Naming your new pet can be as stressful as naming your first born. However, parents generally have a long time to mull over a list of proposed names before agreeing on the perfect name for their bundle of joy. Sometimes pets are planned and sometimes pets wander into our life without notice, leaving us to scramble to find the perfect name for our new furry friend. Below are some pet naming strategies for naming your new pet, along with examples on how I named my own pets.
Naming your pet after food
The joke in my house is that you should never name your pet while you are hungry. Our last cat, Fudgie, entered our life around Christmas 2007. He was a beautiful smoke, with a dark gray top coat and a spanking white under coat. Unfortunately, when I picked him up, I had my grandmother’s Christmas fudge on my mind and his fur reminded me of her delicious fudge.
This same premise of naming a pet after food goes for people who name their orange tabby Pumpkin or an orange and white cat Creamsicle or Peaches. One of my high school friends must be in love with candy bars since she has two pets named after candy bars – Snickers and Kit Kat. Another high school friend has a cat named Hershey.
Naming your pet after its markings/physical attributes
Sometimes the perfect pet name comes after taking a long, hard look at your new pet’s physical attributes. My first cat, Whiskers, got his name as a joke of sorts. When my sister brought him to me, he’d spent his first few months of life on a farm. He was missing part of an ear and something had chewed off all of his whiskers! He was a scrappy one for sure, but in the end, I settled on Whiskers because he had none and I had hope that they would grow back. Patches, Scrappy, or Smoky could all be good names if they fit your pet’s physical appearance.
Name your pet after a city
When my dog Philly first came into my life, I still lived at home. My brother was a huge fan of the Philadelphia Flyers and, more importantly, Eric Lindros. We fought over dog names because he wanted to name her Lindros. In the end, we compromised and named her Philadelphia or Philly for short. Naming your new pet after your hometown or, in my case, the city of my brother’s favorite sports team, gave her a unique name to match her unique Beagle/Dalmation markings.
Hold off on naming your pet until you get to know them better
Sometimes the best thing you can do is to wait until you know your new pet better before settling on a name. Often times, pets’ personalities will show through, providing a new owner with the perfect name befitting their new friend.
When all else fails, consult pet naming sites
If none of these pet naming strategies works, there’s a host of pet naming sites available on the Internet. Babynames.com has a pet naming section that lists the most popular pet names by breed and sex, according to a veterinary pet insurance company’s statistics. A link is provided below in the sources, as well as a few other sites that offer pet naming lists.
Be sure to know the sex of your pet before sticking them with a name. My husband’s 14 year old cat, Princess, turned out to be a male after closer inspection. By then, it was too late to change his name to something more masculine. To this day, my husband insists his name is Prince S.