Guide to Naming Your New Cat

Whether you’re adopting a shelter cat or bringing home a rescue kitten, you need a great name for your family’s pet. But how can you look past the obvious choices and pick something that’s both unique and suited to your kitty? Use this guide to naming your new cat and find the perfect pick.

Skip the Most Popular Names

If you adopt a rescue cat, there’s a good chance your new kitty will have a generic shelter name or a moniker pulled from a list of the year’s most popular choices. If you want your cat’s name to stand out, make note of the most frequently used pet names and be sure to choose something else.

Reference Your Cat’s Breed

If you aren’t sure where to start with brainstorming cute names, consider your cat’s breed. From Persian and Siamese cats to Maine Coons and American Shorthairs, various breeds can inspire fitting names. Research the history of your cat’s breed for ideas that reference its ancestry and culture.

Take Inspiration From Your Cat’s Appearance

Whether your kitty has an unknown lineage or its origins don’t resonate from a naming perspective, try taking inspiration from your cat’s appearance instead. Its fur length or color, distinctive markings, or eye color could be the key to a fitting name for your kitty.

Consider your cat’s personality and mannerisms, too. A friendly or outgoing name might not fit a skittish cat, while a loud or bold name may not work for a gentle, loving kitty.

Choose Something Lighthearted

While overly cutesy names can lose their novelty quickly, pet names don’t have to be serious. Consider naming your pet after your favorite food, flower, or vacation destination. You’re guaranteed to choose something fun and lighthearted, and you’ll immediately link your new cat to something you already love.

Avoid Pop Culture

As much as you love a particular singer, actress, or TV personality, avoid giving your pet a name inspired by pop culture. After all, you can expect a healthy cat to live for about 15 years, a lifespan that’s likely to outpace most pop culture stars by at least a decade. By keeping pop culture off your list of potential names, you’ll prevent your pet’s moniker from going out of style and avoid feeling compelled to rename your cat later.

Shorten a Particularly Creative Name

If you want to choose a name that’s so creative that no other cat will share it, you could end up with a lengthy moniker that your pet won’t recognize. If you want your cat to learn and respond to its name, consider making its official name lengthy but give it a shorter nickname. This strategy lets you have the best of both worlds, and you’ll even get to have the extra fun of choosing a nickname.

No matter what name you choose, try to stick to just one or two versions of the full name when you call your kitty. Keeping the naming process simple will help your new cat learn its name and grow accustomed to your calls.

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