A freelance writer living in Perth, and always on the search for something new, different and exciting.
Published July 19th 2011
It purrs. It snuggles. It beckons you with big pleading eyes, until you find yourself tearing open a can of tuna while praising them for being so gosh-darn-cute in that pathetic baby voice.
So doesn't the greatest gift to the common household, deserve a less-than-common name? After all, you don't want to live with a boring Fluffy or Soxy, and a ginger cat called Tiger? C'mon people, you can do better.
While choosing a quirky name for your new cat or kitten can be fun and unique, you also want to choose something you won't be embarrassed to call out from your back porch at dinner-time. Long names are also a bit tricky. Imagine screeching out 'Princess Poddy-von-bot-bot' every time you find a mouse carcass at the end of your bed. It just doesn't have the same sharp impact as something like 'Pavvy' or 'Pookie'.
To help you out, here are a few simple tips to selecting the most awesome name for your new cat or kitten.
1.GENDER. Is it a girl or boy? Once you determine this, your options are immediately halved. If you're thinking of doing the 'new-age' thing by calling your boy cat a girl name or vice versa, remember that you'll have to explain to every person who meets your cat why it's not really the gender they think it is. Annoying.
2. FEATURES. Look at the markings. Is there something unique about your little bundle of fur? For example, if they've got a white patch on their chest that looks like a tux, they could be the next 'Bond'. If your kitty is missing or has a torn ear, they could be a 'Van Gogh'.
3. PERSONALITY. Observe your new arrival for a day or two and see what kind of cat they are. Their personality is often the easiest way to decide on a new name. For example, if they scamper away at any noise maybe they're a 'Skit'. Do they like to sleep in all the warm spots? Perhaps you have a 'Crispy'.
Starting his life with a string of vet visits, our little man earned the name 'Jinx'
4. TOP FIVE. Write a list of your top 5 names, and run them past others in your household. Try to choose the one you'll all agree on, and keep the others for back-up in case your cat initiates their 'right of refusal' (see below). If you have two cats, try not to give them a name that's too similar in sound, like Tilly and Milly, as this will only confuse them. It's also very lazy - make the effort to get creative.
5. RE-ENFORCE. Over the next week repeat their name whenever and wherever possible so they can get used to it, and recognise its meaning. Interestingly cats pick up quicker on names that start with a consonant.
6. RIGHT OF REFUSAL. Does your kitty STILL ignore their new name? Would you have better luck calling a gold fish into the room? They may just have a hearing problem, or more likely - they don't like your choice. Go back to the 'top five' and have another go until you find one that fits.
Our little princess was originally called 'Flick' for 2 days, until we decided she was more suited to the name 'Muppet'
Have a look at a list of cat names contributed from all over the world at Great Cat Names. To search via category, such as breed and colour, take a look at Cat Names Meow. If you'd prefer something different that also has meaning, check out Fun Cat Names. For example, Muskan means 'smile'.
There are plenty of sites on the internet offering name ideas, suggestions and inspiration, so there's no excuse to settle on 'Puss 'MMMLXIV'. Take your time, get it right, and you and your new furniture clawer will enjoy a fabulous tuna-filled life together.