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The Naming Of Cats

by karjam 

Posted: 01 September 2004
Word Count: 486

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According to T. S. Elliott “the naming of cats is a difficult matter”. And there are, it seems, over 14,000 cat names from which to choose. So, how do you pick a name for your new bundle of fluff which will embarrass neither yourself or, more importantly, your cat.

We encountered this problem a few years ago having brought home a tiny brindle coloured kitten. Our children, my husband and myself went through the usual repertoire such as ‘fluffy’ ‘tibbie’ ‘whiskers’ etc. and the more creative musings such as ‘dice’ and ‘buffy’, none of which seemed suitable for this sweet, sleepy, affectionate creature.

The Encyclopaedia of The Cat gives examples of cats acquiring their names from appearance or personality. A cat known as ‘Biggles’ due to a habit of launching itself through the air if anyone sat on its favourite chair. The French owners of a mischevious kitten called ‘Non-Non’ because that’s what they always seemed to be saying to it. The neck colouring of a black and white tom earning it the name ‘Vicar’.

We decided to wait a couple of days and observe our kitten and see if anything appropriate came to mind. Whilst watching an episode of The Flintstones on television, Fred and Wilma’s baby girl caught our attention. She was sweet, pretty and could wrap her parents around her little finger. That was our kitten exactly, who from then on became known as ‘Pebbles’.

Of course, it may not always be that easy to find a suitable name. I was interested to find there are a number of sources available to help in this
important matter. There are several books on the market including Cat-alogue : A Book of Cat Names by Jenny Linford, an A-Z of 1000 names for cats with advice on matching names to your cats character. Browsing the world wide web, I entered ‘cat names’ into the search engine, which consequently brought up 2030000 results! www.greatcatnames.com is a website that as well as listing hundreds of names also includes a section on cat names for ‘couple cats’ such as Apple & Mackintosh or Mocha & Chino! www.kittynames.com has a search engine to help you find out what your chosen cat name means. There’s a big white tom cat in our street named ‘Boris’, so typing in the name on kittynames.com told me that Boris means ‘fighter’ or ‘warrior’. I’m not so sure about that being a correct name for him as he’s actually the most docile cat around!

Whichever method you choose to name the new addition to your family, there are some useful tips to remember. 1. You will undoubtedly have to shout the name in public as you call your cat in for his tea. 2. Animals respond better to one or two syllable names 3. If you choose a long name it will probably be shortened so make sure the shortened version is appropriate too!

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Comments by other Members

miffle at 19:00 on 01 September 2004  Report this post
Enjoyed this karjam. It's a light read, entertaining, educative, well-researched, well-structured.

Especially enjoyed the 'how cats got their names' paragraph; and the Biggles interlude made me smile :-)

My cat's called Dylan though she's a girl: not sure how that happened! (Though better than Dyson: my macabre boyfriend's suggestion!) Our family's two cats were called Basil and Manuel: I always felt Manuel (who became Welly!) drew the short straw there.

My friend's cat is called Everton... Imagine calling that! And that is why clearly I think Point Number 1 is my favourite!

Kind regards, Nikki

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