Changing kitty colors

The themes kitten allows you to easily change color themes, from a collection of almost two hundred pre-built themes available at kitty-themes. To use it, simply run:

kitty +kitten themes

The kitten allows you to pick a theme, with live previews of the colors. You can choose between light and dark themes and search by theme name by just typing a few characters from the name.

The kitten maintains a list of recently used themes to allow quick switching.

If you want to restore the colors to default, you can do so by choosing the Default theme.

New in version 0.23.0: The themes kitten

How it works

A theme in kitty is just a .conf file containing kitty settings. When you select a theme, the kitten simply copies the .conf file to ~/.config/kitty/current-theme.conf and adds an include for current-theme.conf to kitty.conf. It also comments out any existing color settings in kitty.conf so they do not interfere.

Once that’s done, the kitten sends kitty a signal to make it reload its config.

Using your own themes

You can also create your own themes as .conf files. Put them in the themes sub-directory of the kitty config directory, usually, ~/.config/kitty/themes and the kitten will automatically add them to the list of themes. You can use this to modify the builtin themes, by giving the conf file the name Some theme name.conf to override the builtin theme of that name. Note that after doing so you have to run the kitten and choose that theme once for your changes to be applied.

Contributing new themes

If you wish to contribute a new theme to the kitty theme repository, simply go to kitty-themes and open a pull request asking to add your contributions to the repository. Use the file template.conf as a template when creating your theme.

Changing the theme non-interactively

You can specify the theme name as an argument when invoking the kitten to have it change to that theme instantly. For example:

kitty +kitten theme --reload-in=all Dimmed Monokai

Will change the theme to Dimmed Monokai in all running kitty instances. See below for more details on non-interactive operation.

Source code for themes

The source code for this kitten is available on GitHub.

Command Line Interface

kitty +kitten themes [options] [theme name to switch to]

Change the kitty theme. If no theme name is supplied, run interactively, otherwise change the current theme to the specified theme name.


--cache-age <CACHE_AGE>

Check for new themes only after the specified number of days. A value of zero will always check for new themes. A negative value will never check for new themes, instead raising an error if a local copy of the themes is not available. Default: 1

--reload-in <RELOAD_IN>

By default, this kitten will signal only the parent kitty instance it is running in to reload its config, after making changes. Use this option to instead either not reload the config at all or in all running kitty instances. Default: parent Choices: all, none, parent


When running non-interactively, dump the specified theme to STDOUT instead of changing kitty.conf. Default: false