Unique Cat Names With Meanings

Below are unique cat names accompanied by meanings and/or descriptions. Finding the purrrfect (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?), moniker for your feline friend can be a fun task. Our collection of cat names is filled with uncommon suggestions, and we have given a meaning, description, or piece of trivia with every name. In some cases, we also mention people or animals (real or fictional) that have had the same name.

A unique, beautiful blue-eyed cat with an unknown name.

Unique Cat Names: Let’s Begin!

Ada – A short, beautiful name. Its origins seem to have different roots with different meanings. From what we could find it means “ornament” or “adornment” in Hebrew; “first daughter” in the language of the Igbo people of Nigeria; and/or “nobel” or “nobility” in German. Famous people named Ada include Ada Williams (1913-1975), an American actress; Ada Lovelace, the Countess of Lovelace (died 1852), an English mathematician and writer; and Ada Brown (1890-1950), an American blues singer.

Alban – St. Alban was a saint martyred for his faith when we was voluntarily executed in place of another man. He is known as the patron saint of refugees. The name Alban is a stong-sounding name, and might be suited for a selfless cat or one that is protective of others.

Angus – While “Angus” might be best known for the breed of cattle that bears the name, it has also been the name of numerous well-known people including Australian guitarist Angus Young (1955- ); and American actor Angus T. Jones (1993- ). In fiction, Angus was the name of the Shire horse in the Disney/Pixar animated film, Brave. Angus the horse was loyal and faithful to Merida, the little girl that owned and loved him. Last but not least, Angus was the first name of the lead character in the television series “Macgyver” (1985-1992). Although he was almost always referred to as “Macgyver” or “Mac,” his real first name was Angus. He proved throughout the series that he was intelligent, clever, a faithful friend, and uniquely resourceful.

Arabella – An elegant and beautiful name. Arabella was one of the names given to the two famous spiders that were sent into space in a 1973 Skylab project by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). They were sent as an experiment to see if they could spin webs while weightless in space, which they did.

Azad – A Persian name that means “free.” Azad has a noble sound to it, and might just be perfect for a cat that has a much freer life now than it had before.

Argo – A name with Greek origins meaning “swift.” In Greek mythology, Argo was the name of the ship that Jason and the Argonauts sailed on to bring back the Golden Fleece. She was a faithful vessel, and according to the Greek myth she was not only the first ship to sail the seas, she was awarded the honor of having a heavenly constellation named after her. The television series “Xena, Warrior Princess” (1995-2001), which was loosely based on Greek mythology, featured a horse named Argo that was intelligent, loyal, and brave in battle.

Aslan – In the famous book series “The Chronicles of Narnia” by author C.S. Lewis, Aslan is the name of the lion who is the one true King of Narnia. Although Aslan is compassionate, selfless, and wise, he can also, if the need calls for it, be fierce and willing to fight for what is right. Aslan is a beautiful, noble name, and may be just right for a cat with a kind and wise nature whose inner lion isn’t too far beneath the surface.

A big cat: An African lion
An African lion, inspiration for the lion named Aslan in the “Chronicles of Narnia” book series.

Beau – French in origin, the name Beau means handsome, pretty, or beautiful.

Bella – Italian and/or Latin in origin, Bella means “beautiful.” Real-life famous Bellas include Bella Abzug (1920-1998), an American lawyer and social activist for women’s rights. In fiction, Bella is the name of the lead female in the “Twilight” book and movie series that centers around vampires. It is a beautiful name that is easy to say and remember.

Boo Boo or Boo Boo Kitty – Boo Boo Kitty was the black, toy, stuffed cat that belonged to the character Shirley Feeney in the popular television series “Laverne and Shirley” (1976-1983). Actress Cindy Williams, who played Shirley, said that she named Boo-Boo Kitty after her mother’s cat of the same name. Although Shirley was a young adult in the series, she was still hopelessly, happily, and unapologetically attached to her Boo Boo Kitty. If you love your cat, and don’t care who knows it, this somewhat silly but charming name may be just right.

