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Choosing Your Cat's Name

Your cat deserves a good name, a name that gets at the essence of your cat, who he is, what he looks like, his personality. So, what's a great name for a cat? How do you decide when there's so many options?

The first thing to consider is that cats are better at learning names that consist of only one or two syllables. They react especially well when their name ends with "ie" or "y," which may explain all of the very happy "Fluffies" out there. The second is whether you will want to use the name all the time, or will get sick of it. For instance, long, aristocratic-sounding names may sound interesting, but can get tiresome to say every day. Long names will get shortened, and sometimes come out sounding quite different than you expected.

Warnings aside, there's literally no end to the names you can choose. You can base his name on a physical feature, a personality trait, a favorite author, artist or singer, mythological names, or the circumstances by which he came into your life. Take your time, write a list, narrow it down, try out a few names before you settle on one - just don't take too long or your cat may have a minor identity crisis. Whether your cat is a Lucky or Fluffy or even Pandora, your new friend deserves the name that's just right, and the effort it takes to find it.

There is a beautiful quotation by T. S. Eliot, the English Nobel prizewinner for literature in 1948. He said that every cat should have three names: the everyday name, a dignified official name, and a third one -- "which only the cat knows and doesn't tell. You might be clever, you might be begging -- she will remain the only one who knows."

To get your thoughts flowing, here are some of the most popular cat names in the US and Canada:

Top 20 Female Names

  1. Maggie
  2. Molly
  3. Lady
  4. Sadie
  5. Lucy
  6. Daisy
  7. Jasmine
  8. Amber
  9. Pumpkin
  10. Samantha
  11. Dakota
  12. Nala
  13. Chelsea
  14. Bella
  15. Daphne
  16. Sophie
  17. Angel
  18. Tasha
  19. Princess
  20. Chloe

Top 20 Male Names

  1. Max
  2. Tigger
  3. Buddy
  4. Bailey
  5. Sam
  6. Rocky
  7. Buster
  8. Gizmo
  9. Owen
  10. Milo
  11. Charlie
  12. Jake
  13. Harley
  14. Rusty
  15. Toby
  16. Murphy
  17. Sylvester
  18. Simba
  19. Barney
  20. Oscar

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