If anyone has a good handle on companion animal names, it's Veterinary Pet Insurance (now Nationwide pet insurance). Every year, staffers dig through the records of the company's 550,000 insured animals to find the most popular and most unusual names.
While Bella has been the most popular name for female cats for 10 years, other names are now climbing to the top of the list.
Many people name their cats for favorite characters in books and movies. But millennials, it seems, have different heroes and heroines than the rest of us.
“Our data shows that the next generation of pet owners is using different methods and references" to name their animal companions says Curtis Steinhoff, director of pet insurance communications for Nationwide.
Darn. I really like the way some of these soon-to-be-passe names sound. Along with Bella, the most popular cat names in 2015 were Max, Oliver, Chloe, Lucy, Lily, Charlie, Sophie, Tiger and Shadow.
Among the most unusual were Leonardo DiCatprio, Sophistikitty, Sir Theodorable Purrsalot, Dudley Dowrong, Fuzzbucket, Ms.Tuftytoes and Rumblemuffin.
What's In A (Cat) Name
I didn't change Soda's name when he came here because I've never been very good at choosing cat names. But if you're adopting a cat, or if you've just adopted one, it's okay to change the cat's name. Many people think a new name represents a fresh start as the cat begins a new and happier life.
So here are a few things to keep in mind as you're thinking about names for your new cat.
- Choose a name you can say with love and respect. Even if your cat has just moved in from outside and smells to high heaven, resist the urge to call him something like Stinker. Cats pick up on our thoughts, and every time he hears the name Stinker, he'll get the image of a dirty, smelly cat.
- Keep it short. Sir Theodorable Purrsalot is cute, but that's a lot of words and syllables to say when you're calling someone in to dinner. If you and the cat really want a long name, come up with a short call version that he'll recognize and that you can say quickly.
- Pick a name that will last a lifetime. Baby fits a kitten, but when your cat's a dignified adult, she's not going to appreciate being called a baby. Again, cats pick up on our thoughts and the mental images we send them.
- Cats seem to like the sound of "s" and usually respond well to names that end with "eee."