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Cat Names the Cat Thinks Up for Himself

Updated on June 9, 2011

Deep and Inscrutable Cat Names

Finding the proper cat names for your kitty is a delicate thing. Cats know their real cat name and want to be called by that name. If you don’t get it right, the consequences can be serious. For example:

1) The cat may not answer when called

2) The cat may drop a live mouse in your shoe

3) The cat may jump out the window and never return

Most think such behavior is normal for a cat. Well, it’s not. These are kitty clues that you’ve named your cat wrong. Your poor cat is saying that you did a bad job with the finding the inscrutable cat name.

From a cat’s view, jumping out a window and leaving is reasonable. How would you like it if your name was Susan or John and people called you “Dumpling” or “Fat Cat” or “Swizzlestick?” You might want to leave or hide, too.

To prevent freaking out your cat, cats have developed 4 principles (rules and themes) you need to explore to find that name the cat thinks up for himself. They are:

1) Cats know their real cat name

2) Think royalty

3) Don’t pick a stupid name

4) Watch the cat’s behavior and listen

Learn Cat Talk

Cats see that people refuse to learn cat lingo
Cats see that people refuse to learn cat lingo

Cats Know Their Real Cat Name

Finding the right cat name can be frustrating. To succeed, you need to be aware of Cat Name Rule No. 1:

Cats know their real cat name.

Without exception, every cat knows its name - the real cat name. As soon as he’s able to articulate a loud meow in his first few months on Kitten Earth, he’ll start dropping hints. As you carry on your daily routines, the cat will talk to you. He may meow, bark, purr or give some other kitty cat hint. Watch, listen and take notes.

Cats are frustrated because the various meows, purrs, hairball coughs and howls are easily understood. Yet cats see that people refuse to learn cat lingo.

On the other hand, people are equally flabbergasted with cats because cats refuse to react to our shouts, hoots, orders and sock puppet hand-signals.

This creates a clash of species. Each thinks the other is insensitive and obtuse. So we now have a standoff of sorts where each party, the cats versus the people, thinks the other is bonehead stubborn. Well, when it comes to stubborn guess who wins?

It’s you, the willing and seriously enchanted cat’s servant, who must find the cat name on your own.

Let’s look at Cat Name Rule #2.

The Egyptian Cat God Bast

Cats haven't forgotten their successful run as beloved and worshiped gods in Egypt 5,000 years ago.
Cats haven't forgotten their successful run as beloved and worshiped gods in Egypt 5,000 years ago.

Think Royalty

Think royally.

Cats haven’t forgotten their successful run as beloved and worshiped gods in Egypt 5,000 years ago. Every cat has a picture of the Egyptian cat god Bast tacked up in some secret and hidden cat place. Seeing themselves as revered gods is hard-wired into the cat’s DNA. Royal names like Caesar, Cleopatra, Elizabeth, Josephine, Henry, or Quetzalcoatl might be pleasing cat names for kitty.

You might also link cat names to majestic feats. Jason and Hercules are two examples.

Cats Weave Magical Spells on People

This is a Magic Cat Planet

Cat Theme No. 3 tells us to be nice and not pick a stupid cat name.

Why? Because this is a magic cat planet regardless of what humans may think. Bet the farm on it. Besides magic, cats can beat us in a number of different ways.

Numerically, cats can out-produce us 50 to 1. They’re faster - 30 mph on the straight-away and 25 on the curve. Cats are more skillful. (Can you catch a mouse?) They can survive on things we throw away. (Who do you find in your garbage cans - the alley cat or your neighbor’s wife?) So cats have us beat on life and survival skills.

Additionally, cats weave magical spells on us to invite them in, feed them eyeball-gagging mush from cans and prepare a soft and warm spot on the bed. Can you magically persuade a stranger to take you in, feed you, lay you on a $300 duck down comforter and clean up your puke? The cat’s skill in spell casting is unrivaled.

