Cat Names: What Do They Mean?

Tue, Jul 7, 2009

Gifts & Miscellaneous

Naming a cat is serious business. A recent poll by Associated has me wondering if your name choice indicates anything about how you feel about your pet. The poll reveals that 50% of the pet owners interviewed consider their pet to be as much a part of the family as any other person in the house. The poll also looked at whether pet owners gave their pets a human-like name, like Sophie or Bruce, versus a non-human name, like Peanut or Fluffy. 50% of owners surveyed gave at least one of their pets a human-like name.

In the Moderncat Reader Survey, the answers to the question “Would you say that you consider your cats to be your children?” are as follows:

  • 1% No, that’s weird, they are animals
  • 38% I consider them to be part of the family, but I don’t think of them as my children
  • 59% Absolutely, I am a cat mom/cat dad!
  • 2% Other

So, I’m interested to see if you think there is a correlation between using human-like names for your pets and how you feel about them as members of the family. Plus, I always love reading what everyone has named their cats, so please leave a comment with your cat names and other thoughts on the topic.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin



246 Responses to “Cat Names: What Do They Mean?”

  1. 201

    My baby boy is named CURDIE for a character in George MacDonald’s children’s books from the 1800′s. In the books, Curdie is a brave little boy who is incredibly loyal and faithful to his friends.

    However, his name has morphed into Curdster, Curly (for those who can’t hear very well), Kirby, Curds and Whey, or the latest name is Turdster (affectionately named by a friend who he stayed with for a few weeks while I was moving). He doesn’t like the last nickname very much :)

  2. 202

    my cats are named Petrushka (hommage to Stravinsky) and Alethea (for the Greek meaning). However I call them by their nicknames, Tushka and Thea, which sound a bit more “pet-like”, and that makes me wonder when we call people by their nicknames, are we ‘petting’ them? :)
    Oh, yes, I’m surely their human mom, no doubts their are my cute children.

  3. 203

    Hi there,
    I have 2 girls and their the best. Love them!
    Their names are Hawaiian names.
    Koa-3yr-mean little brave. I found her at 4 weeks old near the hwy.
    Nani-1yr-means beautiful, beauty. I took her in after a student couldn’t keep her. They did name her bella that means beauty as well in Spanish. So, that’s how I named my girls. You all have a great day. Good stories to read here. Keep it up! Meow! ~M~

  4. 204

    i like to name my pets by personality.
    my girl cat is Siren, because when she was a baby she would sit on my chest in the morning and scream at me to wake up and put out kitten food.
    my boy cat is Grimlock: he is talkative and cudly but also gets into lots of trouble (so did the transformer that he is named after, though it was a dino bot and not cudly)

  5. 205

    I am a big fan of human names for cats – just seems right. Our four cats are Sophie, Jimmy, Walter and Lucy. I’ve also had a Georgia, Sebastian and a Benny.

  6. 206

    Swirls is a gray tabby with a swirl pattern on his sides instead of stripes. My mom suggested the name and my husband actually liked it. Though I didn’t like the name at first, it has certainly grown on me.

    Pocatalico, AKA Pokey, is named after Pocatalico, WV. I just happened to like the sound of it, and we agreed that it would make a good name for the kitten we were planning to adopt at the time (over four years ago).

  7. 207

    Stella and Lucy – my cats are sisters who were rescued as stray kittens by a friend.
    She named Stella – who was a tiny brown tabby (the runt of the litter) with great big ears & so was named after the bat in the book “Stellaluna.”
    I named Lucy – she was (and is) a super-crazy calico with big oranges splotches and she reminds me of Lucille Ball.

  8. 208

    cat’s names are so very intriguing! our babies are named with such pedestrian sounding names as…Jack, Harry, Indie and Sunshine. I like them..but sometimes think I could have been more creative. hmmm? , maybe not. Who knows? Who cares? Seems the short curt names are easily responded to. (at least in my household) THANKS!

  9. 209

    My first cat went through several texture-inspired names (e.g., Fluffy) for her soft, long hair before I settled on Bunny.

    Her first baby I called Moonshine, after a cat in a book I liked at the time. (I was 7.)

