The cat name you choose helps develop his identity and sticks with him for a lifetime. Consider these tips to pick the best name for your new feline family member.
woman holding litter of kittens
Credit: skynesher / Getty

When it comes to choosing the perfect cat name, the sheer number of choices can quickly become overwhelming. However, there are many factors to consider that will make the cat name you pick something you’ll both like. Find out how to pick a cat name that fits him purrfectly.

Consider Your Cat’s Personality

Your cat’s name and personality make up his identity. Factoring in your kitty’s unique traits when selecting a name makes his quirks even more endearing.

If your cat is abnormally friendly or shy, those traits may be something to keep in mind. There are also particular cat breeds that are more intelligent than others, and a name like Brainy or Einstein might be a good fit.

Base the Name on Your Cat’s Appearance

Consider the look of your cat to help determine his name. Pumpkin or Sunny might be good orange cat names, while Patches would make more sense for a calico cat.

Color isn’t the only appearance factor though—your cat’s breed, hair length, and gender should also be acknowledged. Long-haired cat breeds like a Persians or Siberians have a regal appearance to them, so girl cat names like Kate or Elizabeth would be good choices. If you have a male, some of the top boy cat names right now include Oliver, Vinnie, and Leo.

Make Sure It’s Easy to Say

Cats don’t come when called as easily as dogs, so make sure your cat’s name is easy to pronounce. That will make him more likely to react when being called and then any young kids in his life won’t stumble over his name, making things even more confusing for him.

According to Dot Baisly, certified behaviorist at Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, Mass., people often call their cats by many different nicknames, but you should teach your cat recall off of one name.

“However, cats tend to do whatever they want, so it’s not really about what you call them, it’s about what you have to offer them when they get there!” Baisly says.

KonMari Your Cat’s Name

Consider influences in your life that bring you joy—do you have a favorite Netflix binge, celebrity crush, Disney movie, food, or season? Incorporate things you love when naming your cat so each time you’re with them, you’re both immediately in a happier mood.

“Good cat names are typically chosen by association. Did you get the cat during a particular month of the year? Is there an artist or film you really like?” Baisly says. “I named one of my dogs Chunk because I love The Goonies. Find something everyone in the family truly enjoys.” 

Family Names

Naming your cat or kitten using cultural influences or family names passed down for generations would be an honorable way to pay homage to your heritage and make your cat truly part of the family. If you’re multilingual (or just love the way names sound in French or Italian), check out these words for “kitten” in different languages for some ideas. Do all of your kids’ names start with a “K”? Why not do the same for your fur-kid! Kitty, Kyle, Kiana, Kevin, get the idea.

No matter what, your cat’s name will become one of your favorite words, so choose something you love and you can’t go wrong! Need more cat name ideas? Check out these unique cat names for your one-of-a-kind cat.