get_category()WP 1.5.1

Retrieves category data given a category ID or category object.

If you pass the $category parameter an object, which is assumed to be the category row object retrieved the database. It will cache the category data.

If you pass $category an integer of the category ID, then that category will be retrieved from the database, if it isn't already cached, and pass it back.

If you look at get_term(), then both types will be passed through several filters and finally sanitized based on the $filter parameter value.

1 time — 0.000443 sec (fast) | 50000 times — 0.92 sec (very fast) | PHP 7.0.5, WP 4.5.1

No Hooks.


Object|Array|WP_Error|null. Category data in type defined by $output parameter. WP_Error if $category is empty, null if it does not exist.


get_category( $category, $output, $filter );
$category(int|object) (required)
Category ID or category row object.
The required return type. One of OBJECT, ARRAY_A, or ARRAY_N, which correspond to a WP_Term object, an associative array, or a numeric array, respectively.
Default: OBJECT
How to sanitize category fields.
Default: 'raw'



#1 Display the data of the category whose page we are on (the current one):

$cat = get_category( get_query_var('cat') );

// OR
if( is_category() ){
	$cat = get_category( get_queried_object() );

print_r( $cat );

As a result, we will see something like this:

stdClass Object
	[term_id] => 85
	[name] => Category Name
	[slug] => category-name
	[term_group] => 0
	[term_taxonomy_id] => 85
	[taxonomy] => category
	[description] =>
	[parent] => 70
	[count] => 0
	[cat_ID] => 85
	[category_count] => 0
	[category_description] =>
	[cat_name] => Category Name
	[category_nicename] => category-name
	[category_parent] => 70

Now we can get category data like so:

echo $cat->name;
echo $cat->slug;
echo $cat->count;
// etc...


Since 1.5.1 Introduced.

get_category() code WP 6.5.3

function get_category( $category, $output = OBJECT, $filter = 'raw' ) {
	$category = get_term( $category, 'category', $output, $filter );

	if ( is_wp_error( $category ) ) {
		return $category;

	_make_cat_compat( $category );

	return $category;