Jan 23, 2009

Top 10 Cat Names

top cat names, what to name your cat. Photo of SPOT the kitten, photo by Pagani

Picking a name for your cat? I even name the feral cats so it gets a little tough sometimes. According to the Today Show web site these are the top 10 names for Cats:  (And there is help below!)
1. Max
2. Chloe
3. Tigger
4. Tiger
5. Lucy
6. Smokey
7. Oliver
8. Bella
9. Shadow
10. Charlie

Hmmm.... Well, I have a cat named Lucy - she was named that for an obscure reason: she's mostly black and white, just like the old I Love Lucy shows. But my others are Basquiat, Willem DeKooning, Frank Sinatra and Gort (the giant robot from The Day The Earth Stood Still).

The Today Show list indicates the most popular names for cats. Just to round out their lists, they also offer the ten most unusual cat names:
Most unusual
1. Edward Scissorpaws
2. Sir Lix-a-lot
3. Optimus Prrrime
4. Buddah Pest
5. Snoop Kitty Kitty
6. Miss Fuzzbutt
7. 80 Bucks
8. Sparklemonkey
9. Rosie Posie Prozac
10. Toot Uncommon

I may have them beat... I always go my own way for naming, either based on my own interests or some particular characteristic of the cat. As previously mentioned, the rescued former-feral cat Gort has to be pretty unusual. Willem DeKooning is named after an artist, with the connection being the fact that the cat in this case is a Maine Coon (Koon) ....see? On the other hand, the names I've used are more in the category of "obscure" whereas I'd characterize most of the list above as just plain weird.


People ask, what name should I choose for my cat? Some of the names from the survey are interesting and you are free to use them - but I'd like you to consider getting more creative and personal. I admit that after dealing with hundreds of feral cats, I sometimes lose the creative edge I need. One recent striped cat ended up with the name Tabitha just because I couldn't seem to come up with anything that suited her. But you can do better...

Look for something that makes your cat different. This uniqueness can come from coloring, markings, circumstances or behavior (and probably some other things, too). These name can describe a certain thing about your cat or it can be the name of a person who is associated with something similar.

BEHAVIOR: Does he/she love to run fast? Maybe you can name your kitty after a famous sprinter. In the 90's, my daughter Christa named her new kitten Flo-Jo after the runner for this reason. Many years ago, Frank Zappa's children, Moon Unit and Dweezil, named their new kitten Fighty Bitey for it's aggressive behavior.

COLOR/MARKINGS: We named an all-white cat with very deep blue eyes, Frank Sinatra. The connection was Sinatra's other name, "Old Blue-Eyes." A recent arrival in the feral cat colony for which I provide care has very intersting black and white markings that reminded me of a certain breed of dairy cows I see in the area. So I named her Cow Cat. Another wonderful little orange feral tabby had a short tail and seemed to be leaning downhill all the time because he had very long legs in the rear and short legs in the front. I named him Low-Jack. Another kitty with a beige/orange coloring was rescued as a small kitten, only about 4 weeks old. He had a very short bob-tail and at that age, even his ears were short and folded. We named him Hamster.

CIRCUMSTANCES: We named one obvious stray who just arrived to stay in the feral cat colony, Hobo.  Another cat that seemed to never want to join in with the rest of the feral cat colony got named Lonely Cat 15 (associated with an astroturf Internet meme). One cat that was sick most of his young life got named Sick Boy - in turn his son was just Son of Sick Boy.

The point is, you can use some interesting names you've heard or you can think outside the box and give your kitty a really creative name. I think cats eventually learn their names by the tone and flow of the sounds so something not too complicated is better for them. You can still give a long name but have a short version that the cat will pick up on: Frank Sinatra answers to Frankie, Willem DeKooning answers to Willie, etc.

Let your kitty's personality shine through!

Some Assorted Cat Names We've Used:

Cow Cat
Curious Georgia
Leonardo DiCatio
Dora (The Explorer)
Frankie (Frank Sinatra - for blue eyes)
Frida Khalo
Frosty (a rescue kitten who was cold and shivering when found)
Hamster (Hammie)
Handsome Boy
LonelyCat 15
Lonesome Roads
Moon Pie
Sojourner (Sojo)
Tabitha (Pronounced TahBETHah for an old Bob and Ray routine)
The Great Catsby
Willem De Kooning
Xiu ("Zoo")
Xray Hitler (black cat, white mustache)

You can find just about all of these by searching this cat photo blog. And probably many other names I forgot to put here, as well. The main thing is, be creative. Consider the cat's personality and markings. You don't have to use a traditional cat name, just find something that makes sense to you - and to the kitty.


  1. The most unusual cat names really shocked me!

  2. We just took in a stray and named him "Ten" because he is our tenth cat and from his condition he has to be on his tenth life.

