Vetstreet tracks the trendiest and most popular pet names each year. In 2011, the name Ruby made it on the list, and of course, my little Ruby had quite a lot to say about that!

This year, Vetstreet looked at the names of more than 643,000 kittens born in 2012 to determine the trendiest cat names of the year. Apparently, there’s a difference between popular and trendy.


The most popular kitten name list doesn’t contain a lot of surprises. It seems like old favorites such as Kitty, Tiger and Callie continue to be popular choices for many cat guardians. Where it gets interesting is with the newer trends: not surprisingly, many of the trendy names come from popular culture, especially movies. Katniss, the name of The Hunger Games’ heroine, hasn’t quite made the the top 10 but is on the rise. Also gaining popularity are Loki and Thor, likely because of the enormous popularity of The Avengers movie.

Ruby was actually named after a Hunger Games character before I adopted her. She was listed as Cinnamon on the SPCA website, but her foster parents told me that she was really named after Cinna, the stylist for the games. They almost named her Katniss. Full disclosure: despite this connection, I gave up on trying to read The Hunger Games after the first 100 or so pages, and I haven’t seen the movie – it’s just too violent for my taste.

The list of trendiest names includes names such as Zeus, Jackson (maybe after Jackson Galaxy?), Thor, and Stella. Visit Vetstreet for the full list of the year’s trendiest cat names.

Did your cat’s name make it onto one of these lists? Share your cat’s name and how you chose it in a comment!

For the full story of how Ruby got her name, read Ruby’s Reflections: what’s in a name. Allegra came with her name, and it suited her joyful personality purr-fectly. “Allegro” is a musical term, meaning “cheerful” and “lively.” She is not named after the allergy medication!

Photo/list of popular kitten names from Vetstreet

112 Comments on Trendiest cat names of 2012

  1. My 3 year old cats are sisters named Mishka and Ivana, they are ragdoll mix rescues, I wanted a Russian spy theme. My 16 and 15 year old cats passed away last year from kidney cancer and kidney disease, their names were Bella and Lindy, I was in the 5th and 6th grade, and liked beautiful girly names at that age.

  2. My wonderful 17 yr old is named Jordan because of his fabulous jumping ability as a kitten and young cat. The name has always seemed to fit him perfectly. My 7 yr old was adopted a yr ago and is named Jeremiah after one of my favourite movies, Jeremiah Johnson. At the shelter his name was Humphrey which did not suit him at all!

  3. Current two cats are Isis (mostly grey tortoise shell Calico) and Anubis (Chartreux and Siamese mix). Next will be called Apophis.

  4. My husband and I have 2 cats. Talulah was a stray my little sister gave us for Christmas in 2009. Our boy we got last May from the humane society. His name was Blake but we changed it to Castiel (Cas for short) because we love Supernatural!

  5. My two torties are named Zip and Twiggy. Zip because as a kitten she really did zip all over the place (don’t all kittens, though)? Twiggy was just a little skinny thing so that was her nane. I had completely forgotten that I had wanted to name two cats Kanga and Roo after the Winnie the Pooh characters. When we lived in Japan we had two beautiful black cats (somewhere I had read they were black Siamese) we called Yahtzee (female) and Scrabble(male) after the games. They loved it when we played their names. Came to find out during a routine spell check that Scrabble is really a word that means to scratch and claw. Wasn’t that a great name for a cat? Thankfully, he only did that on the post.

  6. My kitties are Norman, we call him Stormin Norman, and Lester as in Lester the Molester because when he was a tiny kitten he used to suck the ‘wrong’ parts of his littermates, lol. Both of my kitties I raised from day old orphans, I work at the Humane Society 🙂

  7. I used to have a cat named Smokie, but that is the only name that matched any of them through the years. The ones now are Colors and Widebutt. Colors is a calico that we got after we Smokie died, and my son had said before he’d always wanted a calico named Colors, so it was an easy decision. Widebutt lived her first two years without us ever giving her a name, nothing seemed to fit, so we usually just called her Cat. After she had a little of kittens and was then spayed, she started packing on the pounds. She also has a habit of walking in front of you and stopping, so one day I nudged her out of the way and said “Move it, Widebutt.” The kids loved it and she then had her name finally. 9 years later, it’s still her name!