Actresses Cindy Williams and Penny Marshall. Williams named her unique stuffed cat Boo Boo Kitty.
Left to right: Actresses Cindy Williams, who played Shirley Feeny, and actress Penny Marshall, who played Laverne DeFazio. Publicity photo from the television show “Laverne and Shirley.” On the show, Shirley famously loved her stuffed cat named Boo Boo Kitty.

Burbank – Burbank was the name of the cat in the movies “Lethal Weapon” (1987) and “Lethal Weapon 2” (1989). Burbank was owned by police offer Roger Murtaugh (played by Danny Glover) and his family. Although Burbank only had small roles in the films, his name was none the less well known to fans. Burbank is also the name of Burbank, California, a city in Southern California known as “Media Capital of the World” due to all of the media and entertainment companies located there. If your cat acts like a movie star, Burbank may just be the right name.

Unique Cat Names – Calamity To Elsa

Calamity – This is a word meaning “disaster” or “great misfortune.” It is also well known as the nickname of Martha Jane Canary (1852-1903), who is better known as “Calamity Jane,” an American frontierswoman known for her wild ways as well as her compassion for those in need. This could be just the name for a cat who has survived a rough past; a cat who has a wild, reckless side; and/or a cat with a rough-and-tumble demeanor but who is also known for showing kindness.

Catarina – The name of a cat owned by American author Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), and the inspiration for Poe’s short story “The Black Cat.” Poe is typically considered a literary genius, but his writing is often dark and macabre. The name Catarina, though, is cute with a slightly humorous sound (for a cat, at least) because it has “cat” in it.

Cher Ami – This is a masculine, French phrase that means “dear friend.”  It was also the name of a homing pigeon, who, in World War I, was used by the  United States Army Signal Corps to carry important messages. After several successful missions Cher Ami was severely wounded by gunfire, but continued her mission and delivered the message strapped to her leg, thus saving the lives of approximately 200 American soldiers. Army medics worked hard to save her life, and she lived to return to the United States as a full-fledged feathered hero. When Cher Ami was given her name, she was mistakenly thought to be a cock (male) pigeon, and thus was named using the masculine “Cher Ami.” After she returned to the United States and died several months later, it was discovered that the heroic pigeon was actually a hen (female). Cher Ami is a beautiful name for any cat that is a dear friend or has a heroic character.

Chico – Chico, in Spanish, means “boy” or “lad.” As a name it is short, cute, and simple. It was the nickname of American comedian Leonard Marx, who was much better known as Chico Marx (1887-1961), part of the famous Marx Brothers comedy act. In the act Chico was usually trying to con someone, typically with the help of at least one of his brothers. If your cat is an adorable little con artist, Chico may be a perfect name for him.

Cole – Originally a surname, this name is of English origin and has gradually come into use as a first name. It means “coal black” or “charcoal.” It is a short and simple name. Famous people with the first name Cole have included composer/songwriter Cole Porter (1891 – 1964), and the outlaw Cole Younger (1844 – 1916) who was famous for being a member of the James-Younger gang.

Coley – A variation of the name “Cole,” above.

Digby – This is a cute, simple name that has a fun sound to it. People named Digby include Jane Digby (1807–1881), an English aristocrat who was fluent in several languages, described as beautiful, and famous for her numerous lovers and marriages. Digby might be just the right name for an outgoing cat who loves the good life and a little adventure.

Digory – If this name has a meaning or definition we are not aware of it. We simply like the name because it is unique and has a fun, playful feel to it. The only place we’ve heard it used – and where we became aware of it – is in three books by author C. S. Lewis: “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “The Magician’s Nephew,” and “The Last Battle.” The three books are part of Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia” book series.

Dinah – A pretty, simple name that was also the name of the pet cat belonging to Alice in the classic “Alice In Wonderland” book by Lewis Carroll.

Elvira – This name is generally considered to be Latin or Spanish for “truth” but some sources claim it means “white” or “beautiful.”