  3. I have a cat named Chronic.

  4. Our cats are Brainball, Dorydoo, MaoMao, and Marilyn MonREOW.

    I love your blog. :)

  5. I have had cats named, variously: Rusti Muddypaws (Rusti- I found her by the side of the road in a half melted cardboard box, she was squeaking like a rusty hinge.), Mister Jasper Rumblebox (Mist- he was a Russian blue/mongrel mix), Mischief, Lucy (Lucy in the Sky- she was a calico), Lucy junior (Lucy's daughter, same markings), Witchcat, Wish (I wished for a cat and the next day she showed up on the doorstep), Charlie (named after Charlie Tuna), Megaparsec (Meg-it is a very small fraction of the speed of light, she was tiny and seemed to teleport- it made sense)and my two kitties now are Lightning (got him with that name), and Ambrosia ('Brosia- she is the sweetest cat I've ever owned, and even though she'd been family owned all her life, she was practically feral in temperament when I first got her- it turned out she'd been tortured by the youngest of the children, and ignored by everyone else, including the other cat).

  6. Our recently-departed and much-loved tabby was named Greebo after the witch's cat in Terry Prachett's Discworld, mainly because I love the line about vampires rising from the grave, the crypt and the tomb but never the cat (after he caught one as a bat). He was the first Greebo at our vet's but there are now about 10.

  7. The feral cats on my allotments are
    Wanda - the first ONE I started feeding
    Keith - because it suits him
    Psycalico - a manic calico/tortie
    E.T. - Extra Timid
    Triangle - she has a white triangle on her face
    Janet - it suits her!

  8. I named my polydactyl Faux Paw.

  9. these stink all i liked was diva...

  10. Love the name Tabitha for a tabby. Plus it evokes images of "Bewitched" and the warmness but intelligence of Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery for those too young to remember the series.)

  11. My family and I have many cats with various strange names:
    Tigger- a calico I had when I was very young
    Charles- after my dad. He was a big 'ol beast of a ginger
    Lovebug- a rescue. She was supposedly very mean. Obviously not.
    Minoushe- a black tabby
    Phantome- a white ghost-like girl who came and went as she pleased
    Begone- Phantome's partner-in-crime. Curled up on our porch one day and just didn't leave.
    and now Simon- after "Simon the Cat".

  12. I have 12 ferals I feed. I try not to name them cause when they disappear it doesn't hurt quite as bad. However there are some you just can't help naming because they touch you. I have Goldielocks, who came to me very sick and I vetted her and now she's doing great. Tiny, a runt but sweet. Slasher who scratched me twice and I wound up going to the DR.,There was one sweet one with the saddest eyes, who would just sit and stare at me , I named her Sylvia. She was a babe when she had her 1st litter, They are still around and just as sweet as her. And one of my favs, who disappeared, was Cuppycake. He would run and greet me every time I came out to feed them. I really miss him and wonder where he went. :( Hope he found himself a forever home.

  13. Some names of some of the cats that have shared my life over the years... some tame, some feral

    Whicky Wuudler
    Oppie (an opportunist)
    Ms A Cakes
    Moses Baby
    Thomas Purr
    Tabbus Tabbus
    Big Puss
    Little Puss
    Great Uncle Rolag
    Mandy Cakes
    Emmie Emstock
    Tiny Boy
    Brown Bear
    Tabby Tinkler

    I believe that a cat will let you know its name when its ready :)

  14. The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
    It isn't just one of your holiday games;
    You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
    When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
    First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
    Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
    Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey—
    All of them sensible everyday names.
    There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
    Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
    Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter—
    But all of them sensible everyday names.
    But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
    A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
    Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
    Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
    Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
    Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
    Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
    Names that never belong to more than one cat.
    But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
    And that is the name that you never will guess;
    The name that no human research can discover—
    But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
    When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
    The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
    His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
    Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
    His ineffable effable
    Deep and inscrutable singular Name. (by TS Elliot)


  15. My 2 rescues are Pussnboots and (fat) Albert, and our free kitty from my daughters friend is named Gray Paw, in the tradition of the Warrior Cat books my daughter so loves. However, we mostly must call her Kitttttty :)

  16. We have a stray in our yard that we call Trudy, which is short for "Intruder".

  17. I have a foster cat named Mizzen because she was found on a boat as a 2 week old kitten. My husband named one of our cats C.A.T. which is short for Charles Abberton Tuxbury. He is a tuxedo cat! When I was little I named my white cat Lickey because she always licked me. :)

  18. Great work!! "Optimus Prrrime" is the best

  19. At the present time we have 20 cats - Smokie, Andy, Lily, Basil. Nermal, Tigger, Furby, Bruder, Schwesder, Little Girl, Hammy, Goldy, Shorty, Angel, Callie, Sweet Pea, Nasca, Elwood, Atilla, and Mama.

  20. In October of 2013 I adopted an 11 wk old black cat (all black) . I brought her home and placed her in the bathroom until she become used to my shitszu. She jumped into the bathtub and when the dog came into the room she jumped out of the tub over the dog and performed the best Halloween posture I have ever seen a cat do. She was named Corrina by her foster mother, but I finally decided to name her Shadow. When I looked up the list of cat names on the internet - I didn't find the name Shadow listed so I thought great - something original.- but have seen it used a few times since then. She fits the name well because she can sneak by you like a shadow.

  21. Muning is the most common cat name in Asia

  22. I recently "adopted" a Torti that I named Dexter because he looks normal but is definitely a bit physco. Plus he disappears for long periods of time with no explanation as to where he has been or what he has been up to. Not to mention that he's always sneaking around. His food is always gone but it's really hard to catch him in the act.


Comments are welcome! I always answer questions if I can.