Clever Cat Names for Your New Kitty


If you’re like me, it can take weeks to name a new cat–or cats. You get to know him, her, or them while trying names on for size. Some don’t fit quite right, some don’t sound quite right, but there will always be one that is perfect–even if it takes weeks to uncover.

If you’re looking for something more cat-curious than the standard “Kitty” we’ve got some great suggestions for you–courtesy of Rover’s national database of cat names, plus 10 years I spent working in animal shelters, meeting loads of clever cats. During a busy kitten season I faced the absolutely fantastic challenge of having to come up with thousands of names that were cute, clever, smart, snarky, sweet…you get the picture…and spoke to the uniqueness of each special cat. All this said, let’s get to the fun stuff–clever cat names galore! If you’re looking for a name for your kitty that’s a bit less run-of-the-mill, and  that’ll make people say “Aha, I see what you did there!” look no further.

Top 10 Male Cat Names

According to Rover’s huge nationwide database of cat names, these are the 10 most popular names for male cats. It’s interesting to see Loki in this list–definitely a sign that there are some mischievous cats out there.

  1. Oliver
  2. Leo
  3. Milo
  4. Jack
  5. Loki
  6. Jasper
  7. George
  8. Oscar
  9. Toby
  10. Finn

Top 10 Female Cat Names

According to you, via the Rover Cat Name Generator, these are the 10 most popular names for female cats. Not only does Bella top the list of most popular cat names, it also tops the list of most popular dog names, making it an evergreen choice for both beautiful felines and canines (and people, too!).

  1. Bella
  2. Lily
  3. Lucy
  4. Callie
  5. Nala
  6. Cleo
  7. Chloe
  8. Stella
  9. Zoe
  10. Daisy

A cat’s name does not need to be related to its gender–it could be related more to the general personality of your kitty, or the color of your kitty’s coat, or maybe just be the name of a favorite person in your life.

  • Luna
  • Kitty
  • Max
  • Pat
  • Simba
  • Smokey
  • Ollie
  • Tiger
  • Shadow
  • Pepper
  • Boots
  • Spots
  • Snow
  • Sunshine

If you are looking for a name that is really creative, there are lots of places to find inspiration. Try some of these on for size, perhaps one will be the perfect fit for your kitty.

Cat Names Inspired by Famous Trailblazers & Throwback Celebs!

You can look to current events, classic movies, TV shows, or ancient history to find names of famous people that your cat might have something in common with: genius, hilarity, gumption, spunk, peacemaking, or even could match your cat’s unique personality. Here are some ideas inspired by famous people. Keep in mind you can use a first name but sometimes last names work well too!

  • Kamala (for your pioneering female cat!)
  • Dolly (Parton)
  • Gwenyth (Paltrow)
  • Chadwick (Boseman…you are missed)
  • Justin (Trudeau)
  • Errol (Flynn)
  • Elvis (Presley)
  • Howard (Carter)
  • Marie (Curie)
  • Margaret (Thatcher)
  • Kofi (Annan)
  • Shackleton

Artist Cat Names for Your Creative Cat

If your cat has a creative side, you can definitely find much inspiration from artists–just think of all the amazing painters, photographers, singers, writers, musicians, sculptors, and dancers out there. These don’t have to be famous artists but just someone in your community or even your family. There are many artists who are also famous for their love of cats, such as Leonard Foujita who painted wonderful self-portraits with his cats, and Ernest Hemingway, who loved his many-toed cats so much they ended up being named for him (the Hemingway, or polydactyl, cat). This is another category where last names can also be used as a cat’s name, if you so desire.

  • Gustav (Klimt)
  • Georgia
  • Frida
  • Claude (Monet)
  • Isadora (Duncan)
  • Mikhail (Baryshnikov)
  • Bono
  • Madonna
  • Sylvia (Plath)
  • Maya (Lin)
  • Antoni (Gaudi)

Place-Inspired Cat Names

Places can also make for great kitty names. Maybe it’s a place you’ve lived, or would like to live. Perhaps your favorite vacation spot? Or maybe just a place that sounds cool, or hip. These are fun because you can think of names of places ranging from world-famous cities or even just places within a specific region–even names of neighborhoods where you live. Here are some examples:

  • International cities: London, Paris, Nairobi, Sydney
  • Cities in Texas (I’m biased but Texas has some pretty rad sounding cities. Your state probably has loads of these, too): Dallas, Austin, Odessa, Houston
  • Neighborhoods (these are in Seattle, for example): Fremont, Ballard, Sodo, Phinney
  • Planets: Jupiter, Mars, Neptune, Saturn
  • Exotic spots: Fiji, Fuji, Borneo, Ipanema (for your tall, tan, and lovely kitty!)

Food-Inspired Cat Names

Let’s be honest–most of us love food as much as we love our kitties. Maybe your cat’s name can come from its favorite food or your favorite food? Cheeses are pretty popular, as are snacks, but really you can get super creative here.

  • Cheddar
  • Queso
  • Apple
  • Biscuit
  • Noodle
  • Donut
  • Potato
  • Wonton
  • Paprika
  • Cookie
  • Basil
  • Thyme

When Two is Better Than One: Double Trouble Cat Names

If you have adopted two kittens, an older bonded pair, or have added a new kitty whose name you would like to attach to your current kitty’s, these are some fun ideas for partner names.

  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • Frida and Diego
  • Peaches and Cream
  • Barack and Michelle
  • Ebony and Ivory
  • Sugar and Spice
  • Tater and Tot
  • Peanut and Jelly
  • Antony and Cleopatra
  • Meghan and Harry
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Tegan and Sara
  • Paul and Linda
  • Marie and Pierre
  • Lady and Gaga
  • Bill and Ted
  • Syrah and Shiraz

If none of these ideas spark your joy, there are lots of other ways of brainstorming. Think of your favorite song (I once named a kitten named Fernando after the ABBA song), ancient gods (Andromeda) other languages you may speak (I have a kitty who loves to give kisses, so is aptly named Beso), or just how much you love your little one (Valentine).

See, you don’t have to stress over finding a clever name for your cat. There are as many great ideas out there as there are amazing kitties!

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