The Crazy Cat Guy’s guide: How to Name a Cat

The hardest part about letting a new cat into your life is deciding what to name your new best friend. This is a guide on how to name your cat. Now, it’s no secret I love cats (and dogs), I think they are magic. I also think that they can get along super duper fine. I’ve wanted a new cat for the longest time, I however had to settle for a fish last year since I have a tendency to be away from home for extended periods of time. So let’s do a little research, if I want to get a cat, what would I have to consider?

Cat Names- Is it really that important?

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We know I am not good at naming pets, Puss was a poor choice when it came to kitty cat naming but hey, I was nine years old. So it’s the first thing I would have to consider to be of utmost importance when bringing a new kitty into my world (as experience has taught me) is what to name it. When a name for a cat sticks, it really sticks. You can’t change it after kitty has learnt what you have decided to call it. It really got me wondering, how do I not make the same mistake twice?

How Do I Name My Cat?

The first place I go to find out about absolutely anything is the internet. So off I went to try and make a shortlist of kitty cat names. The first thing I found was “200 cute cat names“. They have all types of names but if you are going to have a cute adorable kitty, you may as well name it something cute. Here is my shortlist of cute cat names from Catnamecity.com:

  1. Bubbles
  2. Cuddles
  3. Hiccup
  4. Lucky
  5. Muffin
  6. Nibbles
  7. Puddin
  8. Shnookems
  9. Snuggles
  10. Waffles

When it comes to kitties and puppies, I like to pick names based on ‘naww’ factor. How else are you ever able to baby-talk on a daily basis as a single grown man? Most people just look at you funny. I spent a long time looking at the above list and after a while decided that having a name that is cute just isn’t enough. So I dug a little deeper until I found this guide to naming your kitten.

That site suggests letting your cat’s personality shine through in it’s name. Maybe even digging up your past and using a name from there.

A Quest for the Perfect Name

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So it is no doubt that this question has been proposed a thousand times over. Its such an age old question that one of the greatest poets of all time wrote a poem about it. No I’m not talking about J.S. Worth but T.S. Elliot.

Mr. Elliot was a big fan of cats as is evident by the poem I am about to share with you. I unfortunately am not a poetry buff like the poets that are featured on Bantaa91, I much prefer to tell stories as I just don’t like to follow the rules.

T.S. Elliot however was an amazing poet and I can give credit where its due since my ego isn’t really all that inflated, nor am I a fan of competing with anyone. I had a looksie and found this gem of a poem from famouspoemsandpoets.com:

The Naming of Cats by T.S Elliot

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
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

-T.S. Elliot

Why yes my friends, the struggle is real. Oh and just so we are clear, I did give my own resident poet a chance to write something spectacular about naming a cat…however on such short notice and the randomness of my request the best he could come up with on such short notice was:

Kitty-What yo name?

Blackie, Burma, Bunny-Boo,

whatever name belongs to you?

You’re soft and fuzzy, Wuzzy-fuzz,

I cannot choose, oh Fuzzy-Wuzz.

-J.S. Worth

I am sure he will come up with something more inspired very soon (I probably should not have told him he was competing with T.S.Elliot)

Which brings us to:

Choosing the Best name for your Cat

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There are many more factors involved than I had initially imagined when I first tried. Naming your Cat something cute just is not enough. This tool here was pretty handy in coming up with ideas. The creator of it lets you try and pick out a name by breed which I think is very clever.

There was a little tidbit in the ‘naming your kitten‘ article that said, scientifically speaking:

people have noticed that cats respond more to some human vocalized sounds than others. It may not be a coincidence that a cat’s vocalization to humans is a high-pitched “meow.” Cats have been noted to respond better to high-pitched human voices, and prefer women’s voices to men’s. Cats also respond to names containing the long e-vowel, or “ee” sound. Incidentally, cats only vocalize meowing when communicating with people, and not with other cats.

That kind of suggests that when a cat is meowing, it is really trying to talk to you. Now when I baby talk, I tend to go high pitched as well. Maybe that’s why my cat puss liked to cuddle up to me so much and we got along so well. The best tip I have found so far though is to just watch your kitty and see how he or she behaves.

I suppose if trying to find a name by your cat’s breed is a little too technical, there is also this tool which uses your cat’s personality. I think this is a much better way to pick compared to the first tool I linked since it’s more personal. I mean, you have a cat, not a car… it’s not like you can call your cat Nissan and expect it to do everything you want… actually based on my own experience with Nissans it will probably only work once in a blue moon and constantly try to kill you… but that’s a story for another day.