Elsa – This is a short, beautiful, classic name for a feline thanks to the lioness made famous in the 1960 book “Born Free: A Lioness Of Two Worlds” by Joy Adamson. The highly successful book was followed by a very successful movie and them song, both named “Born Free.” The book and movie tell the true story of how Joy Adamson and her husband George raised an orphan lion cub they named Elsa, then successfully rehabilitated her to return to the wild. This name might be just right for a cat that is truly a free spirit.

Another big cat: An African lioness
A beautiful African lioness (but not the one named Elsa of “Born Free” fame).

A Few More Unusual Names – Festus To Noah

Festus – Latin in origin, this name means “festive” or “joyous.”

Francis – This is another classic name for a cat or any animal thanks to its association with St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

Gabriel – In the Bible, Gabriel and Michael are the only two angels mentioned by their names. It is Hebrew in origin, meaning “mighty man of God.” If your cat has a noble, dignified nature, or an angelic one, this could be the right name. It also shortens nicely to the nickname of “Gabe.”

Gulliver – A fun sounding name that began as a surname, but that can also be used as a first name. In the book “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift, the lead character Gulliver visits a land where the people are very small, making Gulliver seem like a giant by comparison. If your cat is big compared to the other cats around him, Gulliver might just suit him for a name.

Hubert – St. Hubert is known as the Patron Saint of hunters. Since even our domestic cats are wild hunters at heart, the name Hubert might be just right.

Ira – This name means “watchful” in Hebrew. Since our cats love to watch and spy on us and their other pals, this might be a great cat name. It’s also short and easy to spell and remember.

Izzy – A shortened form of “Isabel.” They are both cute and beautiful names.

Jellylorum – The name of a cat owned by T. S. Eliot (1888-1965),the British author and playwright. Lewis included Jellylorum’s name in a poem “The Naming of Cats” which was included in a book of poems by Lewis about cats titled “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” which later became the the basis for the musical play “Cats.”

Jingles – The name Jingles is cheerful and fun, and might be the right name for a fun-loving, playful cat.

Kaspar – If your cat has ever brought you good luck, this might be just the right name. At the Savoy hotel in London, England, Kaspar (sometimes called “Kaspar the Savoy Cat”) is the name of a black, two foot high cat sculpture. It is Kaspar’s job to join any dining party numbering 13 people, thereby bringing the number in the group from 13 to 14. Since 13 is traditionally believed to be an unlucky number, Kaspar’s presence is intended to prevent 13 people from having to risk an unlucky fate.

Loco – In Spanish “Loco” means crazy. This would be a fun name for an energetic, playful cat.

Merry – A name of Old English origin, Merry means “joyful” or “lighthearted.” It is well known as the nickname of Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck, a Hobbit in the book “Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien. Merry was a true and unfailing friend to Frodo, and stayed faithful to him throughout numerous hardships and perils.

Noah – This name is derived from a Hebrew word meaning “comfort,” so it’s a great name for a nurturing, loving cat.

And Finally, Names From Phoebe To Zelda

Phoebe – A pretty name that was highlighted by the character of the same name in the television series “Friends” (1994-2004). In the series Phoebe had a sweet nature, but was also rather ditzy.

Pecos – Perhaps best known as the name of a river that runs through New Mexico and Texas, it’s also well known as the name of “Pecos Bill,” a fictional, 1800s cowboy. Pecos Bill was a larger-than-life character who lived in the southwest part of the USA, particularly Texas. There are many stories about Pecos Bill’s escapades, including how he liked to eat dynamite, how he occasionally rode a cougar instead of a horse, and (according to the lyrics of the “Pecos Bill” song) how he once roped a raging cyclone then rode it down until it was just a breeze.

Satchmo – This was a favorite nickname of the much-beloved American singer, actor, composer, and trumpet player, Louis Armstrong (1901-1971). Famous in jazz music circles and beyond, Mr. Armstrong was known for his huge smile, friendly personality, and a deep, raspy voice. Everyone, it seemed, felt like he was their friend and comfortably referred to him as “Satchmo” whether they actually knew him or not. When he passed away he was tearfully bid good-bye with the words: “Move over Gabriel, because here comes Satchmo.” Whether or not you associate the name Satchmo with Mr. Armstrong, we love the name as a cat name. It’s short, cute, implies a big personality, unique, and easy to remember.

