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How to Choose a Name for Your Kitten

A new cat is on their way home with you. Now it's time to select a name. With so many to choose from, Figo's here to make the decision easier.

man with his kitten in front of window

You have made the big step to introduce a kitten into your life - exciting! Adding any pet to your life is a serious decision, but it can be one of the most rewarding. You are officially adding a new member to your family and a best friend to boot.

Now then, it's time to decide what to name your new kitten!

While it may seem easy, picking a name for your kitten can be a difficult decision. No pressure, of course, but whatever you choose will be the name they have for the rest of their life. Obviously, it has to suit them.

Some pet parents take their time to get to know their kitten before naming them. Others have a name in mind before they even sign the adoption papers. Either way, it can be a daunting task. So let's make it a little easier.

To help you make this monumental decision, we have some advice you can follow to choose the perfect name for your kitten.

Keep it short

While it is true that cats don’t respond to their name as much as dogs, they'll have a better chance of learning their name if it is short. Try to pick a name that is only one or two syllables, especially if you are planning on training your cat.

Try not to make it similar to any commands you are planning to teach them. This will make both your life, and your cat's, easier.

Take inspiration from their looks

Looks aren't everything, but they may be helpful when naming your cat. If you're in need of inspiration, try naming your cat based on the breed or color they are. 

For example, a Maine Coon might be named ‘Bear’ or a black cat ‘Shadow’. Sometimes you can name your cat after the breed that they are, like calling a Russian Blue cat ‘Blue’. It may be cliche, but hey, your cat probably isn't that big of a hipster anyway.

Consider naming them after your favorite things

Similar to how some parents name their children after celebrities, you can name your kitten after popular cats. Some popular examples are ‘Felix’, ‘Nala’, ‘Sylvester’ and, ‘Salem’.

If those names are too common, you can also choose to christen them after fictional characters. For instance, it's always a fun idea to name your cat after a character in your favorite show or movie.

Still too predictable? Give inanimate objects a try. Food names are a popular choice for cats as they are simple and amusing. Some common cat food names are ‘Cheddar’, ‘Sushi’, and ‘Nugget’.

Name them after personality traits

A cat's personality can inspire the name you choose. Some popular cat names based on personality are ‘Rascal’, ‘Princess’, and ‘Goofy’.

Even if you choose your cat's name before you're familiar with their unique quirks, you can always come up with nicknames once you get to know their personality better.

Have fun with your cat's name

Cats and dogs are more likely to respond to the tone of your voice rather than what you are saying, so feel free to name your cat whatever you want! In fact, your cat will assign a special meaning to its name (knowing it's associated with treats, affection, etc.) even if they don't understand WHY that word is important.

This means you can get as fun and creative with your cat's name as you like. Just try to have a shortened version of it if it's longer in syllables so that you can call your cat easily on a daily basis.

Your kitten will need to be registered with your vet, so why not pick a really quirky one and make your vet's day? Nothing is more memorable than a cat with an interesting name. Some of our favorites include "Fabio", "Kumquat", "Q-Tip", and my personal favorite, "Gray Poupon".

Involve the family

Getting a family pet should always be a group decision and thus the name should be discussed among them too. Having multiple ideas for what to call your newest addition gives you more options to choose from.

If you're the parent to little humans as well, getting your children involved in the naming process can be a fun way to get them excited about becoming little pet parents of their own.

Pick a name with meaning

While not every name needs to have a deep meaning, it can be nice to name your new family member after something or someone that is important to you.

You can name your kitten after a person who is particularly influential in your life, or a place with special meaning. Some people even use family names when naming their kittens so that they feel like a part of the family.

Final thoughts

Remember, naming your new cat or kitten should be an exciting process. If you feel that the title you choose isn't very fitting down the line, you can use a plethora of nicknames instead.

In fact, as you get to know your kitten their name will probably naturally evolve into affectionate nicknames anyway. And if you're in need of some litter recommendations for your new addition, see more tips on how to choose the best one.

All you need to do now is raise your kitten into a friendly and loving cat - enjoy!


Lizz Caputo is a Content Strategist at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.

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