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18 Theories of Cat Naming

Selecting a suitable and appropriate name for your feline companion is a perilous task. If you are a fan of T.S.Eliot you'll know that cats have three names, and it is just one of these names that can be selected by a cats human companion. The everyday name by which a cats family addresses him or her. Each cat also has a particular individual name, and a secret inscrutable singular name, but that's up to the individual cat to select. For the human wanting to find a means by which to address their cat, we offer below a selection of methods by which you may explore to find the perfect name.

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If you want to pick a name for your cat that would be suitable for one gender but not for the other, be sure you know the gender of the cat in question. You may have a lot of explaining to do if you name your boy-cat Daisy. If you adopt a kitten, or you are naming a feral cat you can't inspect closely, you may not know if it's a boy-cat or a girl-cat, so you may find it easier to select a more gender neutral name.

Eg. Tom, Fred, Bruce or Suzie, Princess, Pansy

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Fur Colour

Naming your cat for it's coat colour is certainly easier than naming your cat for it's gender, and coat colour seldom changes throughout a cats life. Consider names for an orange cat like Gingersnap, Pumpkin, or Cheddar (the Canadian Prime Minister's cat is named Cheddar, but don't let that put you off) or black cat names like Ebony, Onyx, or Midnight.

Eg. Auburn, Autumn, Carrots, Flame, Chocolate, Maple, Licorice, Coffee, Oreo, Raven

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Name your cat for a particular behaviour. This can be tricky, since behaviour can change over time, and you might end up with a name that later becomes less suitable. On the other hand, names that capture the unique movements or behaviours of your new cat might be perfect.

Eg. Pouncey, Frisky, Sleepy, Dash, Lefty, Meowy, Bolt

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Name your cat for a character in a book, play or movie. Consider characters that seem to have a resemblance to your new kitty, or consider your cats personality and try to match it up with characters from books you've read, or movies you've watched. If you have an older cat with an egg shaped head, you might name him for Agatha Christie's character Hercule Poirot, or if he's suave and loves milk, maybe he's an Archie Goodwin. Or select characters from Shakespeare for more dignified names like Miranda, Portia, Antipholus or Nerissa

Eg. Emma, Aslan, Hal, Kermit, Fiver

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Days, months, seasons

You can name your cat to commemorate a day of the week, month of the year, or season. Consider names from English and from other languages too. If you have a Turkish Van you could name it October although Ekim might be more appropriate (October in Turkish) Have some fun with the google translation tool!

Eg. Sunday, Summer, May (or Maggio, Maj, Bealtaine)

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Perhaps a name for a natural phenomenon like weather would suit your cat? Meteorology offers a wide range of technical terms in addition to the more common weather names.

Eg. Mist, Rain, Squall, Thunder, Snowdrift, Zephyr, Squamish

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Natural Disasters

Do you have one of those kitties that seems to contain a natural disaster within it's small furry body? Consider cat names to celebrate this natural force of energy!

Eg. Cyclone, Tornado, Hurricane, Tsunami, Mudslide, Typhoon

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Biblical names

A popular section in baby-name websites, you can find loads of interesting biblical names in Wikipedia too. You can find a sweet name, dignified sounding name, or a dangerous sounding name - in fact a name suitable to nearly any cat personality.

Eg. Magdalene, Myra, Gomer, Ecclesiastes, Sapphira, Justus, Amok

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Classic cat names

Some cats seem to suggest classical types - does your kitty look just like Sylverster from the cartoons? Or like a famous TV, book or film cat?

Eg. Sylvester P Pussycat, Atilla (from Mother Goose and Grim), Desdamona (Mutt & Jeff), Figaro (from Pinochio), Grimalkin (Macbeth)

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Name your cat for a sound she makes, or a sound which attracts her attention.

Eg. Meow, Mew-Mew, Squeak, Can-opener, Refridgerator, Microwave

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Name your cat for a type or style of vehicle, a model or manufacturer.

Eg. Dumptruck, Taxi, Elantra, Suzuki, Beetle, Lotus, Jaguar

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Got a cat who loves shoes? Not, perhaps, as dignified as some of the alternatives, but for a shoe-loving cat it might be very suitable.

Eg. Pennyloafer, Sneaker, Boots, Birkenstock

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Name your cat for a composer, band, album, opera or sonata - or select suitable music terminology that matches your cats personality. Those notations your music teacher tried to explain are in many cases words that make wonderful cat names.

Eg. Motzart, Mikado, Andante, Allegro, Presto, Dolce, Bravura

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Geography can suggest some truly lovely cat names. Consider naming your cat for a mountain, city, river or dessert, spin a globe or flip through an atlas for interesting place names to choose from.

Eg. Severn, Poboktan, Purcell, Jasper, Miramichi, Belldune - and those are just a few Canadian names

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Consider naming your cat for a place, perhaps a museum, art gallery, concert hall or architechtural master piece. Perhaps the 'Museum of Modern Art' isn't a very suitable name, but some of the castles in Europe have fantastic names! Consider an ancient city or state if modern names aren't catching your fancy, or look closer at a map and find a street name that might be suitable.

Eg. Pantheon, Aqua Claudia, Charlottenberg, Braunfels, El Zotz

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Consider the arts for cat names - painters, poets, musicians, composers, writers, sculptors - or you can consider the subjects or titles of the art for which they are famous. Mona Lisa would make a lovely cat name!

Eg. Cummings, Wordsworth, Keats, da Vinci, Munch, Donatello, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev

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Ancient Myths and Dieties

Religion and mythology both provide a lovely range of dignified names which may be suitable for cats.

Eg. Hestia, Athena, Persephone, Castor, Hercules, Isis, Horus, Set, Apis

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Heros and Legends

Consider naming your cat after a personal hero, or a person of legend. Myths offer a rich resource for names, and if you don't find anything appealing, try myths or childrens stories from other cultures.

Eg. Odysseus, Paris, Ajax, Nestor, Penelope, Bedivere, Gawain, Guinevere


The Naming of Cats - by T.S. Eliot: http://allpoetry.com/poem/8453755-The_Naming_Of_Cats-by-T_S__Eliot

Wikipedia on Popular Cat Names: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_cat_names

Catster's advice on selcting cat names: http://www.catster.com/cat-names/

UK Pet Naming suggestions: http://www.lovingyourpet.co.uk/pet-names/cat-names/

16927 Cat Names: http://www.kessels.com/catnames/index.html

Wiki-How - a 5 steps for choosing a cat name: http://www.wikihow.com/Choose-a-Name-for-Your-Cat

Cat names by fur colour: http://www.petplace.com/cats/cat-name-based-on-haircoat-color/page1.aspx

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