Naming your pet can feel like a big responsibility, one that’s even more challenging if there’s more than one pet parent involved!
Your personal style might mean you favour a classic or quirky name and great names for cats often reflect their personality. Whether you go for a classic ‘Mittens’ or quirky ‘Merlin’ your furry friend is not going to care, however there are some points to bear in mind that will make it easier for your cat to recognise that you are calling them.
Here are our top tips for choosing:
- Keep it short and sweet. Select a name that is two syllables or less so that your cat finds it easier to learn. To help your cat recognise their own name, it helps if it ends with a vowel sound. When we make a vowel sound it tends to change the tone of our voice, which makes names stand out from the rest of the words we are saying.
- Does your cat’s name stand out? Make sure the name of your cat is not like the name of anyone else living in your household – including other pets – or you could soon find things getting very confusing! Although you might be able to tell the subtle differences between Bob and Rob, your cat is unlikely to so chose a name that will be unique in your household
- Are you happy to say your pet's name in public? If you’re tempted to give your cat a silly, inappropriate or potentially offensive name, consider how you would feel calling it out in the street if your pet goes missing. Don’t forget you will also need to register the name of your cat with your vet too!
- Use your cat’s personality. Choosing a cat's name based on an aspect of their personality that makes you smile, will always give you a little lift when you call them. Also, a name that sums up what your pet is like gives friends and family an insight into your cat’s character. For example, Tigger would be a good choice for a bouncy, lively cat while Dozer would suit a more laid-back moggie.
- Use your cat’s appearance. This is a classic way of choosing a cat's name and Ginger, Snowy, Midnight, Tabby, and Socks are all popular cat names. If your cat has any unusual distinguishing features or resemblances, this can provide inspiration too.
- Look around you! If you’re still stuck, think of your favourite characters from books, films and TV, sports stars, musicians, historical figures – or take a look at the natural world for ideas.
If you adopt a cat from a rescue shelter, they will already have a name. They may have been named by staff if they came in as a stray or may have lived with the same name since they were a kitten.
If your cat is already familiar with their name, it is probably wise to keep it unless it is something you really can’t bear to speak in public. In which case, try choosing something with a similar sound so that your cat is more likely to respond to it.
A cat that has recently been named by shelter staff could easily cope with a change of moniker if it is something simple and used frequently to address them.
Most common cat names
If you’re looking for something a little unusual, you might want to steer clear of these. According to a survey carried out by Cats Protection, the current top cat names are:
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