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? There are Disney cat names, Greek cat names, Egyptian Cat Names – how about some Irish Cat Names?
Irish cat names are a terrific option – cats have long been revered in Ireland and are seen by many Irish people as magical. In Ireland, cats are at the heights of their magical powers – good and bad – at Halloween.
And in Ireland many see a black cat crossing their path as good news rather than bad news.
The good news is that I have done some of the hard work for you and have reduced the number of potential Irish 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.
Irish 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.
⇒ Thinking about what kind of kitty you would like? Check out my posts on the 9 Most Expensive Cat breeds, 10 Snuggly Flat Faced Cat Breeds, 7 Strange and Weird Cat Breeds, 11 Indoor Cat Breeds, 14 Cutest Cat Breeds, 12 Most Friendly Cat Breeds, 8 Fluffiest Cat Breeds, Siberian cat colors, Maine Coon Personality and the ultimate Siberian Cat personality profile.
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. Irish cat names are fantastic for matching with the color of your cat. Kieran and Darcy both mean dark so suit black cats. Kira is black for girls and Ciara is a female name meaning dark-haired.
If your cat is a lighter colour then consider Finley which means fair or Finn which is small blond soldier.
If you have a ginger cat Rory means Red King or for a shiny tabby try Orla which means Golden Princess.
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.
Aidan means little fire so is perfect for an active and curious cat.
3. Your Cat’s Breed
If your cat is a Siberian or a Maine Coon and very fluffy it may well suit a name like Conan which means little wolf.
⇒ Keen to get a better understanding of why your cat behaves as it does? Check out my posts on What Smells do Cats Hate, Why Does my Cat Lick my Nose?, Why do cats roll in the dirt, Why Does my Cat Lay on my Chest , Why Does my Cat Sleep on my Legs, How Often do Cats Pee and What Does it Mean when a Cat Headbutts you?
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
In Ireland it doesn’t get much bigger than Bono! I feel this could be a little unfair for your kitty. Same with The Edge.
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.
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Blarney 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 name suggesting that he is a blatant liar.
7. Be nice
Mosach is Gaelic for hairy but is that really right for a beautiful kitty? Nessa is Gaelic for NOT gentle. Cillian means bitter. I think you see what I mean.
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.
⇒ About to become a fur parent? Check out my Complete Guide to How to Look After a Kitten.
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 Irish Cat Names
The most famous cat name in Ireland is Pangur. Pangur is mentioned in a poem which was written by a monk in the 9th century called Pangur Ban. And the Gaelic word for cat is actually “cot” which of course causes considerable kitty confusion!
The famous beautiful mountains near Dublin.
Did you know that little cabbage is a term of endearment in French? (Mon petit chou).
Pefect for the furriest cats as it means little wolf.
A rather odd one – it means from a church farm – but super cute
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God is gracious – perfect for a serene female kitty
Lover of hounds. Well suited to a kitty who shares its home with dogs
Little fire – perfect for cats with attitude
Perfect for a female black cat
For a male black cat
Golden Princess – perfect for a pretty female tabby
Patrick shortened – a name that always sounds like someone who loves to drink a beer and put on a bet. Perfect for a fun loving male cat.
⇒ For everything you need to know about taking care of your finicky feline check out my guide to How to Groom a Cat, Ultimate Persian Cat Grooming Guide, the Best Cat Brush, Caring for Cats guide and my quick cat check up guide.
Irish Cat Names from Places in Ireland
Irish Cat Names from Irish Food and Drinks
Bailey or Baileys
Tayto – Irish potato chip
Colcannon – mashed potato with kale or cabbage
Coddle – layers of sausages and bacon with slices of potato and onions
Irish Cat Names from Gaellic Words
Pusheen – a term of endearment for a cat
Craic – having a great time
Dillon – flash of lightening
Quinn – Wisdom
Male Irish Names
Conan – little wolf
Kieran – little dark one
Finley – fair hero
Kirby – from the church farm
Ronan – little seal
Liam – strong warrior
Cormac – son
Darcy – dark
Finn – small blond soldier
Quinn – wise
Rory – red king
Aidan – little fire
Conor – lover of hounds
Fergal – brave
Murphy – from a great warrior
Dempsey – pride
Dugan – dark or black
Female Irish Names
Kira – black
Sheena – god is gracious
Orla – golden princess
Lia – bearer of good news
Breana – strong and virtuous
Sybil – fortune teller
Ciara – dark-haired
Iona – purple jewel
Classic Irish Words and names
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