Naming Your Kitten

By PetMD Editorial on Nov. 14, 2012

Choosing the Best Cat Name for Your Kitten

By Yahaira Cespedes

It is a wonderful day when you welcome a new kitten into your home. One fun-filled task is the process of picking from the multitude of kitten names. Sometimes, a name can just pop right out of you, but at other times it may not be so easy.

Whether you’ve decided to re-name an adopted kitten’s shelter name, or want to include your friends and family in on the fun, there are many interesting naming methods to choose from.

Carrying on a Tradition

One of the most popular ways to pick a cat name is to delve into your past. Many people choose to name their cat in memory of a beloved childhood or family pet. In the same manner that people pass on family names like Junior, providing your new addition with a recognized family pet name will make them feel right at home in your family.

Popularity Contest

Baby names aren’t just for humans. Just take a look at our top cat names and you'll find an abundance of baby names. The popularity of cat names of course depends on the country you live in, and language(s) you speak.

Spazz Banana

If the thought of giving your new kitten an often or previously given name bores you, the alternative is to go think outside the box. Giving your kitten a completely unique name is a great conversation starter, especially if you get your friends and family in on the action. You can hold a crazy cat-naming contest, or you can name your kitten after your favorite food or performing artist. The possibilities for cat names are endless.

Seven Dwarves, Nine Lives

Another way of finding the perfect name for your new kitten is to simply observe their behavior. If you have the chance to watch them interact with their kindle-mates, observing their personalities can provide the best inspiration. You can name the kitten you fall in love according to their adventurous, a loner, or mealtime-loving nature.

Scientifically Speaking

In veterinary and scientific observation, people have noticed that cats respond more to some human vocalized sounds than others. It may not be a coincidence that a cat’s vocalization to humans is a high-pitched “meow.” Cats have been noted to respond better to high-pitched human voices, and prefer women’s voices to men’s. Cats also respond to names containing the long e-vowel, or “ee” sound. Incidentally, cats only vocalize meowing when communicating with people, and not with other cats.

Smoky, Patches, and Casper

Naming your new kitten can sometimes be as easy as just looking at them. If your kitten is a Russian Blue, a Burmese or a Bombay mix, their striking, dark fur could prompt ideas on giving them a darkly hued name. From calicos to tuxedoes, a kitten’s coloring can boldly strike inspiration. The temperature inside the dam’s uterus determines the color of a cat’s fur, with white cats being born as the result of the highest temp.

What in the World?

Besides the defining trait of coloring attributed to some specific breeds, a cat’s name can also come from their heritage. An Egyptian Mau can conjure up images of ancient deities while naming a Havana Brown can draw inspiration from a rich culture. Japanese Bobtails are a popular good luck symbol in their native country. Giving a Maine Coon a fairy tale-like gentle giant name wouldn’t be too far of a stretch. Neither would naming a Munchkin from a beloved children’s story.



Thinking of ways to name your new kitten(s) is a lot of fun, and there are many ways to go about giving them a suitable moniker they’ll always be known as. Sifting through possible cat name ideas from fine art to favorite foods can be daunting, so sit back and let your new feline family members fuel your creativity.


If you would like some more ideas for popular cat names — or just all cat names — check out our Top Cat Name List, where we have a growing list of over 5,000 potential names for cats. 

Image: Ilike / via Shutterstock

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