  8. I have a blue bicolor Ragdoll named Dexter (I love the show Dexter) I call him Dexy. I have another Ragdoll (Blue Mitted) joining our family in June and her name is Madison.

  9. one out of 12, not bad. i have a kali but not not after being a calico (callie).
    she named after kali ma, hindu goddess, destroyer and protectress of women.
    so to me i don’t count callie. i put way too much thought into my kittehs names.
    but they are all unique cats so they deserve all the extra thoughts .

    • I agree with you. My cats would never forgive me if I gave them some totally mainstream, “trendy” name. Cats should have unusual, well-thought-out names! 🙂

  10. Years ago I had two cats named Trouble and Mischief. After many years of rescuing I started naming them after the streets on which I found them. One of my rescue kitties was named Decatur, Catie for short for Decatur St near our house; she died a few years ago at age 16.

    Current cats are Coco the burmese, KC (Kern County) the ragdoll mix, both rescues from the Kern County shelter and Chilly the straight eared Scottish Fold also a rescue. Chilly got his name because when we first got him, he was teeny tiny but crazy fearless. One morning while getting ready for work, I was getting my lunch out of the fridge. After I got dressed, I heard a noise in the kitchen and opened the fridge door and there he was, he had climbed up inside and was checking out the pickles in the door. I had no idea he had climbed inside. Good thing I heard him rattling the bottles in the door.

  11. My girl made the #1 spot but she was named Bella long before as she is approx. 8 yrs we did adopt her in 2012 though. My Magnum boy didn’t make the list though, he is 7 and we’ve had him 2 years.

  12. None of mine are on the list.

    Tessie is named after Tess from “Touched by an Angel”
    Bitzy was a little bit of a thing when we got her … hence the name.
    Mimi got her name from a nickname a friend called me.
    Dixie is a rescue who came with her name.

  13. Whew! Wilson and Morty will be pleased that their names haven’t become mainstream. They’d dislike being all trendy

  14. Chocolate’s name is due to the colour of her coat and her brother Blue, as he has blue eyes.

    Dalton – my white long haired regal kitty – He gives off this “treat me like royalty” kind of attitude, so I figured white and royal (dinner service) – Dalton it would be.

    Shadow – was already named when he came into my house as a foster – he’s a long haired black cat.

    Bint – I rescued this white dirty, ringworm covered, calasivirus infected, emaciated pure Persian female cat from the dumpster outside my house. Her name is derived from the South African/British word bin (dumpster) and the Arabic word Bint (which means “daughter of”).

    My dogs are:





    I actually named: Korin, Lycan, Kendra and Saabiq.

    All my animals are rescues.

  15. Our cats were named by my husband and son. Being huge Star Trek fans you can guess what follows….our first cat was found in our backyard with his brother who went to our neighbor. His name is J. Tiberous Kitty. Our second, because you can’t just have one, came from the SPCA, his name is Jean-Luc Picat. Both are boys and both are from the USS Enterpaws per my son. Our third and fourth, both girl and both from our backyard, are Dax and Chole. Don’t ask me were Chole got her name because she was not on or in any Star Trek franchise I can find.

  16. Eu tenho 11 gatos e nenhum deles tem qualquer dos nomes listados.
    Os meus se chamam: Toco, Sharon, Ozzy, Shadow, Ghost, Cindy Lauper, Docinho, Lindinha, Florzinha, Frajola e Soneca, que em inglês são: Toco, Sharon, Ozzy, Shadow, Ghost, Cindy Lauper, Buttercup, Bubbles, Buttercup, Sylvester and Snooze.

