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How We Chose the Names for Our Pets.

Updated on April 22, 2023
cherylone profile image

I have owned cats for over 60 years. Between them and their vets, I have learned a great deal about how they tick.

Just starting out.
Just starting out. | Source

Names Are As Unique As The Animals

All of our animals have names that match them to perfection (alright maybe not quite to perfection, but close). As each animal came into our lives, we would watch and play and be with them to figure out what we would name them. Often our animals seem to be their name. Sometimes they cause certain things to happen. Sometimes they make us laugh with their antics. And sometimes they just sit and look at you with those sad curious eyes.

Our animals have been cute, daring, curious, outrageous, cuddly, and, well, you get the idea. So we would fashion a simple name based on their personality and looks. I have described several of our animals below and described how we came by their names. I won't list them all, since that would make a book in and of itself, but I will list some of the more unusual ones. Many of them have gone on to a better place, but some are still around. I hope you enjoy the little trip into animal antics.

Yellow Striped Tiger Cat Called Jowl

Our first cat was a calico cat with short fur and a pleasant personality. He came to us on a cold rainy night in October. I had gone outside to set up our jack-o-lanterns for Halloween and there he was sitting under a bush with water dripping into his eyes. I took him inside and wrapped him in a towel and gave him some deli meat. Soon, he was washing himself dry and sitting on my couch like he owned it. We bought him some food and a bowl and litter box. We set him up in the house just like a king. He, however, didn't want to be in the house and would walk up to the litter box and mess right in front of it. Then he would yowl at the door as if his tail was on fire.

We finally gave in and let him out. He would roam for a few hours and then yowl at the door for us to let him in. He yowled for everything. No cute meow for him. After a day or two, we began calling him our 'yowler'. And since he had been found when I put out the jack-o-lanterns, we called him Jack Yowler. Soon that name was shortened to Jowl. We don't have a picture of him but he was a tough old calico, as you might have guessed.

Georgie And Charlie Both Jet Black

The next cats I'd like to talk about are two black kitties that we bought from a pet store. We noticed that one of the animals was extremely curious about everything. This fur-ball would climb into boxes, squeeze into tight corners and under furniture, and climb onto the TV and even the fridge. We named the cat 'Curious George' but, being female, we shortened it to 'Georgie'.

The other cat was long-haired and lay around more often than not. There was a cartoon on the TV about a character named Charlie that never did anything. So we named her Charlie (being a girl it was short for Charlene). She was queen over all she surveyed, and she was quick to let you know if you failed to acknowledge her. She really did rule over the roost since she was the longest-living of all our cats and other cats brought into the house seemed to do as she wanted without complaint.

Looks just like mine.
Looks just like mine. | Source

We Might Choose Names From The Cat's Behavior

Sometimes you will notice that your animals answer to certain sounds. Maybe that is what they feel is their own name. Try coming up with a name that has those sounds. By waiting to see what they did and how they behaved, we took the guesswork out of it. I know, everyone wants names they like for their animals, but by waiting a day or two you can actually get one that also fits.

Is the cat really gray and likes to climb into dusty places? How about Dusty? Does the cat like to nap a lot in the sun? How about Sunny? Then we found out that many of our names had been used many times before. So much for uniqueness, but at least the names fit the cats.


This cat came from a litter of strays. He was black and white and the smallest of her five babies. He had been taken out to the woods around our house and abandoned. He actually made his way back and she let him stay. He had extremely unique blue eyes (unusual for a dark cat) and he couldn't see very well in bright light. He would not have been able to hunt which is probably why his mother tried to abandon him. His eyes reminded me of the character in a vampire movie and that is where we got his name.

Kitty Litter is essential when you own a cat. I have used many but I like the scent and clumping ability of Fresh Step.


The next cat we found was Ash. She was roaming outside in a snowstorm skinny as a rail and the most loving thing you could imagine. We brought her in and kept her away from the others until we could get her checked out for diseases. The vet checked her the next day and told us that she was relatively healthy but very malnourished and was due to have kittens in about two weeks. She weighed about 4 pounds at the time, and you could count every rib. The vet said that because of her malnutrition, she might not be able to carry the kittens to full term. We said we would do our best and hope. The cat was very tiny and gray with burning orange eyes. What better name for her than the gray ashes of a hot fire? She had four beautiful kittens.

Looks angry to me. Ash got that look sometimes.
Looks angry to me. Ash got that look sometimes. | Source

Be Open To New Ideas

Sometimes we want to be unique with the names of our pets, and that's great. I'm not telling you how to name your pets, I'm only telling you how we did it. Who knows, maybe you will get some ideas from my hub. I have heard some really unique ones like Horrace for a dog the size of a man's fist. Or Daisy for a German Shepard and a St. Bernard. They may seem a bit strange to us, but to the families of the animals, they seem perfect. And, since the animals only know the tones and not the words, they are just fine with whatever you call them.

Well, some cats do think they are tigers.
Well, some cats do think they are tigers. | Source

Our Last Kitty is B.J.

BJ (Benjamin Franklin Cat-to-be-Formal) was found in an abandoned parking lot. He was dirty, wet, hungry, and scared. It was spring with all the spring rain and cool air. He looked to be about 6 weeks but his cries were more like soft whispers for help. Sitting next to him, dirty, torn, and broken, was a kite. A small key was slightly buried in the mud where he sat. We took him home, cleaned him up, and fed him. His yellow tiger coloring made him unique in a community of calicos and black or gray tigers. After a day or two, my son and daughter were talking about him at the dinner table. My daughter asked what we were going to name him and my son said why not Benjamin Franklin since the cat must have been trying the same experiment that Benjamin Franklin was doing. The name stuck and became BJ for short.

Please Note

You are under no obligation to name your animal anything. You don't even have to use the name they came with. They might be slow at first, but once they know that is your sound for them, they will come. Or maybe not since many of our cats believed they owned us, not the other way around.

Actual Photos of The Cats I Have Described

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is an actual photo of Louie.  He was definitely one of the biggest cats we had.CharlieAsh BJ
This is an actual photo of Louie.  He was definitely one of the biggest cats we had.
This is an actual photo of Louie. He was definitely one of the biggest cats we had. | Source
Charlie | Source
Ash | Source
BJ | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Cheryl Simonds


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