Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: October 31, 2022 by Crystal Uys
T.S. Elliott had it right in his famous poem: the naming cats is a difficult matter! Some of our cats come to us already named, and we keep the name because it suits, or because the cat already responds to it. Others come with names we don’t like, so we choose a new name for them. Either way, most cat parents put a lot of thought into naming a cat. And some wonder whether it’s a good idea to change a cat’s name, especially if the cat is an adult who responds to her given name.
Allegra came to me with her name, but I changed Ruby’s.
I chose to keep Allegra’s name because it fits her joyful and happy personality to a tee.
Ruby’s name was Cinnamon when I first met her. There have to be a thousand torties named Cinnamon, and the name just didn’t seem special enough for her. I wanted another gemstone name to honor Amber’s memory. I chose Ruby because ruby is a heart chakra stone, and it reflects her exuberant loving spirit perfectly. Ruby was about nine months old when I adopted her, and it didn’t take her long at all to respond to her new name.
I think changing a cat’s name is a very individual decision and depends entirely on the cat’s background and personality. I probably wouldn’t change a senior cat’s name, but I don’t think it’s a problem with a young adult cat, and definitely not with a kitten.
When you adopted your cats, did you change their names, or did you keep the names they came with?
About the author
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.