We’re temporarily leasing this planet until cats evolve opposable thumbs to open cans of cat food. Then we’re finished.

Knowing that we’re physically outmatched, we’re under the cat’s spell and cats are working on growing thumbs, let’s be nice so we’re not tossed off Earth sooner than necessary. If your cat has fleas, don't insult kitty by naming him "Fleabag." Give the cat a treatment for fleas. Then find a good cat name.

Watch a Cat’s Behavior

Cat Rule No. 4 in finding cat names requires us to watch the cat’s behavior. Here’s an example.

We were loyal servants to a cat named OC. OC means “Outside Cat.” She was the cat that lived outside so OC, as a cat name, fit her situation well. She wasn’t allowed inside because the inside cats voted no on allowing her house privileges. That is, until she became pregnant. So we set aside a small box inside the house for her to birth the kittens and nurse them.

As the kittens grew, one tiger strip male stalked the kitchen. This cat knew that the kitchen was more than a room for his servants to fetch a pop and chip dip from the fridge. Cat cornucopia poured from that room. Soon, the kitchen became his territory.

Here’s how we discovered this kitty’s proper cat name.

Kasey Typing Upside Down

Kasey Found His Proper Cat Name in the Kitchen
Kasey Found His Proper Cat Name in the Kitchen

Kitchen Kitten Conversation

This is our typical kitten in the kitchen conversation:

Meow - whattaya doing? Is that food? Looks like food... Meow? Where’s mine? Let me in that cabinet - goodbye. (Crash!) Oh, hello. That’s a refrigerator, right? Purrrrr! Open it. I’ll jump in and look. Oops! There’s paws in the apple pie. Who did that? Well...clean me up. What’s that? A frying pan? Okay. Let me climb up to your shoulder and look. Don't need help. I’ll use my claws. Careful I don’t fall in the pan. Yep, looks like food. Meow!! Those are eggs, huh? Scrambled or over easy? Oh, look. Bacon! Purrrr! That’s food, right? You bet it is. Where’s mine? Don’t you dare set me on the floor. Gimme some - no, not a piece. I want the whole package.

It became obvious to name him KC, which means Kitchen Cat. Now we call him “Kasey.” It’s a good name and it’s his properly inscrutable cat name. He picked it. And it’s the right name for this cat.

Today people have gotten lazy. Cat owners don’t take time to find the mystery cat name. They’ll go to a cat name website and scan 50,000 names in alphabetical order. Most names don’t make it as cat names.

Are these cat names?


Of course not. This is a Russian couple ordering lunch in Italy.

Freyja Loved Cats

Cats, horney critters that they are, wear the name Freyja well
Cats, horney critters that they are, wear the name Freyja well

Horney Cats Can Wear the Royal Name Freyja

The ancient people, our ancestors, gave us good names with descriptive meanings. Some are great for cats. Let’s look at a few.

The Norsemen - Vikings - saw a Valhalla filled with gods they worshiped. One was Freyja, the goddess of love. Freyja loved cats and moved around the heavens in a fiery chariot drawn by a pair of royal cats. She also wore a jeweled necklace symbolizing her authority over sexuality. Cats, horny little critters that they are, would wear the name Freyja well. Just don’t forget the jeweled collar. Remember the royalty thing...

How about Thor? This hammer-wielding god of thunder was known for a ravenous appetite. Thor would order the banquet table filled with choice elk, bear, stag, fruits and vegetables and the finest wines in Valhalla. Thor would while away days devouring it all. So if you own a tough, fat cat with a big appetite, Thor might suit him well.

Slovanic lore gives us the name Leshey. Leshey was a blueblood god who was lord over forests and wild hinterlands. He enjoyed playing harmless tricks on people. Do you have an outdoor cat who plays tricks on you? Leshey may be his proper name.

There’s loads of fun finding cat names by reading the ancient legends of places like Mesoamerica, Egypt and Africa. Check it out.

