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Cat Names: The Complete Guide to Christening Your Cat

You have a cat. It needs a name. We have some ideas. You know we're kidding, right? Right?!

 |  Jun 18th 2012  |   34 Contributions


Let's talk cat names. How did you come up with yours? We present nine popular naming categories for cats and what they say about you and your cat. Not you, actually. Maybe someone you know?

1. Cat Names: The Alcoholic Variety

If you name your cat after an alcohol -- Coors, Pinot, Bartels & Jaymes -- you're probably still in college and have pet names for the days of the week, like Thursday Thursdays and Throw Up Mondays. Don't worry: College is for making mistakes, and your 20s is for undoing those mistakes (and your 30s is for realizing those weren't mistakes at all, and your 40s is for making those exact same mistakes). As a rough guideline, if you name your cat after booze, you have bigger problems than naming a cat.  

You're my best friend, High Life. Both of you. Young man with beer by Shutterstock.com.

Recommended names: Wine, Hard Lemonade, Faygo & Jack, Smirnoff Ice Acai.

2. Cat Names: Militaristic Types

At root, you understand your cat is a killing machine, a bloodthirsty slaughterer of innocents who buries his face in entrails and laps up bloody effluvia like an insane ... ah, excuse me. Ahem. That got away from me.

Anyway, if you go the military route, I encourage you to leapfrog ranks and get your cat situated right in the upper echelons of the force -- hell, no brigadier general got to where he is by following orders. Although, to be sure, I wouldn't knock anyone starting off private first class. Let PFC Cat earn his stars with a few kills.

PFC Sandwich defending the baseboards. Cat staring at mouse by Shutterstock.com.

Recommended names: Lieutenant General Pickles, Chief Warrant Officer Blueberry (ret.), Rear Admiral Buttonchops.

3. Celebrity Cat Names

When naming your cat after a celebrity, always, always, always use the full name of the celebrity. Your cat is not Emilio -- she's Emilio Estevez. Add a touch of bio material for flash: Emilio Estevez Star of Men at Work, Fallow-Period Anthony Michael Hall, Post-SNL Andy Samberg. You're naming your cat after a celebrity, after all. People are going to talk. Let's give them something to say. 

Recommended names: 1993 Series Premiere Jason Priestley, Pantene-Era Jennie Garth. Do not name your cat after Brian Austin Green.

4. Literary Cat Names

When you really get down to it, not many people know how literary you are, that you read more than street signs, that you read fiction, and not only Twilight and Hunger Games but also Jane Smiley, and what better place to hang the solution to that problem than on your cat?

Oh, sure, you can tell people about your love of books, but inserting a bon mot about David Foster Wallace into your endless conversations about Pepsi and Ke$ha can be rather tiring. Your cat, however, is a megaphone that announces to the room: LIT! TRA! CHUR!

Stop telling me about Rimbaud. Cat and books by Shutterstock.com.

However, we suggest doing so with style. Singlehandedly, you can kickstart the proper pronunciations of Goethe and Proust among the neighborhood children. Why not reignite interest in the lesser characters of Moby-Dick; or, The Whale? Do not name your cat David Foster Wallace. 

Recommended names: Flask, Father Mapple, Bildad, Perth, Peter Coffin, Dough-Boy, Derick De Deer, Hosea Hussey.

5. Cat Names: When Things Get Presidential

Odd-numbered presidents only, skipping the 13th and the 27th. Use full names, with initials for middle names. NICKNAMES ARE NOT OKAY. Use caution from 1849 to 1889. Do not veer from these guidelines. 

Recommended names: Zachary Taylor, John Tyler, Chester A. Arthur, Franklin Pierce

6. Cats Named After Royalty

Avoid royalty, as it avoids you. If you are royal, then choose someone from history whom your family has murdered, to show all the aunts and uncles that you appreciate a good psychotic joke as much as the next royal. If you are not royal, the only acceptable name is King Jodhpurs the Bastard.

Recommended names: Viscount Gerald Keighery Bidwell, Lord Owen Elcoote Waren, Inquisitor Cornelius Byfeld, Viceroy Ronnie Heelon Sweeney, Burgrave I. Whalon Wooga, Count Palatine S. Goodison Brereton. 

Stop telling me I rule. Cat king by Shutterstock.com.

7. Rock Star Cat Names

If you are naming your cat after a rock star, you already have a loose grip on reality and this could send you over the edge. So, let's fly: Go with Scott Stapp, lead singer of Creed. 

Recommended names: Scott Stapp, lead singer of Creed. Also acceptable: Ed Kowalczyk, former lead singer of Live.

8. Generic Cat Names

There's a certain sort of owner who, when trying to name a cat, looks at it for ten seconds, cocks his or her head, and says something boring like Bill or Fred, much to the dismay of their significant others. There is nothing to be done about these kinds of people. Just grin and plan your exit strategy.  

Recommended names: Frank? 

9. Titular Cat Names

If you name the cat after itself -- Cat -- you'd better be adorable. You better be asking Siri to order some tomato soup in the rain when you're filming a commercial about your adorkable bangs in between your myriad creative projects, the very least of which is the underwhelming New Girl. (Jess's roommates suck.)

I feel like a prop. Girl holding cat by Shutterstock.com.

If you're not adorable, that's fine, too. You'll just have named your cat wrong, according to this guide.

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