Naming a Cat: A Serious UndertakingPublished October 22, 2009
One of the most frequently asked questions appearing on many interactive pet- related websites are those requesting help naming a new kitten or cat. Many of the responders offer a long laundry list of "cute" names, depending on the cat's description or photograph provided by the asker. However, I think that naming a kitten or cat should be considered a very serious undertaking and one that never should be done in haste, or taken lightly. After all, as the cat servant becomes more familiar with their new kitty and the name chosen proves to be totally inappropriate, think of the confusion that the poor feline may experience when names are changed rapidly. The naming of a kitten or cat carries a high degree of responsibility but many folks lack the patience to discover a suitable and appropriate name for their new kitty. This can cause some pretty disastrous results. Photo credit: Jo Singer Rather than picking a name off a website, or choosing a name that someone else is suggesting, it is far better to wait and spend time getting to know the newcomer. Each kitten and cat has unique behavioral antics that endear us to them. A kitten may have a particularly unique appearance that may suggest a more suitable and catchy name as well. For example: My husband and I were given an adorable seal point Siamese as a wedding gift, years ago. Even though he was 4 months old, he was the cutest tiny ball of fluff. We fell in love with him the minute we set eyes on him. He came to us with a fancy long registered name, "Brown Toast", prefixed by the name of the cattery. His name was longer than he was, in fact! As we gently let him out of the shipping carrier in which he arrived after his long airplane voyage, we instantly felt that the name that was given him was totally wrong. After spending time with him and observing his little purrsonality quirks, with his endearing habit of licking us with his incredibly long tongue whenever he was petted, coupled with his diminutive size being the runt of the litter, his name came to us in a flash. As he was an oriental-type cat, and I am an avid pun-maker, the name "Mousie-Tongue", a play on Chairman Mao-Zedong nailed it. And not so amazingly he responded to the name immediately. The Vulcan "Mind Meld" had obviously been affective. I always advise people be patient and wait for their kitten or cat to "reveal" his or her name. Keeping our ears and eyes open for the obvious hints being offered, letting our innate intuition guide us, will always lead us to that purrfect handle. What method do you use to name your cats? Leave a comment and share your techniques.