A Cat Name Test

How do you know if you’ve found the right cat name? Call out the name you’ve picked.

If the cat:

1) Claws you
2) Runs to you
3) Kneads your belly
4) Meows
5) Purrs

You’ve found the right name.

On the other hand, if the cat:

1) Claws you
2) Walks away
3) Sprays the wall
4) Disappears
5) Dies
6) Vomits
7) Falls asleep

You have the wrong name. Keep searching.

Name a cavalier cat Puss 'n Boots

Simple Searches for Cat Names

You could choose a name from a list of the top 10 cat names. These lists, though, vary and never at all agree.

Here’s one list from the “catnamesmeow” website.

Top 10 for female kittys:

1. Goldie
2. Isis
3. Kitty
4. Lisa
5. Mimi
6. Missy
7. Pussy
8. Sheba
9. Suzy
10. Tabby

Top 10 for male kittys:

1. Bandit
2. Blackie
3. Charlie
4. Felix
5. Fritz
6. Jingles
7. Morris
8. Rebel
9. Scout
10. Tom

Picking cat names from lists is always an option. You might get lucky and find your cat’s deep and inscrutable name known only to your cat. And maybe not.

This Cat Expression Means Maybe or Maybe Not

Watch the cat's expression while reading names
Watch the cat's expression while reading names

This Cat Expression Means Maybe Not or Maybe

Deciphering Your Cat's Expression

It's not difficult to read a cat's expression.

Sit your cat down and start going over your carefully compiled list of cat names. As you read each name, note your cat's expression. If he's sleeping, you're name list is no good. Same if he walks away. Ditto if he coughs up a hairball.

If your cat makes a face like the photo to the top-right, that's a definite maybe or maybe not. Then again, he might be licking milk off his nose. Cats are, after all, inscrutable.

If his expression is similar to the photo at the bottom-right, that's a definite maybe not or maybe. By the process of elimination, you can get very close to picking the right name.

Hero Cat Name

How about naming your kitty after a hero cat? There’s a few around. Here’s one hero cat story:

During World War II, a cat named Faith moved into St. Augustine’s church in London. She would often sit at Father Henry Ross’ feet while he delivered the Sunday sermon.

In 1940, Faith bore a kitten the congregation named Panda. One night Faith removed Panda from the church and into the basement. No amount of calling or treats persuaded her to leave. The next day, the Nazis began the air attack on London. The church and surrounding buildings were destroyed by the bombs, while Faith stayed with her kitten and both survived.

Faith inspired Londoners in those dark days for her loyalty and bravery. At the end of the war, the Archbishop of Canterbury presented Faith with a special silver medal for her devotion. If you own a brave and faithful cat, Faith may be a good name.

Cats Defect in War

Cats may be brave in war for their own purposes, but that bravery isn’t translated well as allies on the human battlefield.

The Belgians, it’s said, tried to train cats to deliver messages on the battlefield. The effort was a dismal failure. The cats ignored orders, and sneaked away to the enemy’s side where the fish was fresher. So perhaps Belgian is an apt name to label a cat who won’t listen, is averse to training or lives with a neighbor. (Up your fish budget and the cat will return.)

Cats, independent and snooty, simply don’t concern themselves with human squabbles. As one observant wag wrote: “Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you.”

The Pleasure of Caressing the Tiger

Here’s a few witty quotes about cats. They may inspire you to find a name for your cat.

A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way - Mark Twain

After dark, all cats are leopards - American Indian proverb

Never try to outstubborn a cat - Lazarus Long

Cats must have three names - an everyday name, such as Peter; a more particular, dignified name, such as Quaxo, Bombalurina, or Jellylorum; and thirdly, the name the cat thinks up for himself, his deep and inscrutable singular Name. - T.S. Eliot

God created the cat so that man may know the pleasure of caressing the tiger - Fernand Mery, French writer

In a cat’s eyes, all things belong to cats - English proverb

An Afterlife Companion

If you don't own much more than a cat, Gregory is the cat's name
If you don't own much more than a cat, Gregory is the cat's name

Gregory and Cyprus

Countless stories about cats exist. See if you can find cat names in these factual tidbits.

