul of their prey. Just as you would think twice before challenging a tiger, you might not want to dismiss someone who chose to depict the great cat on his or her body.
Just as beautiful as the majestic beast that inspired them, these tattoos are filled with mesmerizing images of tigers and their captivating eyes. In conjunction with other images with symbolic connections, tiger eyes carry deep significance and create truly stunning tattoos. Representative of power, grace, and protection, tigers will make an impact in any tattoo design.
Best Tiger Eye Tattoo Ideas
Hidden Among the Roses
Gorgeous roses are the perfect complement to this tiger eyes tattoo. The tiger blends in to the rose design, with the lines between the two images overlapping. Tigers are masters of camouflage, and the roses are no exception. Using black and white, as well as expert shading, adds to the mystery of this tattoo.
Tiger Eyes Tattoo: Forearm
Tiger eyes make the perfect forearm tattoo, especially if you want just a close up of the eyes themselves. In this design, the eyes pop with a burst of bright blue color, implying it is the rare and beautiful white tiger. The expression of this tiger gives the impression of a gentle giant rather than a deadly beast.
Animals, like humans, convey emotion through facial expression. Through a subtle shift of the eyes and brows, what could have been a gentler look now hold calm intimidation. The intense hue of the blue emphasizes this feeling. You almost feel like one wrong move and you will unleash the beast within.
Tiger Eyes Spirit Animal
Tigers are among the most popular spirit animals, as they symbolize power, courage, and resilience. Pairing the tiger eye with a human eye forms the connection between the person and the animal. For this individual, the woman who inspired the tattoo represents all the tiger does – strength, beauty, and determination.
Traditional Tiger Eyes Tattoo
Deep shading emphasizes the stripes in this design, complete with the intense amber eyes of the tiger. The amber also speaks to the tiger-eyes gemstone, which is used in crystology and mysticism. The fierce nature of this look gives the feeling over power and masculinity, which goes with the traditional nature of the tattoo.
Tiger Eye Tattoo Stencil
If you are a fan of using tattoo stencils, this tiger eye forearm tattoo is a great choice. The details in this design are ideal for a stencil, as well as the symmetry that you often find in stenciled tattoos. A stencil is the perfect way to achieve the texture of the fur and the depth in the eyes. The bright blue color here is striking, but you could just as easily use a green or amber depending on your taste.
A play on a real butterfly species, this tattoo is both beautiful and symbolic. Butterflies represent change or transformation, and the tiger strength and power. By combining the two together, it shows a personal metamorphosis into a stronger person, perhaps by going through a trying time. While this tattoo is part of a larger piece, you could change it into a smaller design by eliminating the rose.
Eye of the Tiger Tattoo
In this design, the human eye is more thoroughly integrated into the tiger rather than a half and half look. This takes on an alternative meaning than a spirit animal type design, rather implying that the woman featured is the tiger. A different tiger eyes tattoo meaning, but one that is unique to the person.
Prey in Sight
Whether or not it was the intention, within the eyes appears a shape like a buck. With that in mind, the tiger in this tattoo takes on the role of predator rather than protector. Perfect for someone looking to make a small, personal touch within a larger design. The intimidating feel is emphasized with the full black and white look and intense shading.
One might expect a lot of looks out of a tattoo of tiger eyes: fierce, deadly, intense, or even serene. Here, however, is the look of curiosity that might be on any house cat’s face. A cool take on a tiger eye tattoo, using a more inquisitive look makes the tiger seem more like a big cat. Going for that feeling rather than something more typical gives this tiger eyes tattoo a new meaning.
Half Tiger Forearm Tattoo
Going for half of the tiger rather than the traditional tiger eyes tattoo gives a twist on the old favorite. This also allows for more detail of the tiger to be seen, including the jaws and ear of the majestic beast. While the eyes bring intensity, the power comes from its teeth and stealth from its hearing, so including those aspects is important when paying homage to the tiger.
Hear Me Roar
This design is all about ferocity, from the intense look in the tiger’s eyes, to the roar, finishing with the deadly fangs of this fierce feline. Using green for the tiger eyes somehow adds to the danger of it all. Perfect for a shoulder tattoo, but would also work for a thigh or calf placement.
