Jan 23, 2009

Top 10 Cat Names

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

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.

WHAT TO NAME YOUR CAT

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:

Abbey
Ajax
Angrycat
Basquiat
Biscuit
Bunny
Catface
Catsby
Coppertop
Cow Cat
Curious Georgia
Curly
Leonardo DiCatio
Diva
Dora (The Explorer)
Farnsworth
Flojo
Fran
Frankie (Frank Sinatra - for blue eyes)
Frida Khalo
Frosty (a rescue kitten who was cold and shivering when found)
Fuzzy
Gadget
Gizmo
Gort
Graycat
Hamster (Hammie)
Handsome Boy
Hanna
Hipstamatic
Hobo
Katniss
Kaykay
Larry
LoJack
LonelyCat 15
Lonesome Roads
Lucy
Marcie
Moe
Mojo
Moon Pie
Mort
Muffin
Noni
Peanut
Pesky
ROFL
Rowdy
Samantha
Sheldon
Shemp
Sickboy
Sojourner (Sojo)
Spot
Stripey
Stupid
Tabitha (Pronounced TahBETHah for an old Bob and Ray routine)
The Great Catsby
Tommy
Turtle
Widget
Willem De Kooning
Willemina
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.