I bet you had no idea that someone was actually tracking kitten name trends. I didn’t either, until I heard about Vetstreet’s annual survey of popular cat names. They looked over the names of more than 643,000 cats born in 2012 and found that using adjectives to name your cat (Blackie, Snowball, Smokey, Stripes, Mittens) is out, and human monikers are in.
To my pleasant surprise, the list is mercifully free of the woeful excesses that parents inflict on their human babies by playing fast and loose with vowels and silent letters. Nope, the cats got lucky: Their names will fit on their ID tags and their vets will be able to pronounce and spell them.
Here are the big winners — and the big losers — in the kitty name game.
Top 10 most popular male cat names
Kitty? Really? You couldn’t do any better than that? Okay, full disclosure: I had a cat named Kitty once, but that was only because he almost died when he was a newborn because his mother didn’t have enough milk, and we weren’t sure he was going to survive despite our efforts at nursing him back to health. By the time it was clear he was going to make it, the name had stuck. At least we had an excuse!
Top 10 most popular female cat names
2. Kitty (sigh)
7. Lily (with one L)
9. Lilly (with two L’s)
Yes, my newest adoptee is named Bella. And yes, she was born in 2012. I must, however, clarify that my Bella is short for Belladonna and she was not named after Bella of Twilight saga fame.
So those are the most popular names, but what are the long-term trends indicating for feline monikers? After looking back over name data for the last 12 years, Vetstreet came to the conclusion that the following names were rising fastest in popularity.
Top 10 trendiest male cat names
I can’t be the only one who thinks most of these sound like dog names, not cat names.
Top 10 trendiest female cat names
The name Katniss is apparently on the rise as well, which isn’t surprising given the huge popularity of The Hunger Games. I wouldn’t be surprised if more Hunger Games names started appearing: One of my nieces named the newest family cat Prim, and I think Peeta, Gale, Rue, and perhaps even Haymitch will start climbing the charts, too.
For every name trending up, one has to trend down. Here are the names that are falling fastest in popularity.
Top 10 least trendy male cat names
My 11-year-old Thomas is too much of a gentleman to express his true feelings about the fact that such a noble name seems to be going by the wayside.
Top 10 least trendy female cat names
6. Miss Kitty (Okay, at least you’ve acknowledged that Kitty has a sex, so that’s a little better)
I kinda like the name Sweetie, so I’ll be sorry to see it go. On the other hand, if you have a giant orange cat who looks ready to take out anyone who crosses his path but acts super loving and you’ve named him Sweetums, you get extra-double-cool cat-name points!