    Her next litter of 7 required more creativity. The calico became Farrah (after my TV hair idol), the skinny-minnie became Annabelle (after my well-endowed grandma), and my favorite kitty, Cuddles, became Pepper to her new owners and my great disappointment.

    Many years later, I gave my grandma a cat that my aunt named Boots over the phone, based on Grandma’s description. Since he has no discernible boots and gained 3 lbs. when I inherited him, I re-Christened him Big Kitty.

    The sweet, scrawny tortie I found at the Humane Society popped her nose out of the carry-home box in a way that looked like a baby seal, hence Seal, aka Little Kitty.

    I don’t feel like their mom or that they are my children. They are my longtime–albeit too short a time–companions. I can’t imagine life without them…even when Big Kitty pukes on the rug or cat-punches Sealie in the kisser.

  10. 210

    I have two cats and they are part of my family, but not my children. Both of my cats have human names.
    Fritz is a large, orange tabby that started out as a crazy orange farm-kitten. I named him after my favorite composer, Frederic Chopin. Though I thought about calling him Fred, Fritz just seemed to fit him better.
    Ernest is a black and white tuxedo cat that was born in a feral cat colony. He was named after the explorer, Ernest Shackleton. Ernest has definitely lived up to his name! He’s always poking his nose in the dustiest places in the apartment!

  11. 211

    My husband has started a tradition of naming all the animals we raise together after communists (don’t ask). We adopted our 2 kitties (who I definitely consider to be my babies) together from the pound about 3 years ago- Chairman Meow and Fidel Cat-stro. They are both girls, and we call them Mao and Fifi for short. Although they actually go by many other nicknames… “mew-mew”, “mamacita”, “mom-teeta”, “neeners”, “soo-soo”… whatever I feel like calling them at the moment, really. Our 7 month old chow mix puppy is named Che Growl-vera, but Che for short. Or “chachie”, “chompski”, “wiener”, “it”….

  12. 212

    I have three cats, 1 boy and 2 girls. Since he’s the only boy of the family I named him Bink. The girls are called Noor and Sienna. Noor is, as her name would suggest, a real girl (with her crazy 5 minutes every now and then). Sienna had a rocky start, so I tried to compensate with a lovely name. She, however, has other ideas! So her name is now turned into Mientje or sometimes Mienemuis.
    I don’t know if there is a correlation between how we see our cats and there name. They are just what they are….totally irresistable!!

  13. 213

    the cat that meant the most to me was my first cat, MIA, which in italian meant MINE. she was all mine and I didnt have to share her with anyone. Gosh, how I loved that cat. she was a seal point siamese and had the personality that no other cat of mine, after that surpassed. All my cats were/are special but Mia and I had a really special bond.

  14. 214

    I have 30 rescue kids and they all have human names–Sam, Barney, Sebastian, Preston, Julian, Pressley, Spencer, Milo, Jenny, Johnny, Eddie, Tommy, Marky, Bonnie, Billie, Amos, Arthur, Cliffton, Marlie, Dyson, Jordan, Morgan, Taylor, Emily, Rosie, Lulu, Mikey, Pete, Ginger, and George.

  15. 215
    A Few Good Cats

    Kelly (1995-2008) – A stray who adopted us after coming and going for a week, like a Kelly Temp.
    Lizzie – My wife was following the Pride and Prejudice miniseries when we adopted this cat in 1996, and she named her for Lizzie Bennet.
    Caitie – Just liked the sound of the name, no real significance.
    Nicky – Adopted close to Christmas (St. Nick).

  16. 216

    We have two buff tabbies, Piper and Toby. Piper got her name from the shelter and we gave Toby his name. They are definitely part of the family and we love spoiling them!

  17. 217

    We named our first Russian Blue, Earl Grey. Which quickly turned into Early, then Early Bird then Birdie. After he passed away, we got another Russian Blue, the naming of which we left to internet crowd sourcing (, and ended up with Greisha (Grey + Geisha).

  18. 218

    Our furbabies are Shade and Smudge, both are tuxedo cats. Smudge was easy to name because of the white and black smudge on his nose and on his belly. For Shade we went through several other names, but settled on Shade. My daughter and I really love reading the Warrior cat books and somehow it didn’t seem right to give our new kittens human names. These boys are definately a part of the family, almost (but not quite) as much as our 2 human children.

