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?
Greek cat names are a terrific option – but there are so many from gods to goddesses to greek places and food plus standard greek names – how on earth do you choose?
The good news is that I have done some of the hard work for you and have reduced the number of potential Greek 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.
Greek 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 recognize their names.
The research was appropriately carried out by the University of Tokyo (home to many cat cafes which were used in this study). It 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 behavior is influenced by its 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
A big fluffy cat calls for a name that says big and fluffy with rounded “O”s like Cosmo. And the color of your cat or its markings can help you make a choice. If your cat looks like a little lion then maybe a name like Leo or Hercules could be a nice fit?
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.
A superactive cat will seem a bit of a disconnect if it is christened Hypnos after the god of sleep.
3. Your Cat’s Breed
If your cat is a Persian or a Siamese it may well suit a prince or princess name like Aphrodite. However, a small kitty breed may seem odd if called Maximus.
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 Muse the odds are that everyone will have extremely high expectations of your kitty. And if you use a name like Hermes you’ll constantly be torn about whether or not to pronounce the H – which could get embarrassing if you’re dealing with anyone in France.
And no one wants to be called Nike and face constant comparisons to the running shoe and again huge expectations of how quickly your kitty moves.
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.
Nemesis 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 adversarial name.
7. Be nice
Again it may seem very amusing to name your cat Chaos in its early days but does it really feel right to be having some loving time with your kitty and saying the name Chaos sweetly and without exasperation?
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”.
Choupette Lagerfeld was given to Karl Lagerfeld by French model Baptiste Giabiconi when the kitten was 10 weeks old. Choupette is a common nickname in French for cute girls.
12 Best Greek Cat Names
In ancient Greek the god of cats was known as Ailuros, as opposed to its Egyptian cat name of Bastet. Bastet was originally represented as a lion but was later somewhat pacified to become a cat.
Greek mythology refers to the gods that were led by Zeus, and they do have some rather fabulous names (a complete list is further below). However, many of them are very tricky to pronounce, so they immediately get removed based on my criteria.
Short, sweet, to the point, mother of the earth – perfect for an authoritative female cat
Short, easy to pronounce, good back story, nice moon associations, perfect for a confident male kitty.
God of them all! And a good easy pronunciation.
Goddess of nature – perfect for a female who loves being outdoors. I’m seeing a furry cat for this one – Siberian or Maine Coon – someone with forest cat genes.
OK Santorini has more than two syllables but this is a word that runs easily off the tongue – and conjures up images of a stunning Greek island and beautiful sunsets. I quite like Mykonos as well.
Paxos is one of my favorite greek islands and a good short sharp name
Short, sharp and pretty – means enthroned – I really don’t get what that means – but it does make me think of Kyra Sedgwick as well, who I love as an actress so it made my list
Love the “o” ending, short and sharp, which means order and decency. And was the name of one of my favourite ever kitties who is no longer with us so a tribute vote.
A slightly strange original name about a large basket but now it is about spirit. An easy one to say and spell. And quite cute.
It doesn’t get much shorter than this cute name for a female cat which means life.
Another multi-syllable flouting of my own rules but a bit like Santorini Calamari is so easy to say – and does convey that you love your kitty so much you could easily eat them.
Let’s finish with the classic greek cheese and a short sharp sweet name. Oh, my little Feta!
And in case you don’t like my suggestions here are some long lists of potential Greek Cat Names by category:
Cat Names from Greek Gods
Greek Goddess Names
- Cybele – all about being outside as the goddess of caverns, mountains, nature and wild animals
- Hestia – goddess of the hearth and domesticity
- Hygea – goddess of good health and sanitation
- Rhea – goddess of nature
Cat names from general Greek Mythology
- Bygul and Trjegul – the two cats who pulled Freya’s chariot. Gifts from Thor. Good luck getting their names explained over the phone.
- Ai-Apaec – said to have evolved from one of the cat gods and able to turn himself into a cat. Same point as previous on name pronunciation issues.
- Hecate – assumed the form of a cat (very popular to assume the form of a kitty in Greek mythology) to escape a monster and later gave kitty special treatment. Also has the word cat within her name.
Places in Greece
Popular female names in Greece
Popular male names in Greece:
Greek food Names