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Blog /How To Pick The Perfect Cat Name
Life with Pets August 22, 2023

How to pick the perfect cat name

Looking for a cat name? Read more to discover cat name suggestions to help you find the perfect name for your feline friend.

Bringing a new cat into your family is an exciting time. From food to toys to veterinary care, there are many decisions you’ll need to make to get your kitty settled in their new life. And one of the first (and most fun) is choosing the perfect name. Not sure where to start? Whether you’re drawn to traditional names or one-of-a-kind options, this guide will help you find the best name for your cat.

Two calico cats peeking out from behind a brick wall.

Most popular cat names

Looking for a tried and true name? Based on our Wisdom Panel database—the largest pet DNA database in the world—these are the most popular cat names:

  • Luna
  • Loki
  • Bella
  • Leo
  • Willow
  • Milo
  • Oliver
  • Charlie
  • Max
  • Lily

Cat names based on gender

Girl cat names

For female cats, consider names that capture elegance and grace. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Mia
  • Emma
  • Daisy
  • Cleo
  • Gracie
  • Nala
  • Chloe
  • Maisie
  • Zoe
  • Poppy

Boy cat names

From classic names to more modern options, these typically male names exude character and charm:

  • Wyatt
  • Jett
  • Felix
  • Jasper
  • Owen
  • Diego
  • Finn
  • Sam
  • Jack
  • Hunter

Unisex cat names

If you’re looking for a name that fits both genders, look for versatile and creative options. Here are some unisex names that work well for any cat:

  • Bailey
  • Riley
  • Morgan
  • Quinn
  • Casey
  • Taylor
  • Dakota
  • Dylan
  • Jordan
  • Scout
Orange tabby cat.

Cat names based on color

Black cat names

Black cats are often associated with mystery. Here are a few names that complement their dark and alluring nature:

  • Midnight
  • Onyx
  • Panther
  • Pepper
  • Shadow
  • Raven
  • Houdini
  • Nocturne
  • Eclipse
  • Magic

Black and white cat names

If you have a black and white cat, consider these names that celebrate their two-toned appearance:

  • Oreo
  • Domino
  • Panda
  • Orca
  • Tux
  • Patches
  • Judge
  • Dice
  • Moo
  • Jazz

Grey cat names

For grey cats, choose a name that reflects their silver appearance. Here are some options to get your wheels turning:

  • Smokey
  • Misty
  • Ash
  • Stormy
  • Earl
  • Sterling
  • Pebbles
  • Dusk
  • Cinder
  • Rocky

White cat names

A name that relates to their pristine appearance is a great choice for white cats. These suggestions all fit the bill:

  • Snowball
  • Ivory
  • Pearl
  • Marshmallow
  • Frost
  • Cotton
  • Blanco
  • Jasmine
  • Coconut
  • Diamond

Orange cat names

Orange cats are known for their warm personalities and striking coats. Here are some names that capture their vibrant character:

  • Ginger
  • Pumpkin
  • Sundance
  • Marmalade
  • Cheeto
  • Tango
  • Copper
  • Satsuma
  • Blaze
  • Clementine
Calico kitten reaching his paws toward camera.

Funny cat names

Injecting humor is a way to make your cat’s name memorable. Here are some light-hearted ideas that will make people smile:

  • Sir Whiskerface
  • Ms. Sparklepaws
  • McSnugglepants
  • Captain Whiskerbiscuit
  • Chucklebutt
  • Purrnado
  • Bumblebop
  • Furricane
  • Whiskerino
  • Floofinator

Cute cat names

Adorable cats deserve adorable names. Consider these cute and endearing names:

  • Button
  • Lucky
  • Cupcake
  • Pudding
  • Peanut
  • Bubbles
  • Mittens
  • Sprinkle
  • Honey
  • Buttercup
Grey cat lying on the floor with a toy.

Cat name FAQ

How do I get my cat to recognize their new name?

To help your cat recognize their new name, use positive reinforcement techniques. Start by associating your cat’s name with something they enjoy, such as treats, toys, or affection. Say your cat’s name cheerfully, and when your cat looks your way, immediately reward them with a treat or chin rub.

When working on name recognition with your cat, keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep training sessions short (around 5 minutes), so your cat doesn’t lose interest. Some cats may tolerate longer sessions or do well with multiple sessions per day.
  • Start in an environment with minimal noises, smells, or objects that may distract your cat.
  • As your cat improves, increase the difficulty by working in louder locations or extending the time before you offer a reward.
  • Stay positive and patient.

How long does it take for a cat to get used to a new name?

Cats are very intelligent, but the time they need to learn their name will vary. Some may get used to their name in a couple of weeks. Other cats may take up to six months or longer to reliably respond to their names. (And some cats may learn their name almost immediately but never let their human know it.) If you are patient and consistent in using the name, your cat should eventually become familiar with it.

What names do cats respond to most?

Research suggests that cats respond better to higher frequencies (which may be why some cats seem to prefer "baby talk.") Additionally, names with long vowel sounds—particularly a long “e”—may garner a better response.

A veterinarian in Vancouver, British Columbia, Dr. Uri Burstyn, demonstrated this when studying names that cats react best to. To make his point, he showcased a cat that responded better to "Lancie," which ends on a higher-pitched sound, than "Lancelot," which ends on a low-pitched note. That doesn’t mean you should let this theory completely guide your choices, but it is something to remember when selecting a name for your feline friend.

When choosing a name, let intuition be your guide

Choosing the perfect name for your cat (or your dog) allows you to express your creativity and affection. Whether you opt for a name based on gender, appearance, personality, or some other factor, the most important thing is that the name feels right to you. So have fun, trust your gut, and enjoy the process!