  17. My cats’ names are Kitty and Lily. I named the first one, Kitty, after a cat food that’s called Kitekat…and the second one after a tiger that we saw on a documentary! I had it quite simple with naming them 🙂

  18. Between my boyfriend and me, we have 6 rescued cats. “My” four were named in my pet household theme which started with a rabbit (long since deceased) name Sunshine.

    My beagle, also deceased, was named Rain. Now the cats are named Thunder, Lightning, Storm, and Cloud. Vets trips are hilarious when they call out for “Patients Thunder and Storm”.

  19. Ryane is grey (actually blue) with a silver (okay, white) lining down his belly. He reminds me of a rain cloud. Cheese and Cheddar were named by the kids after the other pair of light and dark yellow fosters we took in were named Peaches and Cream. Acheron is named after a great character and demi-god in a series of books I love. He’s the cool guy who rescues everyone and uses his scary powers for good.

  20. My female cat is named Mitzi, because she is a polydactyl and her front paws look like big white mittens. My male cat is named Buddy, because when we found him, we kept calling him Little Buddy because he followed us around everywhere, and the name just stuck. He is my Buddy, and I love him so much.

  21. My kitties names aren’t on the list since they are super unique. Call me crazy, but my kitties names are Parker Texas Ranger and Reese Whiskerspoon.

  22. My first cat was named “Arlo” after the folk singer Arlo Guthrie.

    A male feral I used to feed I named “Nocona,” which is Cheyenne for “Wanderer.”

    And my current kitten, a little tortie firecracker my dog found in our backyard last October, is named “Tiny Dancer” because she weighed only 8 ounces (at 8 weeks of age) when I rescued her, but she still managed to romp and play and “dance” when chasing the flying bird toy.

    • Aww, love those names,very unique. My two siberians are called Faunus(for the roman godof the forest) and Albus.

  23. Neither of their names ended up on the list… My female is called Zoe, which just came to me when we got her. Our male (a big maine coon) is called Diego. His actual name from the cattery was Diesel, but it seemed like such a dog-type name to me that it needed change. He looks a complete copy of his dad which is called Don Diego, so he is Diego jr. 😀

  24. It is quite interesting to see that the most popular names for kitties seem to be international!
    My Zoe is a Greek girl I adopted from Rhodes, Greece, as a homeless kitten. A Greek-speaking friend of mine suggested this name since the name Zoe actually means ‘life’ in Greek (in Greek the accent is on the ‘e’)… she said “you are giving her a life”… I was so touched by what she said, that the name was chosen right then and before flying back to Italy!

  25. Anagram: CATS Challice,.Argos, Tyberius and Sasha…all four Bengals this is how we remember their names! Girl boy boy girl!

  26. Our little resce has quite a herd…. Benny (who’s sister Jet was adopted to a wonderful Family) after the great Elton John song, Nikodemus, our little 3 legger named after a Russian author, Michelin, named after the tire that hit him and left him slightly crippled (he has no idea and runs like an idiot), Grape Jelly, a HUGE former show cat (British Short Hair), Ernie (another former show cat, a Snowshoe) Little Red, a giant red tabby with only one lung, Chopin (named for her toes that have the coloring of piano keys!) Spyder Man (a large black cat that STILL tries of climb up your pant legs for attention and food) Eclipse (beatiful black cat with a tiny sliver of white on her chest) Bob the Polydactyl is Grey and White, and has a “Magic Spot” on his tummy… you rub it lightly and he falls asleep and snores really loud.

  27. We rescued our two babies from our town’s high kill shelter on the same day about 3 years ago.

    My big boy was over a year old and black and I noticed him when he started tapping my leg through the bars of his cage. He spent 2 days as Max and then I decided it wasn’t working so I renamed him Fizgig because years ago when I saw The Dark Crystal, I decided that I would one day have a pet named Fizgig. He is also the story I tell people when I tell them that they should always let the kitty pick you. Fizgig picked me and he is such a love!

