Cat Names of the Year

From simple monikers like "Kitty" to puns on pulchritude like "The Great Fatsby," pet parents chose great cat names this year.

By Laura Doering | Posted: December 16, 2013, 10 a.m. EST

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Cat Names of the Year
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Remember when you first scooped up your kitty, petting her tenderly while you mused about finding a name befitting such a precious feline? Or was it more like your new cat staring you down, daring you to just try to come up with a name he would actually answer to? Or perhaps you took in a matinee on your way to getting your cat. Banfield Pet Hospital just tabulated its database of client names and released its top pet names of 2013 — we’re talking 2.5 million pets!  

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While the Top 10 List has familiar names (, a couple of up-and-comers are straight from the big screen.  Anyone who has read (or scene) "The Hunger Games” surely could have guessed that the story’s heroine, Katniss, was destined to be a cat name. Yes indeed — Banfield observed five times as many cats named Katniss during 2012. And since the Hunger Games is a trilogy (two movies down, one to go) Katniss will undoubtedly continue to rise in name rank.

When F. Scott Fitzgerald penned "The Great Gatsby” way back in 1925, I wonder if he ever imagined pet parents adapting the novel’s main character’s name into "The Great Fatsby” — that’s exactly what a few of Banfield’s clients did. Moreover, twice as many dogs and cats were named "Gatsby” in 2013 versus 2012. And a lot of cat owners must be "Twihards” because "Bella” the female lead in the "The Twilight Saga” book and film series was the second most popular cat name for 2013. (What?! No rise in cats called Edward or Jacob; these are perfect names for dueling household cats if you ask me.)

Here’s a breakdown of Banfield’s top Cat Names of 2013 (I’ve included some extremely biased commentary where appropriate):
1. Kitty
I get it; if the cat isn’t going to respond to his/her name anyway you might as well save yourself the headache and the wasted effort and go generic … that or the cat clearly won "Go ahead, I dare you to try to sum me up with a silly human word” stare down.


2. Bella
Bella is clearly the bell of the house; a pampered Princess who has more color-coordinated accessories than her owner.


3. Tiger
Most cats with such a fierce moniker are, in reality, ’lil momma’s boys. Imagine having to live up to being named after the largest cat species, one that puts the fear in antelope and most other animals. Tiger might have stripes but he’s a softy at heart.


4. Max
Naming a cat Max started out as a search for a dog (it’s been the #2 dog name since like forever.) Max will likely fetch a crumpled piece of paper in a cat-human version of "catch.” Max will follow you around like a dog but in a running-in-and-out-of-your-legs kind of way. Max might also be more likely to be photographed sitting belly-baring style on the couch Al Bundy-style.


5. Shadow
What better name for nature’s best stalker. If you share your home with Shadow, surely you must startle at the sight of two green eyes peeping out below the stair or from under the bed … watching. Most days you don’t know where Shadow is, but Shadow always knows where you are and that’s the way he likes it. Cats named Fluffy and Buddy must be envious; nothing says, "I control you human” more than this ghost-like moniker. You can catch of glimpse of Shadow but actually catching Shadow is futile.


6. Smokey
If Smokey is white, red or calico, this is an ironically cool name choice. If Smokey is gray, well at least you’ll save time if Smokey gets lost; "Have you seen my gray cat Smokey?


7. Tigger
Ah, Tigger looks like Tiger (stripes!) but is a big goofball. Tigger is a "Disneyfied” version of "Tiger” so this lucky feline doesn’t have to worry about living up to such a fierce reputation.


8. Lucy
I hope to meet a cat named Lucy that is the feline equivalent of Lucile Ball.  A real live comedic-sketch maker in your own living room! Lucy knocks things over and blames the dog.


9. Chloe
How’s this for coincidence? The name "Chloe” means "green herb” and, of course, there is a green herb many cats go crazy for. It’s like a hippie naming their child "Mary Jane.”


10. Charlie
You can trust a cat with a name like Charlie. Charlie will mostly come when called and Charlie is a lap cat. Charles is an entirely different cat. Charles demands pampering and totally believes he’s in charge.
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Reader Comments

Beth    Hickory, NC

11/4/2014 3:21:17 PM

I have a beautiful Russian Blue one year and half year old female that I acquired from Craig's List. I named her Anna Akhmatova Russian poet who died in the 1960's. She had another name; but, now knows her name as Anna and responds when I say Anna. I really think she likes her name! Unfortunately ,she has a tendency to closet herself in the cabinets in the bathroom. That is her safe place and her safe place when she just arrived. I check on her to make sure that she has food and water. Her litter box is there. so it is convienent for her. But, I live alone and I want some feline companionship. I keep calling her. She has been out many times before since her arrival. But, when I leave in the morning to go walk and run errands, I put her in there so she will be safe. She stays almost all day. I call to her. Eventually, she will get lonely and come out. She always does. But, if you have any suggestions to get her out sooner, I would appreciate it. Thank you.

Lorri    oxford, WI

3/18/2014 11:34:57 AM

yes suzanne boring Licorice , my black cat , and willis, friends cat , my list would be as good

Suzanne    Montgomery, AL

3/7/2014 1:08:45 PM

boring - got any more? not even an Echo for a black cat. Looking for something more..... Many names you give are just repeated for different CATagories.

Sherry    Peterborough, ON

1/18/2014 6:35:46 PM

Love the article.

I have an almost 2 year old mackerel tabby named Chai, after the tea from Starbucks. She is spicy like the tea (lol). She was a 6 week old feral cat, who showed up at my friend's community garden after the people who owned the garden, found her mother and 3 babies and took them to the Humane Society. She's is the best cat I ever had.

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