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How to pick a cat's name that he will respond to?

By Dawn Parrish Content Writer

Updated on the

When we first choose a new kitten, of course we are excited about the cuddles, purring and playtimes we have ahead, but it’s just as important to pick your new cat’s name with care.

You not only want to choose something that will identify with your cat’s character, it’s appearance, or a name that could be unique, but also a name that he will respond to when you call

A few tips to help you choose a name for your cat

Most cats will come to you when you call their name, although it may take some enticing and sweet talking to get them trained to respond.

When you call them by name, you may get a flick of the tail, or even just a look, to say they have recognised it being used, especially if they are busy doing another task. Use positive reinforcement of his name, stroking him while saying his name aloud and always use a nice tone of voice.

Keep using his name during playtimes, when praising and petting him and also when giving him meals and treats and he will respond too.

Name choosing hints

When calling for your cat, its best to decide on a short name that has only 1 or 2 syllables. This makes it easier for your kitten to recognise. Many aristocratic type cats are worthy of a longer, pretentious name, but opt for a shorter version for training and everyday use, so if you have a cat called Lady Penelope, name her Penny for short.

Choose a name that just rolls off your tongue and is easily pronounced. Pick your cat’s name ending in “ee” or “y” which are higher pitched sounds that will alert your cat to be more responsive. When hunting for prey, birds and mice make squeaky noises in a higher frequency that alerts your cat. Humans cannot hear this pitch.

Pick a name that suits his personality

The personality and characteristics of each cat can vary a lot, especially different breeds. Give your kitten a name best suited to his individuality. Your black or grey cat could be called Smokey, a ginger cat is well suited to Honey or Marmalade.

Maybe your kitten has a personality like Garfield. More than one cat at home, then pick names that sound different so your cat can more easily recognise its own name. Likewise, don’t have a name that sounds like another person in the family. If your son is called Tommy, don’t give your kitty the same name.

Decide on a name that you feel comfortable sharing with your family, friends and of course, your Vet.

Choose a suitable name

Choose a name that will grow with your kitten as he gets older. Every new kitten is an adorable bundle of fluff, and the names that first jump into your thoughts may reflect this. However, your kitten will soon grow into an adult cat, when names such as “Fluffy” or “Baby” may not suit him for the rest of his life.

Once you’ve made a choice for your cat’s name, stick to it, don’t keep changing your mind or you kitten will soon become very confused and less responsive. Once you’ve made the decision and labelled your new cat with his moniker, it’s time to let loose with all your kitty love.

When calling his name, keep the tone of your voice calm and consistent, remembering that a cat will respond more to voice tone and pitch than to actual words.

Struggling to choose a name

If you’re finding it really difficult to choose a new name for your cat, take a look at some of the suggestions here to see if anything provokes your interest.
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