The Top Cat Names in the US

Danielle Petch
A ginger cat sitting on a white carpet

Naming your feline friend can be tricky business. When looking for cat names, do you go traditional with a ‘Bella’ or an ‘Oscar’? Or do you go a little more outside the box with cat names inspired by the movies or a favourite food? 

There are so many cat names to choose from, and any pet parent worth their catnip will want to choose a suitable moniker for their feline friend. So, to help you on your way we’ve compiled a list of our top US cat names — so you can find the perfect name for your purrfect pal. 

Top US Cat Names

We’ve scoured the TrustedHousesitters archives to pull together this list of the 50 most popular US cat names. Enjoy!

Luna

Bella

Charlie

Lucy

Leo

Max

Sophie

Simon

Stella

Oscar

Shadow

Milo

Jack

Oliver

Rocky

Lily

Lola

Ginger

Smokey

Kitty

Buddy

Sammy

Oreo

Olive

Molly

Frankie

Cleo

Willow

Toby

Ollie

Chloe

Pepper

Penny

Millie

Mia

George

Coco

Blue

Ziggy

Teddy

Sebastian

Mouse

Merlin

Lulu

Lilly

Gracie

Callie

Yoda

Violet

Rosie

A tabby kitten

Cat names by the state

According to the American Pet Products Association's 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey, there are now 42.7 million cat-owning households in the US. But when it comes to cats name per state, how much variation is there? 

It turns out, not a lot! A 2015 survey of US pet lovers conducted by Veterinary Pet Insurance (provided by Vocativ) revealed that many US states share the same top cat names, with Bella taking the top spot in 14 out of 50 states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming).

We recently surveyed TrustedHousesitters cats, too, and found that ‘Bella’ was the third most popular in our list of top cat names worldwide. So when it comes to cat names, Bella really is queen! 

Most unique cat names in the US 

So, Californians and Coloradans might be cuddling up with a Bella, but which states are unique in their cat-naming practices?

Well, in Washington, you could easily cross paths with a Luna or two, which was the most popular for cat names in the Evergreen State. Alaskans, on the other paw, have strayed away from the popular pastime of giving their pets a human name with pet owners in this state mainly choosing the name Pepper for their cats.

Across other states, Orion came out on top as the most popular cat name in Montana, while Lola took the top spot in Oklahoma. 

A black and white cat being cuddled

Do you have a Luna or a Pepper in your furry family? 

Cat names: where did they come from?

According to the Guinness World Records, the earliest cat to be given a name was a kitty named Nedjem, (meaning `sweet' or `pleasant'), and dates way back to the reign of Thutmose III (between 1479-1425 BC).

Fast-forward to the present day, and you’ll find that it wasn’t until the 1980s and 1990s that we first began choosing cat names based on typically human names, such as Bella and Charlie — in a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. 

Do cats recognise their own name? 

An article posted in the Smithsonian recently confirmed every cat owner’s suspicions: yes, cats probably do recognise their own name — but that doesn’t mean they’ll answer to it! 

A recent study tested out four ‘neutral’ words versus a cat's own name on a group of 78 feline participants. Researchers found that the cats largely ignored the 'neutral' words, but did show some sign of interest — be it an ear twitch or head turn — upon hearing their own name.

That said, when it came to actually getting the cats to come over when called (and in news that will shock no cat owner), only 10% of the feline participants did. 

We think we’ll stick to a classic ‘psspsspss’ in future!

Top tips for naming your cat

We hope our list gave you a few ideas when it comes to naming your cat, but if you’re still on the lookout why not take inspiration from some of the world’s most famous moggies? 

Some may argue that YouTube was designed purely for funny cat videos (it’s us, we’d argue that), and you only need to tap and scroll through a few videos before landing upon a cute kitty. So what about the names Cole or Marmalade, inspired by the rescue-cats-turned-YouTube-sensations? Or perhaps Nala may be more your style — inspired by @nala_cat, the kitty who currently boasts the most Instagram followers of any cat!

You can also take inspiration from movies, TV shows, music, even food and drink. Just keep searching, and you’ll soon find a cat name that perfectly suits your kitty’s unique personality!

Looking for a cat sitter?

Our cats might be more independent than their canine counterparts, but they love their own homes and routines just as much. That’s why when you’re away on vacation, in-home cat sitting from a kind and caring sitter is the best option for your furry friend. 

Browse through hundreds of verified and reviewed pet sitters on TrustedHousesitters, and secure the very best care for your best friend. 

Got a dog, too? Check out these unique dog names!

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