These Are The Most Popular Cat Names of The Past 100 Years

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Cats have long been associated with royalty, as any cat will happily make clear. So it should come as no surprise that one of the most popular names for cats over the last century has been Princess.

That’s just one of the findings in a recent study of pet names, based on a survey of domestic animals who have been buried in the country’s oldest pet cemetery, Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Westchester County, New York. Researchers from FirstVet, a global veterinary telehealth service, analyzed more than 25,000 name records from animals interred starting in 1905.

“At FirstVet, we’re fascinated by the relationships between owners and their animals, and the naming of pets by humans is one of the key elements of animals being viewed as companions and family members by people,” says Gabriel Corredor, U.S. country manager for FirstVet. “It’s only through a uniquely substantial resource such as Hartsdale’s records that we can start to glean ideas about trends and statistics in modern pet names.”

Of course, the results come with a variety of caveats. First, given the millions of pets in the United States. over the past 115 years, 25,000 may not be especially representative. Second, even today, most cats and dogs aren’t buried; those that were a century ago almost certainly came from more affluent socio-economic groups, and the names they chose also may not be all that representative.

Still, naming animals has been a human tradition for almost as long as we’ve kept pets, says Gabriel, citing archaeological research showing that Egyptians may have named their cats as early as 10 centuries before the birth of Christ. So the Hartsdale results do shed some light on what we call our cats and why we choose those names:

  • Despite Princess’ overall popularity –  it was the most common pet name in the cemetery – and despite the prevalence of other royalty-themed names like Duke, King and Lady, the most popular cat name over the entire period was Tiger. Gabriel says that may be because many U.S. cats in the early 20th century were European-style “tabby” cats, with distinctive tiger-like striped markings
  • Starting in 1960 (there were no results compiled before that), the most popular cat names were Cindy (1960s); Ginger (1970s); Tiger (1980s); and Smokey (1990s, 2000s).  Save for Tiger, this doesn’t seem to fit any other naming pattern.
  • Many cat names thought to be common, like Whiskers and Snowball, weren’t. This surprised the FirstVet analysts, who also saw the same thing with dog names like Rover and Spot.
  •     • Baby appears third in the list of most common names for cats in the 1990s, and remains popular throughout the 2000s and 2010s. Perhaps, says Gabriel, that might have something to do with the popularity of the movie Dirty Dancing, which was released in 1987 and includes the line, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”

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23 thoughts on “These Are The Most Popular Cat Names of The Past 100 Years”

  1. We named one of are cats “Charles”.
    He preferred going by “Charlie” he felt the it made him more approachable.
    Most of his friends called him”Chuck”.

  2. Maria Eloisa Damele

    I rescued two cats. One is a very handsome white cat, and his name is Johnny Depp Jr. The other is tabby/marbled, very small for malnutrition before birth, and he has a terrific story of when he was only 4 weeks old and was put inside a bag with his 3 siblings. He was very bold and courageous and made a whole in the bag, went out and cross an ave. full of cars looking for help. For his little size and his boldness and courage, I named him Peter Dinklage Jr.

  3. Maria Eloisa Damele

    My cats are very special. One is a very handsome white cat, and his name is Johnny Depp Jr. The other is tabby/marbled, very small for malnutrition before birth, and he has a terrific story of when he was only 4 weeks old and was put inside a bag with his 3 siblings. He was very bold and courageous and made a whole in the bag, went out and cross an ave. full of cars looking for help. For his little size and his boldness and courage, I named him Peter Dinklage Jr.

  4. Our 1.3 yr old cat’s name is Shadow as she follows us around the house. Our 16 yr. old cat has always taken to “yelling” off and on during the day and NIGHT but she is getting worse! She does not have any health issues (we’ve checked) she doesn’t like to visit (she never did) preferring to remain in one room.
    She is well fed, groomed, loved – we visit her often during the day so she doesn’t get lonely! But out of the blue, she starts “yelling her head off!” She is a mix and has some Siamese in her, but it’s getting out of hand, any suggestions? If I say loudly, “Lily, stop it!” She usually does, but then starts up again in a while.