Resting in a nearly 10,000-year-old tomb in Cyprus is a cat, laying next to his ancient but equally dead master. If you house a cat that sleeps all day next to you, you not only have an apt companion for the afterlife, you have a name for your cat - Cyprus.

The Siamese cat is believed to carry the souls of deceased royalty. The temple priests care for them and rich folk provide the Siamese cats the best food and housing quarters. Should your cat act like royalty, and which cat doesn’t, Siam may be the right cat name.

It’s said that St. Gregory owned nothing but one cat, who sat with him while he prayed. If you don’t own much more than a cat, Gregory is the cat’s name.

Jock and Sizi

Sir Winston Churchill, statesman and leader of Britain in World War II, enjoyed eating his meal with his kitten Jock beside him. If your cat eats with you, why not Jock as a name? Sir Winston is also a fine royal name.

Albert Schweitzer, doctor and world renowned humanitarian, would sometimes write prescriptions with his right hand because his cat Sizi liked to sleep on his favored left arm. The doctor refused to disturb his furry friend’s dreams. Should your cat exhibit humanitarian qualities - but do ask the neighborhood dogs and mice for their opinion - Doctor Albert or Sizi is a suitable cat name.

Abe and Sir Issac

Abraham Lincoln owned the first Whitehouse cat and named it Tabby. Abe won’t mind if your cat’s name is his name or that of his cat named Tabby.

Sir Issac Newton invented the cat flap so his kitty could enter and exit the house at will. A smart cat may appreciate the royal name Sir Issac.

French artists Renoir and Monet loved cats and portrayed several of them in their paintings. Monet as a cat name will be suitable for an “arty” cat, as would be Renoir.

Writer Charles Dickens lived with a kitten that would snuff out the candle when he wanted attention. The kitten was known as the “Master’s Cat.”

Teddy and Ta-Mieuw

President Theodore Roosevelt owned a cat named Slippers. A presidential tag like Teddy might be a proper name for a deadeye hunting cat. And if your cat chews up your slippers...well, use the name of Teddy’s cat - Slippers.

In ancient Rome, cats were believed to be the guardian spirit of a house and symbols of liberty. Liberty or Spirit could be your cat’s inscrutable name. Rome might fit, too.

Most cats in ancient Egypt did not have names: they were simply called Ta-Mieuw, or “The Meower,” out of respect for their position.

Now that we’ve traveled the world seeking cat names, from the ancient past to recent history, let’s home in on what we’re most familiar with - our own English-speaking world.


In 1937, cartoonist E.C. Segar, the creator of Popeye, employed an odd animal in his cartoon strip. The animal, “Eugene, the Jeep,” was able to move between the third and fourth dimensions, invisible in the fourth while also able to foretell the future.

So if your cat seems to disappear and magically reappear, maybe the right name is “Jeep.”


This word comes to us from the American Civil War. The phrase “all hunk” was familiar to everyone back then and it meant “to reach a goal” or “to be safe at home.” It was eventually transformed into “hunky-dory” by singing minstrel shows.

Is your cat happy and feels safe in your home? Then you have a “Hunky-Dory” cat.

Madcap and Chop Suey


One who is crazy, a maniac. This word goes back to Shakespeare’s time. Do you have a crazy cat? Here’s a crazy name.

Chop Suey

This comes from the English word “chop,” meaning chipped or cut, and the Chinese word “sui,” which is translated as “bits.” A cat that is bits of this breed and cuts of that breed is Chop Suey.

Daeges Eage

If your cat rises with the sun, Daisy may be the cats name
If your cat rises with the sun, Daisy may be the cats name


A thousand years ago our forebears noticed that the daisy opened its white pedals to greet the rising sun. The plant presented its golden center the entire day to old Sol as it tracked across the sky. Then in the evening it folded up again. Our ancestors named it “daeges eage,” meaning day’s eye.

