How to Name Your Cat

You've finally got that cute new kitten! But what to name the animal? You don't have to settle for 'Fluffy'. Read these steps and tips and give your cat a name that you both will love!


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    Determine the cat's gender. You don't want to name your cat Princess and later discover it's a boy. Determining the gender of a newborn cat can be challenging, regardless of where you acquired the kitten. The best way to do so is by judging the relative distance between the anus and the urinary tract opening.
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    Look at the cat's markings. If there is a black splotch surrounding their eye, consider a name like Pirate. If your cat is completely black except for her white paws, consider the traditional but cute name, "Boots".
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    Pick a name that everyone in the family will like. If this will be a family cat, make sure to consider the kid's choices too. If the children want to name the kitten after himself/herself, you might not want to take him/her up on his suggestion. But if your sister or brother thinks of "Peanuts", for example, that's not a bad name. Have everyone make a list of three names they think are good options, then share the lists and come up with a name everyone will like.
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    Pick a name that suits the cat's personality. If the cat is always hiding, maybe he could be "Bashful". Or if your kitten has a weird habit of crying during thunderstorms, but only when lightning crashes, you could call him/her "Lightning".
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    Consider a historical, mythological, fictional or famous name. There are many interesting and unique names available in these categories.
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    Make a list of possible names. Once you've found one that you like best, stick to it to avoid confusion.
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    Reinforce your choice. Pet and spend time with the cat while saying its name over and over.


  • A different way to name your furry friend is to get word from other languages, then change the way they sound. I named my cat Karena, which I got from Kirena, the Japanese word for beautiful. Just go to google translate, and try out some words. Note that some words have alternate translations.
  • Try to choose a name that starts with an ear-catching, recognizable sound, rather than a vowel. This makes it easier for the cat to pick out his/her name among the "blah-blah-blah" of human speech. A cat called Uhura might take much longer to recognize her name as referring to her than any other cat would, and might not start responding to it right away.
  • If you're getting two cats at the same time, don't name them "Pretty" and "Litty". As cute as that may seem at first, it will be confusing for: (1) your cats. They won't know who they are! (2) Your family. When you say "Please let Litty outside", your daughter might end up letting Pretty out! (3) Yourself. You will mix your cats up. So end the confusion, and name them different names that don't sound related to each other.
  • Cats respond better to names with a long "ee-e" sound, so it may be a good idea to name your cat "Spunky" instead of "Whiskers".
  • If you've lost all hope, and it's a boy's name you need, call it Felix! Felix means "lucky" in Latin, so maybe some luck will rub off on him.
  • Ask friends, family, or even neighbors for a name! Body markings are also a good way to name a cat.
  • Try to give your cat a name with two or three syllables, because you will, believe it or not, end up shortening your kitty's name. If you name him "Sandwich", you will start calling him "San", and that's not a great name.
  • If your cat already had a name when you got it, continue using it.
  • If you're set on finding a unique name, try searching through the following website:, which is filled with uncommon and common names from all different cultures. Granted, some of these names will be more cat-like than others, but keep looking because eventually you will find one.
  • Avoid giving your cat a 'people name.' If you're hanging out with Sam, and you call your cat, who will know who you're talking to if your cat's name is Sam? If you insist on a name that people use, make it an unusual and uncommon name, like Tabitha.
  • Think about names you would have used to name your kids when you grow up. Maybe you could use them because the cat would kind of seem like your child.
  • If the cat you're getting already has a name but you want to change it, try calling it both names for a few weeks. For example, if its name is Boots and you want to name it Midnight, you could call it Boots-Midnight until it gets used to being called Midnight.


  • Don't change its name too often. Alfie to Smudge is fine, but Massie to Midnight to Sooty to Spooky! The poor puss!
  • Before you even name your cat, make sure he or she comes from a reliable source with a well-established medical history. This includes knowing about any past illnesses and medications. Is the cat up-to-date with vaccinations and dewormings? What about FIV/FeLV test results? Does it have a microchip?

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Categories: Getting a Cat