A recap of handy Cat naming tools:

  1. Find Cat Names which finds names based upon your cats personality
  2. Browse Cute Boy Cat names which sorts results by breed (it says boy names but it also has a girl names tab as well)

Another 20 Cat names

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The next thing I learnt in my search for finding the perfect cat name came from a pet insurance website of all places. It listed out the following as the 20 most popular cat names:

20 Most Popular Female Cat Names
1. Bella 11. Mia
2. Chloe 12. Princess
3. Lucy 13. Daisy
4. Lily 14. Abby
5. Sophie 15. Sasha
6. Luna 16. Callie
7. Gracie 17. Angel
8. Molly 18. Kitty
9. Zoe 19. Lola
10.Cleo 20. Maggie

I personally think some of these names are a bit generic. My Top 3 out of the the above comes to:

  1. Lily
  2. Luna
  3. Lucy

The L sound is cute and chirpy. I don’t think I would be able to name my cat any of those though but it’s a nice list. It did however give me an idea: maybe if we combine all 3 together we could name kitty ‘Lucy Luna Lily‘ or Lulu Li for short. It would give you lots of off-shoot pet names for your cat.

Pet Names for you pet

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When you have combination names like that, you can have a lot more fun when you are calling your cat. Maybe kitty did something naughty, you could look at him or her disapprovingly and tell them off with a grizzly tone of voice:

“No Luna

or “Bad Lucy“.

But if kitty is being nice and cuddly, the we can be equally as affectionate and call it Lulu. Little Lulu or Lucy Lu. When I was a kid there was an iconic TV show about a girl called little lulu. Making fun references like that is usually something you can do with a pet but not with a baby.

A little off topic, but when I was younger I had always wanted to get a dog (maybe a labrador or husky) and name it Ichigo after a character in a anime (Japanese cartoon TV show) I used to watch called Bleach. I thought it would be cool to get be able to call my puppy ichigo and train it in Japanese. Unfortunately I never got a puppy because they make a big mess and my Mum didn’t think I was capable of taking care of a dog by myself but it does give us an idea for cat names!

How to name your cat after a TV show character

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We already have 2 examples of names that would work- Lulu from little lulu as mentioned above and maybe even Lucy Liu who was in Charlie’s Angels. Or maybe we can go one step further with the ‘Charlie’s Angels’ theme and name it after one of those angels instead- Natalie Cook, Dylan Sanders or Lucy Liu’s character Alex Munday.

Natalie Cook can be shortened down to Nattie, Dylan Sanders can be shortened to Sandy and Alex Munday? Well Mundy isn’t very nice, so we’ll just go with Alex (it’s a boy name and a girl name). At this point, we can start taking your kitty cats personality into account, especially if you are naming it after your favorite TV characters.

I may have used Charlie’s Angels as an example here but really all you have to do is take a trip down memory lane and find a TV show or movie you really like. Think of the characters in it, which ones fit your cats personality? The one the sticks or the one you keep coming back to would be the one to go with.

The biggest Factor in the battle of deciding how to name your cat

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I guess when it all boils down to it, the biggest factor to consider is what your cat wants to be called in the first place. You can really try out a million different names and see which one sticks. Once I had a friend who named her cat Bentley, but no one ever called him Bentley very often and he just responded to Bubby more often. As far as that cat was concerned, his name was Bubby.

I guess what I am trying to say is when it comes to the new love in your life, just pick a name based upon feelings more than what any guide on the internet will tell you. Nothing on this planet will ever love you like your cat will. You’re not its master, your its new best friend and you should treat your furry feline friend as such.

Getting kitty to respond to its name

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Cats are many thing, loyal, adorable and loving are a few. Your best friend but obedient? Not a word I would use to describe any cat that I have ever known. My cat loved cuddles, but it was usually up to her when it was the right time for cuddles. Cats know you and it’s really up to you to know your cat. I wouldn’t even attempt to train my cat, there is no training a cat in my opinion although the article I just linked says there is.

As you cat gets used to you, learns to read you and the two of you develop a bond and you will learn how to give each other what you need. It might not be what you want but kitty will find a way to brighten up your day if you are nice to it and soon enough it will start bringing you what it kills. Some think this is a nice gesture, others think it’s you cat trying to train you to hunt but at the end of the day it really is how you take it.

At some point you’ll have to understand that you cat doesn’t really know what you want from it or why you keep feeding it but it will respect you for it nonetheless. It just is what it is, go with the flow, be patient and hopefully by now you have heaps of ideas for cat names buzzing around in your head.

Wolfie

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