  19. 219

    My three beasts are:

    Scout – an orange tabby – for my favorite novel, To Kill a Mockingbird
    Tex – probably a turkish van/siamese mix – was rescued in Dallas
    Marley – a one-eared calico – for my favorite musician, Bob Marley

    No, they’re not my children – they are much too spoiled for that!

  20. 220

    My girls have people names, and I have no doubt that in my case, it’s because I do think of them as my children. I even refer to them as my kitty-daughters. Isabel was so named because she is very much a beautiful princess. Maisie’s name fits her sweet and gentle yet playful personality.

  21. 221

    I named my two cats “Lily” and “Dottie” after silent film stars and sisters, Lillian and Dorothy Gish. Lily is small, but bright and assertive, while sister Dottie is an affectionate, gentle-giant of a cat. Lily often acts like a little person, and is very attached to me; a friend jokes that my “daughter” Lily and I have a cat named Dottie.

    Someone came to work with a litter of kittens and I took two home. I never expected how much they’d come to mean to me, and I guess I do think of them as my “cat children.” I’d break down doors to get to them, if I had to.

    The people who tease me about “cat children,” ironically, will also say my cats are spoiled. My reply is always “They SHOULD be spoiled!” Their entire life takes place in our apartment…it’s not like I’m trying to prepare them to get a job and make a life of their own out in the world. I spoil and indulge them whenever I can.

  22. 222

    The youngsters are Oliver and Zelda. Before I brought them home from the rescue organization I was thinking of Oliver and Emma (naming them after long-gone grandparents) but the girl was too feisty and lively and ENERGETIC to be named Emma and somehow Zelda popped into my head. I think her wild streak made me think of Zelda Fitzgerald. Oliver is just like a big soft squishy cuddly teddy bear so my original choice for him was perfect. Or purrfect.

    Second oldest is Rudy, named after Rudolf Nureyev because he arches his back and bobbles on his toes like a ballet dancer and he’s very high strung, like a temperamental dancer.

    The old man is Mac, short for Macbeth. He was a young stray when I took him in and for a while picked fights with my oldest cat at that time. A 2 AM dispute woke me up and as I dragged myself out of bed to break it up, the phrase “Macbeth has murdered sleep” popped into my head, so that became his name. It also lends itself to good nicknames for him – Big Mac and Mac Attack.

  23. 223

    My girlie’s name is Sierra, named after the mountain ranges she resembles, since she’s a tortoiseshell. I don’t think I’d ever give an animal a “normal” human name – it’s too boring. I also won’t name my pets after other people/characters/things/whatever, since I think every animal should be itself. My boyfriend’s cat’s name is Gandalf, though, and our puppy was almost named Nimitz, after the treecat in David Weber’s Honor Harrington series.

    I was one of the “consider as family, but not as children.” I’m too young to have kids, anyway.

  24. 224
    Steph E

    My lovely cat is named Attila… we went through a bit of a trend of naming our cats after warlords… first Erik the Red, then Attila the Hun.. next will probably be Genghis Khan.

    Unfortunately Attila the Tonkinese is too much of a sook and a wuss to be much of a warlord, so we just call him Tilly and baby him.

  25. 225

    Maestro earned his name. He showed up as maybe a 4 week old kitten and moved in under the bush beside the puppy yard. When the four dogs would go outside they made a beeline to his bush and started howling. They sounded like the unharmonious warm up that bands and orchestras do before the show, thus the Maestro. He was feral and it took awhile to catch him (to maintain peace and harmony in the ‘hood). He was starving, skin and bones, and very tiny but he never feared the dogs. They became his personal toys. The plan was to catch him and place him. That was 7 years ago and he is still here.

  26. 226

    My girls are named Penelope and Piper. Super gorgeous! Tremendously friendly! Emotive, tempermental and fiercely independent. They are more than just cats, they’re family members.
    I love my girls!

  27. 227

    Odin is my cat’s name. She is named after the Scandinavian god. When we brought her home she caught a cold and one of her eyes closed for a few days. Names can be very important to a cat’s personality. She is very much a part of the household and she rules the home very well. She is very much a part of our lives I do think of her as my little child and she thinks of me as her free meal ticket. It is a good balance.

