You’ve made the big decision to get a cat – or you have decided to expand your kitty family. You’ve chosen the breed or decided on a moggy – and now comes the hardest decision of them all – what will you call your new feline?
Egyptian cat names are a terrific option – cats are synonymous with ancient egypt and feature quite prominently in art and writing going back thousands of years.
The good news is that I have done some of the hard work for you and have reduced the number of potential Egyptian cat names down based on some sound criteria about what can make for a good cat name.
Plus I’ll take you through some things to think about to help you decide which of those names is the best one for your new kitty.
- 1 Egyptian Cat Names – Will my cat even notice?
- 2 Key Things to Think About when Naming your Cat
- 3 What if I choose the wrong name?
- 4 How did some famous cats get their names?
- 5 11 Best Egyptian Cat Names
- 6 More Egyptian Names to Choose From for your Cat
Egyptian Cat Names – Will my cat even notice?
Sure humans get excited about cat names – but does our kitty even know its own name let alone care? Research shows that domesticated cats do know and recognise their names.
The research was appropriately carried out by the University of Tokyo (home to many cat cafes which were actually used in this study) and was published in the well-reputed journal Nature.
It had been well known that domesticated cats were more vocal than wild cats and that a domesticated cat’s behaviour is influenced by their owners’ mood and facial expressions.
But considering that humans began domesticating cats about 9,500 years ago it is about time a more in-depth study was done about whether our cats even knew their own names.
The study worked with 78 different cats across single and multi cat homes as well as in cat cafes. The study found that most cats are able to distinguish their names from similar sounding words and from other cat names.
The evidence of this was that the cats perked up when they heard their names and responded by moving their heads, meowing and wiggling their ears.
This result was witnessed when both their owners and strangers used their names. And the results were similar in multi-cat households where cats didn’t react to the names of other cats in their homes but did when their name was used.
Naming a cat gives it an individual identity and helps to build a relationship between cat and owner. And you can help your cat to learn its own name by avoiding using too many nicknames, particularly when they are younger.
Key Things to Think About when Naming your Cat
1. Your Cat’s Appearance
The color of your cat or its markings can help you make a choice. Ebony is a great Egyptian cat name for a black cat. If your cat looks like a little lion then maybe a name like Sekhmet (warrior lion goddess) or Mihos (the lion-headed son of Bastet, the Egyptian god of the cats).
Look at your kitty’s shape as well – is he sleek or solid? Pointy ears or flat back ears? Fluffy or sleek? Think about the concept of Onomatopoeia. This is when a word looks like what it describes.
2. The Personality of your Cat
A great cat name may reflect your cat’s personality. This can be difficult with a new cat as of course you haven’t gotten to know them yet and your cat may be very young so its personality is still developing. Take a few days to observe your new kitty and see what it is like.
The Egyptians even had a goddess for she who scratches – Pakhet – but I am not sure you want to encourage this behaviour in your kitty.
3. Your Cat’s Breed
If your cat is a Sphynx or and Egyptian Mau then it is particularly suited to an Egyptian name. Mau was actually the Egyptian word for Cat.
4. Keep the name Short
You will use your cat’s name an awful lot – so the fewer the syllables the better. Also, this will be easier for your cat to absorb and remember. Plus it is likely that you will be introducing your cat to friends, family, vets and others so a shorter name is easier for everyone to understand and remember.
5. Don’t choose a name that is bigger than your cat
If you call your kitty Tutankhamun the odds are it will be a bigger name than your cat – and also it has far too many syllables for a name you are going to be using very regularly.
6. The name should have longevity
It may seem hilarious to give your cat a lengthy name when you first get it but you may well tire of calling this name out and sharing it with others.
Osiris, the god of the underworld and the judge of the dead, could seem like a hilarious name when you first get your cat but you may well tire of using it and explaining to others that whilst you love your kitty you have given him a rather morbid name.
7. Be nice
Again it may seem very amusing to name your cat Isis (which did mean motherhood in Egypt) in its early days but does it really feel right to be having some loving time with your kitty and saying the name Isis sweetly in light of its modern connotations?
And do you really want a cat named Kiwu which meant Obese?
8. Make sure it fits with other cats in your household
The key thing here is to avoid choosing a cat name that sounds too much like the name of another cat in your household as this may lead to confusion eg Sven and Ben.
What if I choose the wrong name?
I know I let you know that your cat does learn its name but if you choose to change your cat’s name after a few weeks it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
There is no evidence one way or the other as to what happens when a new owner changes the name of an older cat eg if you were to get a rescue kitty who was already several years old. I would suggest trying your name of choice and giving it a few months to stick and then making a decision from there.
How did some famous cats get their names?
The Grumpy Cat only became The Grumpy Cat after an image of her frown went bananas on social media. Her real name was Tartar Sauce.
Garfield was based on cats that creator Jim Davis grew up around. The actual name and personality came from Jim Davis’ grandfather, James A Garfield Davis. Davis described his grandfather as “a large, cantankerous man”.
11 Best Egyptian Cat Names
Did you know that it is believed the Egyptians were the first to domesticate cats? And to embrace the kitty? Very wise in many ways those Egyptians. As I mentioned, cats frequently appeared in art and writings and were quite revered.
Cats were also prized by the Egyptians as hunters. They were great at getting rid of mice and other vermin that roamed the homes of ancient egyptians.
If a cat had a royal owner it would be dressed in gold jewellry and was allowed to eat from its owner’s plate. Cats were often mummified and laid to rest with their owners. (My cat Alexei thinks the Egyptians were very intelligent and that we should be learning alot from them!).
Tivali was Cleopatra’s favourite cat. Short and sharp and perfect for a beloved cat. Could use for male or female
My thought here is to shorten Cleopatra which is more of a mouthful but to give a nod to all things Egyptian.
Short and easy to remember. Again could be male or female.
Or even King Tut. Tutankhamun is a great name but not one you want to be saying regularly. This short and sharp version is more fun and manageable.
Giza is an area in Cairo and home to the pyramids. It is also a short cute name for a kitty.
Obviously this works best with a black cat :-). Unless you think you could find this funny for your white cat for 15 + years.
19th Century Princess so perfect for a pampered female kitty.
Nice and close to Tabby but a little bit more exotic. It means talented so you can take a view of whether your kitty would be a good fit for this meaning.
This means precious which is perfect for your favourite pussy cat. Love how those Zs roll off the tongue.
A popular male name today in Egypt with a nice rounded O beginning – short and sharp.
Egyptian but also has its artistics associations.
More Egyptian Names to Choose From for your Cat
Mafdet – goddess who slayed serpents and was portrayed as having the head of a wild cat
Sekhmet – portrayed as a lioness
Bastet – goddess of cats
Mihos – lion-headed son of Bastet
Pakhet – she who scratches
Places in Egypt
Cairo (Egypt’s capital)
Nile (Egypt’s famous river)
Sinai (as in the mountain)
Cleopatra (Cleopatra’s favourite cat was called Tivali)
Classic Egyptian Names and their meanings – Females
Ebony – Black
Femi – Love
Halima – Gentle
Jamila – Beauty
Kissa – sister of twins
Mosi – born first
Neema – born to wealthy parents
Sagira – Little One
Selma – secure
Tabia – talented
Tia – princess during the 19th century
Thema – Queen
Zahra – flower
Popular Names in Egypt Today – Female
Classic Egyptian Names and their meanings – Males
Adio – Righteous
Azizi – Precious
Darius – Pharoah name
Husani – Handsome
Oba – King
Seb – God of the Earth
Tarik – Name of a warrior
Popular Names in Egypt Today – Male
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