Cat

America’s 20 Most Popular Female And Male Cat Names

Molly? Felix? Naming a new cat used to be a straightforward task.

But modern owners appear increasingly adventurous when choosing a name for their feline.

A new survey suggests pop culture and current affairs often play a role in the process.

Announcing its ninth annual report of the year’s most popular pet names, Rover.com, a marketplace for pet care, said: With soaring pet adoption rates and extra time spent at home over the past year, a lot of dogs and cats were given new names in 2021 that showcase the personalities of both the pet and pet parent.”

Cat behavior expert Mikel Delgado offered the following light-hearted tips to consider when deciding upon a name for a new feline addition to your household.

He said: “Have fun when naming your cat. Don’t be afraid to give your cat a creative name, or to give them a cute middle name or title/profession (e.g., Professor, Judge, President).

“Keep it positive—don’t name your cat something mean or derisive. Let your cat’s personality play a role in the name you choose.

“Keeping your cat’s name short (one or two syllables) will be easier when training your cat to come when you call them. It will just provide a much clearer cue to your cat that you are talking to them.

A pair of Cornish Rex kittens.
Naming a new cat used to be a straightforward task, with many kitties selected from some classic title such as Smudge and Sooty

“It’s okay to change their name down the road if the first name you picked isn’t quite right.

“Calling your cat’s name before they get food and treats associate their name with good things and help them quickly learn their name.”

He added while cats are likely to respond to the tone of their masters’ voices, kitties likely also respond more to the long “ee” sound than other sounds.

As a result, he recommends naming your cat a name that ends with that sound, such as “Buddy” and “Baby”.

This year’s survey also highlights numerous notable entries which did not crack the top twenty most popular cat names of 2021.

COVID-19 inspired names like Fauci (up 443 percent) and Covi (up 43 percent) were trending up, while Rona and Covid witnessed a downward trend this year.

Stock image of a kitten
Cat owners now appear increasingly adventurous when choosing a name for their feline
Getty Images

The survey found the top five trending cat names were Megan (up 1,700 percent), Disney, (up 1,200 percent), Devon (up 1,200 percent), Lukas (up 1,200 percent) and Jolly (up 1,100 percent).

The survey was carried out between September and October 2021, with results based on an analysis of millions of user-submitted pet names provided by owners on Rover.com.

Secondary data was collected by a Rover survey conducted via Pollfish among 1,000 U.S.-based adult pet owners in October 2021.

Top 20 Female Cat Names 2021

A kitten sleeping.
Rover.com, the world’s largest online marketplace for pet care, said their “report showcases what cultural moments [have] made an impact.”
iStock / Getty Images Plus

20. Kiki

The name Kiki is of French origin, meaning “double happiness.”

19. Molly

Molly, and its many spelling variations, is a diminutive of the Hebrew name Mary.

18. Rosie

Rosie is a name of English origin and is a diminutive form of the name Rose, which is itself of Latin origin.

17. Pepper

The name Pepper is primarily a female name of American origin that unsurprisingly means “hot spice.”

A kitten running in a field.
Have fun when naming your cat
master_ace via iStock / Getty Images Plus

16. Penny

Penny is an English diminutive of the Greek name Penelope, originating from “pēnē”, meaning woven cloth and “lepō,” meaning “to peel.”

15. Olive

The name Olive is of Latin origin and means “olive tree.” It’s the English and French word for the type of tree and is derived from the Latin oliva.

14. Willow

The name Willow is of English origin and means “willow tree” and “freedom.”

13. Sophie

The name Sophie is of French and Greek origin and means “wisdom.”

12. Daisy

This flower name comes from the Old English word dægeseage, meaning “day’s eye.”

11. Cleo

This name, a shortened version of Cleopatra, is a Greek prefix often translated to mean “pride”, “fame” or “glory.”

10. Lola

This name is a short form of the Spanish name Dolores, meaning “sorrows.”

A playful kitten looking at toy.
Keep it positive—don’t name your cat something mean or derisive
iStock / Getty Images Plus

9. Zoe

Zoe is a first name of Greek origin, meaning “life.”