  28. 228

    My cat was named Candy at the shelter. Her name is part of the reason why I chose her, that and her sweet disposition and her condition. She is a special needs cat with cerebellar hypoplasia. I don’t consider her my child, although she does answer to Baby Cakes. But, she has become a part of my family. Even my parents, who are not cat people by any stretch of the imagination, adore her. When the visit me, they spend most of their time playing with her! My parents thought I named her after myself, but I thought of her name as a sign that she was the cat for me.

  29. 229

    Ragamuffin and Pava.

  30. 230

    Isis- (female, all black) Egyptian goddess
    Duncan- (male, orange tabby) big red boy, so he needed a Scottish name
    Bean- (female, buff and white) seemed to suit her as she was tiny when i adopted her
    Pearl- (female, all white) self explanatory
    Selkie- (female, gray and white) from Scottish mythology

  31. 231

    Spanky, name given by my husband when he first looked at him on the day we adopted him.
    Angus, my choice of name for Spanky’s brother, because I love the name and it suits him.
    The two brothers were to be euthanized and are now loved and pampered pets, who bring us much happiness.

  32. 232

    My cats are named (female), “Little Bit”. She was small and undernourished as a new kitten, and she is still very small for a cat. She is satiny grey in color. We call her “Widdles”, and she answers to that name more than Little Bit. This cat definitely has an “attitude” PLUS! If you scold her or swat at her, for bad behavior, she will argue back, as if to say, “Noooo, I didn’t do that, or Noooo, don’t get angry with me!” She is very loving toward me, in particular, but she will sit on my husband’s lap, but not very often. She is laying on my lap as I type this. I go online every night to check emails, and she climbs up and makes a bed on me while I surf the web and type, I found a stray cat one day, and seriously thought about keeping it. Once she spotted me holding this cat, she turned into a “demon” cat! She hid under the bed for two days, and finally the day after I gave the kitten away, she finally came out, but she would not lie on my lap until the following day! She hissed at everyone, including me, and she fought me when I tried to hold her, scratching and biting, as if I were a mean stranger!

    My other cat, a former “farm” cat, is a boy named “Peek-a-Boo”, appropriately named after the fact that every time we visited my husband’s parents’ farm, she would peek out around an old freezer they kept in their garage, as if to see if we had brought food or something. Our parents offered us the cat, freely, so we brought him home. The other “demon” cat personality came out in the female cat, and it took a couple of weeks before she allowed his presence! She has now adopted him as a brother, and they play together just fine. He has never been able to meow properly, and sort of squeaks when when trying to do so. He jumps on our bed every night, when he sees me walk into the room, squeaks, and curls up on the bed, showing how handsome he is, and then proceeds to rub himself all over me, and coaxes me to pet him back. We also have a Toy Poodle, a Boston Terrier, and a Lab, all of whom require lots of attention. The cats love the dogs, and the dogs tolerate the cats! However, I would not take a million dollars for any or all of them! They are my livelihood, and I love them tremendously!

  33. 233
    CatGenie Reviews

    Interesting, I’ve never thought about it that way before! Thinking back on it now (and knowing in hindsight that I am a dog person, and not a cat person), my cats have always had non-human names such as Bandit and Tiger.

  34. 234

    I have one named Boots because he has four white paws.
    Another’s name is Rusty because he is a big orange tabby.
    The third is Dinah – after Alice in Wonderland’s cat.

  35. 235

    My kitty is a female Seal-Point Siamese. I named her Isis because she has ice-blue eyes. She looks exotic so I thought she deserved an exotic name. She is my baby. Follows me around like a puppy. She loves her momma!

