Pet Names

Dog and cat best friends sitting together outdoors in autumn forest

As a rescuer, I am constantly faced with the challenge of naming my foster kitties.  It’s a fun challenge and certainly not one to be stressed over – but as it happens, it can be stressful to choose the right name that is not only a good one for the kitty but is also great for marketing purposes.

The names I have used include Tangy (my favorite name), Hansel & Gretel, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Dior, Valentino, and Tabor.  In general I try to use names that aren’t too popular but are attractive.  I am always flattered when an adopter keeps the name.  I try not to be insulted when they change it, but I understand it’s their pet…

This led me to start thinking about what the most popular pet names are.

According to Rover.com, here are the most popular cat names, by gender:

MaleFemale
1.CharlieLily
2.JackChloe
3.JasperLucy
4.DexterBella
5.MiloLuna
6.FredMaddie
7.SimonEmma
8.SimbaCoco
9.GeorgeMolly
10.BoomerCallie

The Lion King,  even 20 years after its theatrical release  continues to affect cat names.  It should be noted that Lily and Emma were top 10 baby names in 2014, according to Babycenter.com.

According to Rover.com, there is a pretty different list of top dog names than cat names in 2014, though a few did overlap.  The top names by gender were:

MaleFemale
1.MaxBella
2.BuddyLucy
3.CharlieDaisy
4.JackMolly
5.CooperLola
6.RockySophie
7.TobySadie
8.TuckerMaggie
9.JakeChloe
10.BearBailey

 

Dog names didn’t overlap as much with baby names as cat names.  I’m not sure what that means except that perhaps cat owners look at people names more when thinking about their cats.

Not surprisingly, in general, the names people choose for their dogs and cats are often “human” names.  This is, in part, because most people consider their pets to be a member of their family and not just a pet.

Overall many names that humans choose are from popular culture – choosing from their favorite television show or movie.  There has been an increase, for example, in Star Wars-related names as talk of a new Star Wars movie increases.  Shows like Sons of Anarchy and Game of Thrones have had an effect on pet names.

The best thing to do when choosing a pet name – choose one you really like.  More than likely, the pet isn’t going to respond to it anyways.

Pam Allison is a volunteer with Kitten Rescue, a Los Angeles based cat rescue organization. She fosters kitties and helps them find their forever homes.