We shortened it to daisy. If your cat rises with the sun and follows the warming rays from window to window, Daisy may be the cat’s name.

Roughrider and Gremlin


This comes to us from fighter pilots in early World War II. Small and completely invisible, this goblin took great delight in performing mischievous tricks on the engine, wings, propeller, gun or landing gear. If your cat is a trickster constantly surprising you with pesky feline tricks, you may have a cat by the name of Gremlin in the house.


Although associated with Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, its meaning is a man who specialized in breaking horses to harness - a bronco buster. If your cat engages with wild things, he may be Roughrider the Cat.


After work in the cane fields, black laborers would gather around an open fire with an iron pot suspended above. Into this pot were thrown fish and delectable corn pones, all cooked in fat. While the food cooked, the men told exciting stories of bear and panther hunts.  The hunting dogs lay at the edge of the fire pit, waiting for scraps. At a break in the story-telling, the dogs would whimper for a treat. One of the workers would reach over and break off a piece of cooling corn pone for the dogs while whispering: “Hush, puppy.”

Do you have a whiney cat always looking for scraps and treats? The correct name could be “Hushpuppy.”

Pollyanna and Slyboots


This describes a girl who was always cheery and found something to be happy about, even under the most trying circumstances. Seeing the bright side infected everyone she met.

Pollyanna might be an appropriate name for a happy cat you adopted from an animal shelter.


A “Slyboots” is a cunning or crafty person. One who moves in quiet and stealth. A close cousin is a “Pussyfoot,” meaning a prying, nosy person.

A cunning and quiet cat might be a “Slyboots.”

There you go - a few rules, tidbits and ideas on how to find inscrutable and singular cat names, the name the cat thinks up for himself.


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    • Frances Metcalfe profile image

      Frances Metcalfe 12 months ago from The Limousin, France

      One individual I used to know called her cat Ceremony because everybody stood on it. We called our Siamese Ming the Merciless due to his murderous behaviour and a friend has a cat called Aphrodite as really befits a cat's aloof demeanour.

    • profile image

      sarasota 2 years ago

      Wait, I'm confused. You said that cats would ''take over the planet'' as soon as they(cats) developed thumbs to open cat food cans. But before that you said they could (and some do) live off the stuff that we through away. Then about the cat food. Who would make it? From your view on things, they would have to evolve some more; which CANNOT happen. Then about the things we through away. Who would through them away? Certainly not cats. Other than all that it was a good hub.

    • korculablue profile image

      korculablue 6 years ago

      Absolutely loved your hub!!!! Very funny but WOW lots of truths in there. Cats are fascinating I have a five year old female called Bren(alias H.R.H)and a new kitten called Cindy (alias Fiend) she is a lot like your description of Kasey

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 7 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Great Hub - I share my life with several cats. One was named Mulligan because I thought it was male. Turns out she loved being a tomboy. And Ms. Mulligan is the boss cat. Fun Hub.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I loved this one! Our kitten seemed very interested in my son's banjo. So we named him Banjo - the name fits, he is one excellent cat! (Banjo does have thumbs!)

    • J Sunhawk profile image

      J Sunhawk 7 years ago from South Carolina

      Sam & Smudge...I bet you found the inscrutable names that cats know. I like it.

      As for human opposable thumbs, have you ever watched a cat type? Hitting the space bar without a thumb is tough.

    • arthurchappell profile image

      arthurchappell 7 years ago from Manchester, England

      love this hub, funny and philosophical, my cats Sam & Smudge seem to appreciate their names, but hmans are doomed once they evolve opposable thumbs oftheir own

    • J Sunhawk profile image

      J Sunhawk 7 years ago from South Carolina

      Thanks for the vote, DzyMsLizzy.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 7 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Very amusing, and some educational tidbits as well! Great read. Voted up!