  36. 236

    I have mostly named all the cats I’ve rescued/adopted human names, after observing them at home for awhile to see what names they lend themselves to. Currently I have 4: a large mostly black/white female named Monkeybelle Ramona (Monkeybelle after a character created by a performance artist whose baby we had in the NICU where I worked, Ramona because I picture a big-boned gal when I hear the name); a tiny, 5 lb., 3 oz. orange tabby female named Delilah Lucienne (Delilah means fragile/delicate in Hebrew/Arabic, Lucienne in memory of our tuxedo Lucien,); a white male with one blue eye, one green eye named Puck Dawson (had other names in mind, but when he finally was old enough to come home from the vet where he was born to a stray, he behaved so Puck-like when he met my 6 other cats-as in “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, not MTV’s “Real World”-& Dawson because I loved the character Dawson Leary on “Dawson’s Creek”); Tristan Rhys, a large male cream & white tabby recently adopted with a potentially life-shortening heart condition (Tristan means ‘sad’, Rhys is Welsh for ‘enthusiastic’-Tristan because I knew I could lose him prematurely to heart disease, Rhys because he is wildly energetic with the highest play drive I’ve ever seen in an adult cat). One can tell that I consider them children, given that they have middle names, too, & the considerable thought put into naming them. Needless to say, I have no human children. I’m a pediatric nurse with lots of children at work. I love other people’s children. My cats are my family.

  37. 237

    i took a black “male” kitten to the dr., named Jasper. they called and said “your jasper is a jackie”. so “she” became jasper tina-turner. she is a “little princess” and answers to “my little princess jasper”. she certainly is my princess.

  38. 238

    jasper, is a black cat that “walked up” to my door. i took “him” to the vet to be fixed-and he came out a “she”(my mistake!). she was then jasper-tina. then, jasper-tina turner, j.t.–when i am annoyed with her-she is tabatha-so that she doesn’t know it is really her i am talking to!!

  39. 239
    Gail Whitman

    I have always named my cats after TV or movie characters. My last 2 were Rosie (Rosie O’Donnell) and Harpo (Oprah). When I recently adopted 2 shelter kittens after my beloved Harpo passed, it took me a long time to find names. After they were with me for a couple of weeks they became Oscar and Emmy–my 2 little prizes!!!!

  40. 240

    We have four feline “children” and all of them have human names at this point, although we have had a few in the past who didn’t. Our kids are Ozzy (Ozman, Ozmonster, brown tabby with whte), Melanie (Mel, Mellie, Millie, Millie-Moo, one-eyed bob-tailed little calico), Samantha (Sam, Sammie, Sammie-Sue, three-legged brown tabby with white), and Zack (Zackaroni, very fluffy gray boy with a little white spot on his chest). They are all wonderful kitties!

  41. 241
    Katie Hancock

    I have four cats: Baby Serious, or B. Serious, is a 23 pound Bengal mix and the leader or Alpha Cat. Scampalino LaMata, A.K.A Scampi, is our Italian boy. Spider Ghostbutt, a now all black teenager, had a white stripe down his back, a white tail, & white pantaloons when he was a kitten. Finally, there is Big Kitty Dorkus, a Maine Coon mix, who is, well . . . a dork.
    I am definitely their human Mom, but I like that they are Cats, not human Babies.

  42. 242

    I have two adorable cats, Merry and Pippin (or Pip for short), and their personalities reflect their namesake characters in The Lord of the Rings, even though my kitties are both female!

    Pippin is the happy-go-lucky cat who always manages to get into trouble (curiosity!)… and who has a hobbit like hunger!

    Merry is the wiser, calmer cat, who helps keep Pippin in line. She is super loving and always wants to stay by your side.

  43. 243

    Sunny is a sweet baby who is a rescue and bright orange as his name(18 mos) and his elder friend is a long hair tuxedo cat named Felix of course. he is 3 and they are buds.

  44. 244

    Being recently 60 and having had multiple- cat household since I was 17 the cat count is over 40 cats, some adopted since kittenhood , but more recently (in the last) 12 years or so I have opted for adoption of adult cats, though I melt seeing kittens at the shelters, but I figure their chances are higher at getting adopted, than the adults. My mother came from rural mexico raiseed in the ways of the late 1800′s believing it was (religiously) disrespectful to give human names to animals, so I always restricted my naming to desrcriptive, physical or personality traits, my current eldest, is Dulce (sweet) last cat before my mother passed away at 96, since the two latest adoptees are Morgan (after my husbands celtic roots) and Neo, after my favorite Keanu Reeves character, so I am not quiet free of the old perceptions, and I am not sure I will need to adopt any more cats, before I get too old to properly care for them, but some day I would love to have a cat with a real proper human name.


  1. [...] atualizando com meus feeds cheguei a textos sobre nomes de animais de estimação (aqui e [...]

Leave a Reply