Choosing the right name for your cat

Beyond Fluffy, Midnight or Snowflake: Choosing an Appropriate Unconventional Name for Your New Cat

My cats have interesting names. They aren’t names you’d normally call a child, mind you, but they’re also not those diminuative, sickeningly sweet names you normally associate with little girls and old ladies’ pets. My cats’ names reflect their personalities. Why is this important? Well, yes, of course because I will be using their names for years and years, but also because it affects the way visitors to my home treat my animals. Think this isn’t true? When’s the last time you let your three-year-old pat “Killer” the dog without hesitation? The same holds true for cats, although we don’t think about it as much. So pick a name that you think matches your cat’s personality as well as a name that solicits the type of attention for him or her that you think matches this personality.

There’s another reason to choose a creative name for your kitty… It is a reflection on your intelligence and personality. Ever wonder why some people’s cats are named “Einstein” and “Mozart”? Granted, these people clearly have something to prove, but on the other hand, they’re onto something. Your cat is clearly not just a possession and reflection of yourself like a piece of furniture is, she is a member of the family, however (like furniture) she is going to be a constant in your home, so pick something that you think is clever. Oh, and by clever, I don’t mean something trendy… Your cat will be with you for a long while (if you’re lucky), so avoid names like “Dora the Explorer” in favour of your child’s favourite TV show. Your kid’s going to grow up you know. And he is probably not going to be keen on that show forever.

On the subject of children, then, please don’t let your child name your pet. The reality is that despite your child’s best intentions YOU will be the one to care for the animal. And when your child’s gone away to university, how stupid will you feel about “Brownie” or “Sugarpop”? To appease your child, why not let her pick the cat’s “middle name”. Just a thought.

Lastly, think of your pet. Cats respond best to names with the letter “s” and the “ee” sound in them as it catches their attention. Another good choice is “x” (and don’t tell me you can’t think of one… be creative!). Be nice to your pet and pick a name that is easy for them to differentiate from other pet and family names. How disappointed would you be if you thought someone was calling your name for dinner, but it turns out they were actually calling someone else? Choose a name that’s distinctive in sound and markedly different than other names used in your household.

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