    My boyfriend had been playing with a little girl kitty who was also black and around 8 months old. She actually started as Fizgig but it wasn’t working for me. For the first week, she would sleep on my chest at night and would twitch when she was dreaming so she became Twitch.

  28. We just barely escaped being named after particles (Lepton and Tachyon). *shudder* can you tell our physicist dad named us? Mom vetoed the first round, then agreed to Round Two: we’re named after two famous physicists – the authors of Maxwell’s Equations and Faraday’s Law.

    Maxwell: And I’m #1 on the list? Pawsome!

  29. Bambi got her name because she was a scrawny little feral kitten with giant eyes and giant ears and a perpetual “deer in the headlights” look.

    Anastasia got her name by being a royal princess.

    RuPawl got his name because when I found him, I thought he was a girl. I called him Aretha for a week before I found out he was actually a boy. I call him my little drag queen. 🙂

  30. I am so surprised to see the #2 cat name: Kitty. I worked with a woman who talked about her cat a lot and when I asked the name, she said “Kitty”. I thought that was really funny. Then she told me she had another cat, too. I asked the name. She said, ‘KittyKitty’. I burst out with hysterical laughter!

  31. Here is our little tribe…
    The girls:
    Ouiji {a little black cat},
    Arena, Wrigley, and Laker are all named w/sports related names since our son is sports crazy,
    Memphis {because we’d just been to Memphis for a family vacation and loved it… how the city has a history of civil rights fighting to survive and our Memphis really had to fight to survive when we first had her}
    Zoe – Our last baby. She is as wild as a mad march hare! lol

    The boys:
    Andy {named that when we adopted him}
    Mickey {because his ears are so big that when he was little he looked like the Mickey Mouse logo from behind}
    Titan {a sports name, but it fits him, he weights 17 pounds}
    Raider {also a sports name, He is a Russian Blue w/only one eye, he looks just like the Raider’s logo}
    and our little Riley – He just looks like a little Riley. Just a little doll baby!

  32. Buddha is a torbie, she is tan with orange speckles all over and black tabby stripes. She has a orange dot in my middle of her forehead. She was from an unwanted litter, and the family who had her and her siblings named her. I call her “Boo” for short.
    Bootz is a grey and white tabby I got from the Humane Society, named appropriately for his white boots on his back feet. I changed his spelling so it had a Z at the end to give it some originality.
    Cordi is my spunky little tortico, named after Cordelia from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel. When we got her from the Humane Society her foster had named her Bethel, which I hated.

  33. Squeaky squeaks when he meows, Cashew is the color of a cashew and he’s a, Charlie was given his name for another I lost who was called Charlie Tuna, Garfield looks like Garfield and acts like him,Tubby(not really fat)was given a name for another kitty I lost-should of called this one Destructo cause he is into everything…lol.

  34. George was named by his first family, who gave him up to the Humane Society when their child became allergic to cats (my good fortune as George and I have an incredible bond). My husband and I figured he was named after Curious George as he is our adventurer.

    Billy was named by the woman who rescued him as an abandoned kitten. We joked that he was part Billy Goat since he ate anything he could find (including non food items) for the first two years of his life. Fortunately he outgrew that habit -or so I thought– as he now has become my fussy eater.

    Our Sammy was rescued from Animal Control by a great adoption group called Zanie’s Furry Friends. His rescuer named him Stretch as he flirtatiously stretched out in front of people he met. We kept the S and changed his name to Sammy. The name seemed as cute as he is. This boy just wants to be loved.

  35. Abbi – Burmese female originally was going to be named Gabby but I liked Abbi better
    Shia – female feral who is very shy and lives in our back porch
    Aleah – female former feral my husband named and I have no idea why
    Pumpkin Spice – female orange tabby my neighbor named after rescuing
    Tigger – male my neighbor named after rescuing
    Milo – male named after lead character in Disney’s “Atlantis”
    AnnaBelle – female feral who was shot and lost her front leg; my husband named her and again I have no idea why.

