How To Name Your Cat (Or Kitten!)

Spread the love

Struggling to decide on a cat name? Wondering how to name your cat? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here’s our master guide to deciding on a cat name – with the key considerations and that final decision-making process to get to one that’s “totally purrfect” for your new furry friend! So let’s start from the top, shall we?

Why It’s Hard To Decide On a Cat Name

Bringing a kitten home, or finding a forever home for a cat, is incredibly exciting! But a big part of preparing for a cat or kitten, is deciding on what to call it – and this can be hard.

After all, they’re going to have it for life and if you’re getting a cat / kitten with a partner or family, it’s got to be a name that everyone agrees on… which is not always instant.

One of you wants to call your cat one name, the other doesn’t like this and wants to go for something else. It can be hard to find a middle ground.

Then there’s the fact that you want to choose a name for your cat that really suits them. Is it too common? Does it really feel and sound like them? Because here’s the thing…

How do you choose a name for your cat or kitten?

Key Considerations When Naming Your Cat

This is more than just a spur-of-the-moment thing! If you want to name your cat / kitten (and get it spot on – totally purrfect – no later regrets!) you may want to consider:

  • Would this name suit my cat, both now and in the future?
  • Am I giving my cat a “real name” or a made up one? And which is most likely to fit and feel like “part of the family”?
  • Does this name have meaning, without being overcomplicated? I mean god answered prayer names are always popular if you’ve always wanted a new furry friend in your life… and now you have one. (After all, they really are a blessing!) So your cat can have a deeper meaning – based on what they mean to you.
  • Have I heard this name before? Is it too “common” when it comes to cats? One of the most popular cat names? (We had this issue with Cody, first liking the name Leo, but it wouldn’t have worked as there’s far too many Leo cats about already!)
  • Or, on the flip side, is this name too “unique” and silly?
  • Do I really like this cat name, and am not going to get bored of it?
  • Is the name easy enough to say, pronounce and therefore recognise?
  • Is the name different enough to other names in your house-hold and so won’t become confusing when trying to call your cat or train them?

One or two syllable names are the best for cats, as it’s easy for them to pick up on and understand. But here’s the thing…

How Many Names Should a Cat Have?

Now, T. S. Eliot, the English Nobel prizewinner for literature in 1948, said that every cat should have three names: 

“The everyday name, a dignified official name, and a third one — “which only the cat knows and doesn’t tell. You might be clever, you might be begging — she will remain the only one who knows.”

T. S. Eliot

So hey, if you’re struggling to decide on a cat name – maybe that’s your answer. Pick your top 3 and have all 3! (Ha.) 

I’m not personally sure on that one, but you can have nicknames for your cat too. These nicknames can be names you call your cat when you’re not actively trying to get their attention, or when you’re just talking about them to friends / family.

Just like we as humans have different variations of our names, your fluffy friend can too. So it’s worth remembering this when it comes to naming your cat… What flows from their proper name? And how do you like their nicknames?

How do you decide what to call your cat or kitten?

How To Name Your Cat (Or Kitten!)

So how do you do it? How do you find a cat name that everyone likes and that feels right? Well, the process for how to name your cat (or kitten) should fundamentally go like this:

  1. Brainstorm cat names either on your own, or with your partner / family.
  2. Research cat names to get inspiration. Look at general cat names, gender-specific names (i.e. boys names / girls names) as a whole, plus names with meaning… the lot!
  3. Make a note of the “key contenders” – the names you do like. Just jot them down when you come across them for now. Once you’ve gathered all of these…
  4. From your list of “key contenders”, circle or highlight the ones that stand out the most to you.
  5. Look at the picture of your cat / kitten. Or if they’re already with you – look at them. See how well each name naturally fits with them. Does it suit them? Does it flow?
  6. You can also switch it around to look at your cat / their picture and see – just based on that – what they DO look like, picking up on key characteristics or features and getting inspiration from that.
  7. Pick one of the potential cat names and try referring to your new cat as it, in conversations or even to them, and see how it feels. (Uh huh, you’re super close to deciding on a cat name now! Eek!)
  8. You may like to try this with a couple of “key contenders” until you find the one that comes to your head the most when you think of them.
  9. If none of the current names do – keep brainstorming and following the process around again… 
  10. See, eventually you’ll find one that you like, everyone likes and that feels “right”… trust me! You’ll always get there in the end! Just stick with it

It’s As Easy As That!

When it comes to how to name your cat (or kitten), the process is really quite easy.

Does that mean you’ll know the right name straight away? Maybe… But in most cases – no way! The most important thing is to not rush the decision… and to have fun with it! After all, it’s an incredibly exciting time.

So, good luck! Hope this has helped to make choosing your cats name that little bit easier. If you’re looking for unique dog names, the same applies for that process too.

Either way – sending lots of love and friendly welcomes to your new furry friend!

Happy name-calling!

How To Name Your Cat
Photo of author
Ell is the Founder of Totally Purrfect & Cat Mom to Cody, The Maine Coon. Her areas of expertise lie in Cat Care, Enrichment & Training.

Leave a Comment