Unique Pet Names

Pet Owners Explain Why They Name Their Pets the Way They Do


The American Pet Product Manufacturers Association survey reports that as of 2006, approximately 71.1 million households own a pet. With so many fuzzy, feathered and scaly animals among us, how does one pick a name worthy of their pet?

Keep Pet Names Simple

Gary Koltookian, a life-long pet owner in Irvine, Calif., says his thought process for naming his rabbit was pretty simple. “He’s white, so I thought of naming him Snowball, but I thought it was too cliché,” he says. “I made it easy: I named him Coconut.”

Others, such as Rob Pikes in Los Angeles, Calif., kept it straightforward. “I decided to name my cat the letters C-A-T; like you’re spelling it out. It’s simple, yet unique.”

Look for Inspiration

“I named my dog, Scoop, based off of a saying I had at the time,” says Keven Elwood of Savannah, Ga. “I also had a Collie during my childhood years that I named Panda. At the time, pandas were my favorite animals, so that’s how that came about.”

Kristin Southall of Riverside County, Calif., says she has a habit of naming her pets weird names. “When I was 14, some neighborhood kids toilet-papered my house,” she recalls. “When they called to brag about it, I asked who was on the phone, and the guy said his name was J.T. Smithers. My pet rat got that name right there and then.”

"I named my dog, Scoop, based off of a saying I had at the time.”

Southall also says her cat went without a name for a week before her and her then-boyfriend found inspiration for his name from a movie. “There is this scene in the Stephen King movie, Misery, where Kathy Bates’ character slams a book on the writer’s leg and calls him Mr. Man,” she explains. “My boyfriend at the time called the cat that when he was naughty, and it just stuck.”

Others look to other cultures as inspiration. “I wanted my new kitten to have a French-inspired name,” says Claudia Sherry of Trabuco Canyon, Calif. “We ended up naming her Nicollette because it sounded French."

Pet Name Resources


For new pet owners still struggling to find the perfect name for their pet, online sites such as Australia-based Bow Wow Meow, offers visitors a pet name database where they can find the meaning and popularity of pet names. New baby name books can give you ideas as well.

Regardless of what you decide to name your pet, it should be simple, fun and something you won’t mind saying over and over again during the course of your pet’s lifetime.

Return to the VPI Pet HealthZone

Email this article to a friend or share it via your favorite social network.

Share This page

Related Articles


Catching snowballs while on vacation wasn't as much fun as anticipated when Toby's leg snapped like a broomstick after landing hard in the snow. Full Story