The 10 Most Popular Cat Names of 2023

BY SEAN ZUCKER

Courtesy of @taylorswift

People who aren’t pet parents, the nonbelievers we’ll call them, never seem to fully understand the importance of naming our animal companions. What they often miss is that the naming process is not only a reflection of ourselves but the state of our society at large.

A shout-out for everyone’s internet daddy, Pedro Pescal

For example, Rover recently released its annual list of the most popular and trending cat names in the U.S., with one momentous new addition to their database: Pedro Pspspcal. It’s a name that represents the adorable goofiness of cats, as well as the great equalizer among all people today: our love for daddy Pedro Pascal. Of course, there were plenty of other more significant, albeit less fantastic, takeaways from Rover’s yearly list.

Booze kitties (get it, like booze hounds, but cats?)

For one, cat parents love to drink. This is especially true for carbonated beverages, as the names Champagne and White Claw both increased by around 100 percent from last year, while Prosecco saw a nearly 800 percent bump. Whisky, Gin, and Mai Tai also each saw over 50 percent increases in popularity, proving once and for all that cat lovers have a wide booze palate. In fact, the number-two trending cat name across all categories was Soju, a common Korean alcoholic beverage.

A moment for K-Pop

Cat parents were seemingly inspired quite a bit by Asian cultures this year: Tsuki, the Japanese word for moon and a common designation in Japanese martial arts, was only four slots behind Soju. Plus, in honor of a few K-Pop stars, Jennie, V, and Suga all saw positive upticks in use. This is before Jimin, who the internet tells me is a member of the K-Pop group BTS, enjoyed an almost 500 percent increase in popularity.

420-friendly, baby

And because we love our human nip as much as cats love theirs, several weed-inspired names trended in 2023. Strain-specific nominations like Sativa and Indica, saw a positive change, in addition to Ganja and Blaze seeing bumps. One family with two kitties even named one Sativa and the other Indica, because cat parents contain multitudes. Right on cue, Munchie was also up 10 percent. But no marijuana-related development was more significant than that of Snoop landing at number three in the top 10 most trending names of 2023. It was touch and go there for a minute, but Snoop Dogg remains the prince of pot that was promised. Also worth noting that one Snoop Catt appeared in Rover’s database this year.

“Karma’s like a cat,” after all

But let’s be real: 2023 was nothing if not the year of Taylor Swift. This truth was clearly evident through the naming patterns of dog parents, so naturally cat parents would follow suit, as she is famously one herself. In fact, two of her cats saw their names trending up this year. Meredith Grey rose close to 650 percent, while Olivia Benson saw an over 100 percent increase. Interestingly, Benjamin Button was down 32 percent, so I think it’s clear who Swifties’ least favorite Tay kitty is (no shade!). Similarly, Swifties seem to be having a bit of an identity crisis, as that title was nowhere to be found in the report. But simply, the name Swift was up 133 percent. Guess you could say Taylor Swift fans are entering their one-syllable era. And in light of recent romantic developments, the names Travis and Kelce increased by 56 percent and 107 percent in popularity, respectively.

Game on

Swifties aside, following the massive success of The Last of Us and The Super Mario Bros Movie, (and the announcement of the Stray video game film) historians may look back at 2023 as the year we finally figured out how to make video game adaptions. So, it’s only natural that several gamer-type names rose in popularity this year. Half of the top 10 trending video game names were inspired by the aforementioned animated Italian plumber saga, led by Princess Peach with a 43 percent increase. This was followed by Luigi, Bowser, Yoshi, and, of course, Mario. Other Nintendo heads showed up with Link, Kirby, and Zelda also making the top 10. There was even a wave of Pokémon-inspired names like Shinx, Ash, and Pikachu proving that those things are never going away. But, thankfully for my inability to pronounce anything unfamiliar, none made the overall most popular list. Speaking of…

Below are the 10 most popular cat names of 2023.

10. Loki

Even as Marvel seems to have finally hit a wall, at least by their standards, Loki still rules.

9. Lucy

I’m assuming people are probably naming their cats here after Lucy Lui in hopes that they too will remain a timeless goddess.

8. Kitty

A bit on the nose, but sometimes, the obvious choice is the right one, like choosing to wear a baseball cap over a fedora. Not even Jason Mraz can pull those off anymore.

7. Lily

It’s my understanding that the lily plant is meant to represent purity and innocence, neither of which have applied to any cat I’ve ever met but I’m not against irony. They’re also highly toxic to cats, so please only allow your cat to associate with the plant in name only.

6. Charlie

Charlie is a classic pet moniker, but if you’re part of the small group of people naming your cat after the character in It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, you should have just gone the extra mile and named them Dayman. Although with the new Willie Wonka movie upon us, Charlie remains revenant.

5. Bella

Another carryover from 2022. Is this a Bella Hadid thing?

4. Leo

Outside of Titanic die-hards, I’m thinking this refers to the Zodiac sign. Leos are loyal, lionhearted, and domineering — there may be no better way to describe an animal who’s as cuddly as they are destructive.

3. Oliver

I’m convinced Oliver is such a popular name due to its plethora of available nicknames like Ollie, Olive, or Olaf. Pet parenthood is nothing if not an exercise in finding new ways to refer to your cat in a baby voice.

2. Milo

This one hits different because I’ve also been trying to manifest a vacation to Milos, Greece after New York’s recent temperature shift.

1. Luna

We love consistency, ya know? Luna was the most popular name across both primary pet species last year, so no surprise to see it here again.

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