Jazz great Louis Armstrong, who had the unique nickname of Satchmo
Jazz great Louis Armstrong, well known by his nickname “Satchmo.”

Shadrach – From the Book of Daniel in the Bible. In the Bible story Shadrach and his companions, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into a raging furnace for refusing to bow to an image of the king of Babylon. Instead of dying, the Lord provided them with a miracle and they left the furnace unharmed. If your cat has a miraculous story of survival, or if you just enjoy the sound of this old-fashioned name, Shadrach might be the name you’re looking for.

Sylvester – This is a Latin name meaning “wooded” or “from the forest.” While Sylvester is well known as the name of Sylvester Stallone, the actor of “Rocky” and “Rambo” fame, it is perhaps best known as the name of the cartoon black-and-white cat in the Loony Tune cartoons. Sylvester the cat always seemed to be chasing the small yellow bird named Tweety Bird (or Tweety Pie, a poor pronunciation of Sweetie Pie). Sylvester was a popular character in the cartoons, and while he did occasionally catch poor Tweety Bird, Tweety always managed to get away without permanent harm. Sylvester, thanks to the cartoon cat, is a classic cat name that never gets old.

A black-and-white cartoon cat names Sylvester
Sylvester the cat from the Loon Tune cartoons.*

Tabitha – This is an Aramaic word for “gazelle,” but also means “beauty” or “grace” in Hebrew. On the television show “Bewitched” (1964 – 1972) Tabitha was a young girl with magical powers thanks to inheriting them from her mother, a good natured witch who was married a mortal. In the New Testament of the Bible Tabitha was an elderly woman known for her kindness. When she died, Peter (aka Simon Peter, better known today as St. Peter), restored her back to life. Tabitha is a simple, beautiful name.

Wiley or Wylie – This is a fun, Old-English name that means “crafty” or “tricky.” The word “wily” is related to the name, and is an adjective used to describe…wait for it…someone who is crafty or tricky. It’s a great name for a cat that is sly or crafty.

Willow – A simple, pleasant sounding name, probably best known as the name of a variety of tree called the willow tree. Willow trees have lovely slender branches and are known for their ability to bend with a strong wind instead of breaking.

Winston – Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was a British statesman and military leader. He twice served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and in a 2002 British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) poll was voted the Greatest Briton of all time. It’s well known that Mr. Churchill loved cats, and enjoyed having them at both his official and privates residences. One of his better known cats was named Jock, a male marmalade (orange tabby) with a white bib and white mittens. Jock was a gift from a friend to Churchill for his 88th birthday. Jock lived with Churchill at his country estate named Chartwell, and a couple of years later was taken with Churchill to his London home, Hyde Park Gate. Churchill passed away at Hyde Park Gate, reportedly with Jock nearby or on his bed with him. Winston is a dignified-sounding name for a cat, and would be suitable for many cats, particularly if they happen to be an orange tabby.

Chartwell, home of Winston Churchill. Winston is an unusual cat name.
This is a 2005 photo of Chartwell, the country home of Winston Churchill that he shared with several cats, including an orange tabby named Jock.

Yogi – Perhaps best known as the name of Yogi Bear, a cartoon bear in a series of cartoon by Hanna-Barbera. Yogi Bear lived in a large park known as Jellystone Park, and loved to steal picnic baskets (or “pic-a-nic” baskets as Yogi called them) from the park’s visitors. Yogi is also the name of famous baseball player Yogi Berra (1925-2015). It is a short, cute, name with a playful sound to it.

Zelda – In Yiddish Zelda means “blessed” or “happy.” It is the name of Princess Zelda in a series of video games by Nintendo. It is a pretty name that might be well suited for a happy, good natured cat.


* To the best of our knowledge this image is not in the public domain. However, since it is being used for commentary on the subject matter it is paired with, we believe its use falls under “fair use” according to US copyright law. If you are the copyright holder, or the legal representative of the copyright holder, and feel we are in error and the image should be removed please let us know by sending an email to admin@cowboyway.com .

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