  5. I have seven I have rescued from the streets and are named related to when and where they were found. Moon because he was found on Mid-Autumn Festival which is a full moon, Skye because he appeared on my 17th floor balcony and no one in the building had lost him, so he fell out of the sky, Aqua because I found her during a monsoon rainstorm, Nyx as she is totally black, so the Greek goddess of the night, Gaia because she to took care of Nyx in the derelict house they were living in, Gaia is the Greek goddess similar to Mother Earth. Eros because he is a lover, even in the street and Rhea as the Greek mother goddess of them all.

  6. Most people think they may be allergic to cats but it may be something else. Get allergy testing first. It would help to vacuum daily in case it’s dander. Make sure your cat is kept up to date with flea & worm treatment.

  7. Our M-series cats have included:
    Merlin
    Muffin
    Mercy
    Mellow
    Molly
    Magic
    Mandy
    Misty
    Mai Tai
    Morgan
    Merilyn (sometimes Millicent)
    Maverick

  8. Heather Wells-Jones

    Tulip is our 4 year old Ragdoll’s name. I love the flower and i wanted a name that was different to other cats. She is adorable and as beautiful as the flower

  9. Jorge Ortiz Colom

    Right on… the name of my female cat is “Bebé” (the Spanish and French form for “Baby”)! So she has the third most common name… she was adopted in 2020.

  10. “given the millions of pets in the United States. over the past 115 years, 25,000 may not be especially representative” – ya think? ;)

    This article should have been titled “The Most Popular New York Cat Names Of The Past 100 Years.”

    I’m sure “Whiskers” ranks high in any TRUE list of cat names. I have one right now. I ran out of imaginative names by the time I got to him.

  11. My motto (since growing up and leaving adolescence behind) is to always give my cats dignified “human” names. They are intelligent creatures and deserve to have a name that comes with respect. I have had: Katie (I was 7), Vincent, Pandora, Ophelia, Zander, Jake, Tyler, and Stanley (RIP). I now have Olivette, Olympia, Maeve, Tallulah, Jasper, Spencer, and Zavier.

    The only cat who was called something else “officially” was Blue. That is because I struggled with what to name him, and referred to him as Little Blue Kitten for several weeks. By the time I settled on Sam, it was too late. He didn’t answer to Sam, not ever. He only answered to Blue, Little Blue, and other nicknames that had nothing to do with Sam.

    (This is why Little Orange quickly became Oliver until I discovered that my outdoor orange and white stray who was wintering over in a warm box was actually full of kittens. Hence, Olivette. Jasper, Spencer, Zavier, and Olympia are her kittens, and yes, all are indoors and speutered.)

    I suppose in order to continue the first initial motif with O, J, S, Z and T being predominant, I’ll need to name the next batch with M and V names and maybe a P.

  12. I named my cats with my grainfree diet no body has these names Almondmeal Pecan pie and Apple maybe Apple I have gotten a lot of compliments and inquiry about these names.

  13. Ronald Krikorian

    My 11 yr old cat has chronic pancreatitis as well as urinary issues such as blood in the urine as well as E. coli! He also strains when he uses the litter box! Vet prescribed Uromaxx! Great product it works! I also give him Phytomaxx CBD oil to relax his urinary tract! He has done great on both of these products! The company ANP is located in New York! Phone # 800 224-6805

  14. I have always preferred people’s names when naming my pets. My cat is named Oscar; I have had dogs named George Mortimer and Maximum Nabisco (called him Max). I feel that this humanizes a pet by naming him/her with a name which describes how your pet looks. Far better than naming your great dane “Tiny” or your short-haired cat “Fluffy.” I know that my future bulldog would be “Winston” and my pair of beagles would be “Bogart” and “Bacall.”

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