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Cations are atoms that have lost electrons. Since they now have more protons than electrons, cations have a positive charge.

Cations are one of the two types of ion. The other type is called an anion.

A cation has lost some electrons, so it is shown as X^Y+, with X being the atom, and Y being the amount of electrons they have lost. For example, Fe^3+ is an ion of Iron with 3 lost electrons.