Should You Let Your Kids Name Your Cat?


As T.S. Eliot wrote, “The naming of cats is a difficult matter,” and I think that’s the truth. As a pet parent, I’ve always made really conscious decisions when naming our cats. I research meanings, observe behaviors and personalities, and generally put quite a bit of thought into the process. When I think about it, I really don’t know why I fuss so much because I usually wind up calling my cats by a dozen or so nicknames, anyway.

Kids have no problem naming pets, and usually don’t need but a few seconds to bestow what they think is a fitting name upon the family’s new addition. They’re completely confident in the logic behind their choice, even though we adults would probably never, ever choose the moniker they feel is undeniably perfect.

I’m sort of a control freak and have never completely felt 100 percent comfortable handing over the name-choosing to my children when they were young. My son was (and still is) a fan of potty humor, and heaven knows we didn’t want a cat named Poo-Poo-Pee-Pee. Although I think the name Poo-Poo-Pee-Pee is kind of hysterical, I’d never pass that scatological signature on to one of my kitties.

They might have also wound up with simple, obvious names like Cat, Kitty, or Meow. Not that there’s anything wrong with those names — I guess I prefer something a little more creative. You know, like Poo-Poo-Pee-Pee.

I kid.

I recently ran across an online discussion board where parents shared their opinions about and experiences with children naming the family pet. Some parents shared my concern with the possibility of winding up with bodily fluid-themed names.

The person posing the original question wrote that she’d met a little girl who told her she had a goat named Dirt because he had the appearance of dirt and poop, and her mother wouldn’t allow the goat to be named Poop. Another contributor shared that her child wanted to name their pet Butt-Fart, but the parents insisted he go with his second choice, Blue. Still colorful, but in a different way.

Not all children go down the poop path when left to their own devices to choose a name. I’ve known some kids who named their pets after their favorite Disney or Nickelodeon characters, and that makes sense. And Whiskers, Fluffy, and Mittens have stood the test of time. And then there are those who pick random names that don’t seem to have any relevance whatsoever. Contributors on the discussion board shared that their young ones gave their pets names like Sneeze, Bread, Huh, and my personal favorite, Meow Mix Everybody.

In a way, I wish I’d relinquished a little control and given my kids free rein in naming our cats. I’d probably ask them to give me their top three choices, and then weed out the puke-butt-poop ones. As a parent, I know it’s the right thing to give your child choices, in general, so they feel like they’re involved in decisions. I fully support that parenting technique, and have used it many times. I don’t think, however, I’m ready to call the vet and say, “Butt-Fart needs his rabies shot.”

Would you allow your kids to name your cat? Have you done so already? Tell us the names in the comments!

Read More by Angie Bailey:

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About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in a comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.

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