Arm of the North Sea, between Sweden and Jutland, Denmark. Its maximum width is 88 mi (142 km). It is connected with both the North and Baltic seas. Chief ports on its shores are Göteborg and Halmstad in Sweden and Århus in Denmark. It is an important commercial navigation passage and a popular summer vacation area.
Learn more about Kattegat with a free trial on Britannica.com.
The Kattegat (Danish), or Kattegatt (Swedish) is a sea area bounded by Jutland (Denmark and extreme north Germany), and Scania, Halland and Bohuslän (Sweden). The Baltic Sea drains into the Kattegat through the Oresund and the Danish Straits. The Kattegat is a continuation of the Skagerrak and may be seen as either a bay of the Baltic Sea, a bay of the North Sea, or, in traditional Scandinavian usage, none of these.
Waterways that drain into the Kattegat are the rivers of Göta älv at Gothenburg, together with the Lagan, Nissan, Ätran and Viskan from the province of Halland on the Swedish side, and the river of Gudenå from Jutland, in Denmark.
A number of noteworthy coastal areas abut the Kattegat, including the Kullaberg Nature Reserve in Scania, Sweden, which contains a number of rare species and a scenic rocky shore, the town of Mölle, which has a picturesque harbour and views into the Kullaberg, and Skagen at the northern tip of Denmark.
Currently, a proposed bridge from Jutland to Zealand, across the southern part of Kattegat is under political consideration in Denmark.
An archaic name for both the Skagerrak and Kattegat was the Norwegian Sea or Jutland Sea (Knýtlinga saga mentions the name Jótlandshaf). The name of the Copenhagen street Kattesundet is derived from same root.