Traditional Tiger Eyes Tattoo: Chinese Art
Tigers are featured all through Chinese art, and this tattoo is a reference to that traditional art style. The fierce nature of the tiger fits with the view of the Chinese that the tiger reflects power and reigns supreme as the king of beasts. The deep colors and sharp nature of the outlines make the whole piece its own work of art.
Eye of the Tiger Tattoo: Humble Beast
An interesting pair of tattoos, the Humble side focuses on the tiger as a gentle giant among the feline family. Making the eyes wider and a bright blue makes the tiger seem curious, almost house pet-like. The Beast side, however, shows the ferocious nature of this wild cat, and reminds us that he is not to be trifled with.
She’s a Man-eater
Another comparison between female and feline, the tiger eye tattoo is the perfect choice that wants to show the intensity of her personality (or a woman close to you). Making the two eyes the same color gray in this design shows how her personality reflects the attributes of the tiger. A cool tiger eye tattoo that fits well on the forearm, calm, or across the back.
Eyes on the Back of My…
If you want a tattoo of tiger eyes, the upper back is an ideal placement. In this case, the eyes seem to stare down anyone who would dare to look, an implication that they are watching over their owner. This concept fits with the traditional view of tigers as protectors and sentinels of the forest.
It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to imagine this tiger opening his mouth only to have a deep-voiced sage offer words of wisdom. Going with the Tibetan view of the tiger as a guardian of immortality and answers to the universe, this design depicts a strong, knowledgeable creature. The compass at the base of the tattoo fits with the concept of providing direction and understanding to those that would seek it.
Whatchu Got There?
The connection between house cat and wild cat is clear in this design. Wide, inquisitive eyes make this tiger eye tattoo seem harmless and tame. Perfect to show that power does not have to always mean cruelty, but that power and flat out cuteness can be found in the same creature.
Traditional Tiger Eyes Tattoo: Sapphire Blue
The majesty of the tiger is on display in this eye of the tiger tattoo. Looking truly regal from the steady gaze to the deep blue of the eyes, it isn’t hard to imagine how the Chinese believed tigers to be king among animals. If you want your tiger eyes tattoo meaning to reflect nobility, this is the perfect design.
King of the Jungle
A detailed shoulder tattoo, the idea of the tiger as guardian of the forest and king of the jungle comes across. While this design is in black and white, a bold color version also packs a punch if colored tattoos are more your scene. A smaller version of this tattoo would be perfect for the forearm or calf.
Eye of the Tiger Henna Tattoo
With henna inspired accents, this ferocious predator shows two aspects of Indian culture in one awesome tattoo. Henna is used in celebrations and holidays in India, and tigers are sometimes featured among important festivals. The fierce nature of the tiger in this design also fits with the prevailing thought in Indian culture about tigers as revered, but dangerous. Using cultural aspects in your tiger eyes tattoo design give the whole piece an authentic vibe.
Something about the shape and color of the eyes gives the tiger in this design a feminine look. Female tigers are intensely protective over their cubs, and are the only provider for them until they can take care of themselves. If you want a powerful female figure from the animal kingdom, then the tiger is the perfect fit.
Eye of the Tiger Tattoo: Double Vision
Another look that shows the whole tiger, this cool take on tiger eye tattoos makes a statement with the two different eyes. Not only are the eyes two different colors, but the shapes and expression are also not the same. This is an interesting way to show two halves of you personality, or maybe use this design as a partner tattoo incorporating both individual’s eye colors. No matter the choice, the rich colors in this tattoo make it a gorgeous addition to any tattoo collection.
Eye of the Tiger Tattoo: Window to the Soul
Using the box around the tiger eyes tattoo really speaks to the idea that eyes are the window to the soul. The placement of the tattoo over the heart gives the appearance that you can see into the heart of the person, a true window. Since tigers show strength and resilience, having the heart of a tiger gives this tiger eyes tattoo meaning.
Tiger Eyes Chest Tattoo
If you are looking to take things to the extreme with your tiger eyes tattoo, this chest tattoo design may be it. Between the large design, dark shading, and intense gaze of the eyes, this tattoo gives off an intimidating vibe. The same design would make a statement on the upper back.
The epitome of a spirit animal tattoo, using one’s own face as the other half of the tiger makes this tattoo personal and meaningful. The idea of the person and tiger being one and the same is emphasized by the same color of the eyes. A design that seamlessly moves from human to beast, this is the perfect way to show your animalistic connections.