  36. I was THRILLED that “Cody” did NOT make it onto the list, it is a little bit different for cats (but I do know a few male “Codys”)
    I always liked the name and I have a “thing” about “C” names (gee I wonder why? lol)
    When I adopted him, his foster Mom begged me NOT to name him “Cody”, (his former name was “Prince”) when I asked why, she said that every “Cody” she knew was CRAZY! I ignored her and named him “Cody” anyway…YES he IS “crazy” but in all of the WONDERFUL ways that “crazy” can be!
    We also call him “The Cat formerly known as Prince” 🙂

  37. What? Are you sure? There must be about a billion Chang’s in China and 100 000 Tora’s in Japan (one of them is mine).

  38. Your column reminds me how powerful an influence books and movies are in cat names. My first cat (I was a newlywed when I FINALLY got her because my mother disliked cats and forbid them in the house) was a white cat named Galadriel, after the Elf queen in The Lord of the Rings. I remember looking at her a few years later and thinking, Galadriel is really a long, exotic moniker for a little cat to carry. She was informally known as “Gladie.”

    The literary trend continued with our street finds like Longfellow and Panache (from Cyrano de Bergerac) and our adopted Persian kittens, Summer and Smoke. I finally named a “found” cat after my own first novel and character, a tortie called Amberbeigh, because she had red hair and green eyes. Our indoor feral calico is named Audrey after the insatiable flesh-eating plant in The Little Shop of Horrors cult film. Then, of course, came a Midnight Louie Jr. and now ML III.

    Love Stirfry and Sushi! You two could open a cat restaurant.

    • You’ve got some wonderful names there, Carole! I am, of course, partial to Amberleigh the tortie.

      Love your comment about Stirfy and Sushi opening a cat restaurant!

  39. My cats are now 15. I was unsure initially what cats to get as indoor cats, how many, what gender, and what to call them…. I had a dream one night that said ‘Get brother and sister Tonkinese, and call them Ganges and Benares.’ So I did, but felt very puzzled about the Indian names. But ten years later I found out I have some Indian ancestry!

  40. Hi Ingrid,

    I couldn’t help but to notice that the number 1 most popular female and male cat name is (or at least was recently) the same for dogs – Bella and Max.

    Otherwise, Smokey and Tiger have been on the top 10 as well for cats for quite a while. Years ago, I had a wonderful cat that I named Tiger. Of course, he did have Tiger stripes.

    I have several cats right now and one of them is named Sushi. I wanted a Japanese name for her and I thought that one was cute and hadn’t heard of anyone using it.

    =^..^= Hairless Cat Girl =^..^=

  41. My two cats have unique names. On Memorial Day 2010, we were outside at my in-laws and my son heard some rustling in the nearby ivy. It was a teeny kitten with his eyes swollen closed. We knew if there was one there were bound to be others. We searched the nearby shed and found 3 more! My in laws remembered seeing a cat that had got hit by a car near their house a few days prior. We assume this was the mom. We took in the kittens, 2 boys and 2 girls. They were 3 weeks old, and we bottle fed them. My in-laws kept the boys, and us the girls. We felt they should have patriotic names, as we found them on Morial Day. The boys are Sam (uncle Sam) and Rocky (because of his swollen eyes, and not a patriotic name, but for his bravery in alerting us to them. he was sick but now thrives). My girls are Star (star spangled banner) and Libby (for Lady Liberty).

    • Mine never did either… I had Charolette and Nadine (my Thelma and Louise) and Louie (Armstrong) and now my Margaret.. (Maggie the cat)… I love my kitties!!

    • I don’t see my cats names on there. Any popular ethnic names for cats? Smh. 🙂
      My list:

      Cleopatra or Cleo (very common)
      Amun Ra or Ra
      Bastet (common in DC)

      • Oops, I forgot another one, “Neko” means cat in Japanese and “Simba” is popular too. Thanks Lion King. 🙂

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