8. Stella

Stella is a female given name of Latin and Italian origin, meaning “star,” which has experienced a resurgence in popularity among both pets and humans.

7. Chloe

Chloe is a feminine name meaning “blooming” or “fertility” in Greek.

6. Kitty

Kitty or Kittie is an Irish feminine given name, derived from Catherine or Katherine and a classic, if a little predictable title given to cats.

5. Nala

Persian
It’s okay to change their name down the road if the first name you picked isn’t quite right
Olivia7/Getty Images

Nala is a popular multicultural name of African origin traditionally used to name a girl.

4. Lucy

Lucy is an English and French feminine given name derived from the Latin masculine given name Lucius with the meaning “lighty.”

3. Lily

Lily is an English name used about the popular white, showy flower, while also traditionally signifying purity and innocence.

2. Bella

Bella is related to the Latinized words for “beautiful,” which is back in vogue with cat owners too.

1. Luna

The most popular female cat name in 2021 is Luna, which means “moon” in Latin. This was also the most popular name for female dogs this year.

Top 20 Male Cat Names 2021

A kitten being cuddled on a shoulder.
With soaring pet adoption rates and extra time spent at home over the past year, a lot of cats were given new names in 2021 that showcase the personalities of both the pet and pet parent
iStock / Getty Images Plus

20. Henry

Henry is believed to be derived from the French name Henri, which in turn is thought to be derived from the name Heimeric, an old German name that means “house ruler”—apt for cats.

19. Louie

The name Louie is primarily a male name of English origin, meaning “famous warrior.”

18. Binx

The meaning of Binx varies as it is an invented name, with some claiming it means “God’s gift”, while others suggest it instead means “fairy” or “elf.”

17. Simon

Simon is a common name, from Hebrew meaning “listen” or “hearing.”

16. Finn

This boy’s name of Irish origin is said to mean “fair or white.”

15. Tiger

This name follows an apparent trend in recent years for cat owners to name their pets after other animals.

American Curl
Calling your cat’s name before they get food and treats associate their name with good things and help them quickly learn their name
White_bcgrd/Getty Images

14. Toby

Toby is a popular, usually male, name from the Middle English vernacular form of Tobias, which in itself is the Greek transliteration of a word translating as “good.”

13. Oscar

Oscar is a culture spanning name meaning “friend of deer.”

12. Smokey

This old-fashioned name is most often associated with famous namesakes including Motown singer Smokey Robinson and cartoon character Smokey the Bear.

11. Buddy

The meaning of the name Bud is derived from the colloquial term of address used in the U.S.

10. Jasper

Jasper is the male name often believed to be of Persian origin, meaning “treasurer.”

A kitten sleeping on a blanket.
While cats are likely to respond to the tone of their masters’ voices, kitties likely also respond more to the long “ee” sound than other sounds
gurinaleksandr/iStock/Getty Images Plus

9. Ollie

This popular cat name arrives from the Latin name Olive, referring to the olive tree, which also thought to mean “elf warrior” or “elf army.”

8. Loki

The name Loki is primarily a male name of Scandinavian origin that means “trickster God,” with a popular marvel character likely explaining its high ranking in this year’s list.

7. Jack

Jack is traditionally the masculine form of the name and means “God is gracious.”

6. Simba

Simba is a Swahili word for “lion,” reflecting the principal Disney Lion King character Simba in sub-Saharan Africa heritage.

5. Max

This is officially short for Maximilian, meaning “greatest” and Maxwell, meaning “great spring,” however, the name is now often used on its own as a boys’ name for both cats and humans alike.

Bengal cat
Covid-19 inspired names like Fauci (443%) and Covi (43%) were trending up for cat names
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4. Charlie

The name Charlie is of English origin and means “free man,” as well as being a diminutive of both Charles and Charlotte.

3. Milo

The name Milo is a boy’s name of German origin meaning “soldier or merciful.”

2. Leo

Stemming from the Latin word for “lion,” the name Leo dates back centuries.

1. Oliver

The most popular male cat’s name in 2021 is Oliver, just as it was in 2020. The name originates from Old Norse and means “ancestor’s descendants.”