Single Tiger Eye Tattoo
Worked into a larger piece, this single amber tiger eye gives a point of color and intensity to the overall sleeve. The detail and depth of color in the eye itself is breathtaking and an awesome focal point. This design shows how a tiger eye tattoo can add to your different pieces and provide another point of interest in your tattoo collection.
Tiger Eyes Neck Tattoo
Another bold choice, this neck tattoo uses bold contrast and a pop of bright color to make an impact. The gaze of the tiger stares down anyone that would look, fitting with the protector and predator symbols. This design works well as its own tattoo or as part of a larger piece.
Tiger Eyes Tattoo Stencil: Fists of Fury
The ferocity of the tiger is clear in this hand tattoo. As it is a smaller tattoo, this would be a good opportunity to use a tattoo stencil. When trying to get detail in such a small area, the stencil will make sure all the aspects of your tattoo come through. The pops of color in this design also give life to the look.
Two Color Eyes
For this tiger eyes tattoo, a stencil would be a great option to achieve the symmetrical look of this design. Even though the eyes are two different colors, the stripes and facial features are proportionally balanced which is easy to get right with the stencil. Using two colors for the eyes gives the tattoo a point of interest and excitement.
Noir Traditional Tiger Eye Tattoo
Done in the deep blacks of noir style art, this tiger eye tattoo stencil is striking. The detail and balance of the design makes the tiger seem alive, as if it were going to come off the arm and pounce. Placing the tattoo on the bicep means that the piece will move with the muscle, emphasizing the living nature of the animal.
In the Jungle the Tiger Sleeps Tonight
Deep shadows make the tiger in this tattoo appear to be lying in wait in the dead of night, looking for prey and watching over the jungle. The allusion to leaves and brush at the edges of the tattoo add to that feeling. Its eyes seem to glow as though they are pools of light reflecting through the night. Artistic and beautiful, this tattoo would work well as a shoulder piece (as pictured) or on the calf.
Unlike other tattoos of tiger eyes, a single eye is the feature in this design. Magnified and detailed, the grayscale eye captivates those that would look into it. While this particular piece is a bit larger, this tiger eye tattoo would work just as well in a smaller area like the forearm or upper back. Adjust the size even more, and the gorgeous eye would be perfect on the wrist or ankle.
Traditional Tiger Eye Tattoo: Feather
An interesting take on a traditional tiger eye tattoo design, putting the eyes into a shape like a feather adds lightness to the look. This is a great example of how you can take something common and put your own twist on the piece. The feather shape complements the texture of the fur, and the white highlights within the tattoo brighten the whole design.
Crouching in the Shadows
A cool addition to a larger jungle piece, this tiger clearly has eyes on prey. Hidden among the leaves of the forest, the cat prowls and is ready to strike. Since the tattoo is smaller but still highly detailed, this would be the perfect chance to use a tattoo stencil to achieve this tiger eye look.
Eye of the Tiger Tattoo: Unleash the Beast
So vicious it would claw its way out, the tiger pictured here is all power and ferocity. Between the anger in its gaze and the red of its eye, this takes tiger eye tattoos to a whole new level. While this tattoo is pictured on the chest, this would make a great back piece or a thigh tattoo.
Hidden Jungle Rose
The beauty of the rose pairs perfectly with the tiger in this shoulder piece. The tiger eyes reflect the loveliness of the flower, and the whole seen feels calm and serene. While the tattoo is stunning in black and white, the piece could be done in color as well if that is more to your taste.
Strength, power, ferocity, protector. Representations of all of these characteristics are in tiger eye tattoos. With so many different meanings, tigers give a person the ability to show their inner beast or a graceful guardian. Whatever the personal significance, tiger eye tattoos are beautiful designs compiled of deep jewel colors and intricate artwork. Traditional tiger eye tattoos are ideal for someone looking for a smaller piece, while larger full tigers make stunning shoulder or back tattoos. No matter the style, there is a tiger eye tattoo look for anyone.
 Guynup, Sharon. “Why Have Tigers Been Feared and Revered Throughout History?” National Geographic (blog). 2019.
 “21 Surprising Tiger Facts Prove These Big Cats are Amazing.” Tigerpedia – Animal Planet. 2020.