Need a name for your new kitty? Here are 25 suggestions from Japan.
Just like cats say “nyao” in Japan instead of “meow,” so too does the country have its own trends in names for feline pets. Japanese website Iris Pet recently completed its annual survey of Japan’s top cat names, in which 839 respondents gave the names of the collective 1,694 cats they own.
Let’s take a look at the top 25.
25 (tie). Yuki (meaning “Snow”)
オッドアイの白猫ユキ (@oddeyekitty) February 15, 2016
No doubt a popular choice for kitties with snow-white fur, like the one seen in the tweet above.
25 (tie). Minto (“Mint”)
No, Japan doesn’t have mint-green cats, but it does have a penchant for naming its cute pets after foodstuffs, as we’ll see as the list goes on.
25 (tie). Miruku (“Milk”)
25 (tie). Haru (“Spring”)
25 (tie). Chobi
25 (tie). Kurumi (“Walnut”)
25 (tie). Kinako
Kinako is a cinnamon-like seasoning made from roasted soybean powder, with a color not unlike the coat of the cat seen above.
22 (tie). Reo/Leo
Lions are just big cats, so why not name your housecat after the king of the jungle?
22 (tie). Moka (“Mocha”)
22 (tie). Tama
三丁目のタマ町内会 (@tama_friends) February 09, 2016
Tama literally means “ball,” and may have initially caught on as a metaphor for how cats look when curled up asleep. Tama may also get a boost form being the name of the family cat in long-running anime Sazae-san as well as the star of anime and character merchandise line Tama and Friends, which has been around since the early 1980s and is still going strong with its own Twitter account.
Meaning “circle,” Maru carries cozy connotations similar to Tama.
18 (tie). Hime (“Princess”)
18 (tie). Jiji
We’re guessing most owners of a Jiji named the animal after the companion of little witch Kiki in classic Ghibli anime Kiki’s Delivery Service.
18 (tie). Azuki (“Sweet Red Beans”)
13 (tie). Rin
13 (tie). Maron (“Marron”)
Marron, being the French word for “chestnut,” has enough foreign flare to propel it past the more domestic and mundane Kurumi in the battle of nut-derived cat names.
13 (tie). Tora (“Tiger”)
13 (tie). Sakura (“Cherry Blossom”)
Cats and cherry blossoms are a great combination, after all.
13 (tie). Kotetsu (“Small Iron2”)
This diminutive yet tough name was the number-three choice for male cats in the poll.
11 (tie). Mikan (“Mandarin Orange”)
11 (tie). Chibi (“Tiny”)
9 (tie). Chiro
9 (tie). Kai
The masculine-sounding Kai tied for the number-one male cat name.
7. Fuku (“Lucky”)
5 (tie). Sora (“Sky”)
ソラ「白猫よりあたちを構いなさーい！」って感じかなw メートルのルーン4200個まで来た(*´ω｀*) https://t.co/b23x88H7pl—
林檎猫₍˄·͈༝·͈˄₎◞ ̑̑ෆ⃛ (@yoshiringochan) February 09, 2016
Sora tied with Kai in the male rankings, but a couple of responses from the female side pushed it higher in the overall rankings.
5 (tie). Shiro (“White”)
2 (tie). Hana (“Flower”)
Hana, which is also a popular name for dogs in Japan, was the top response for female cats.
2 (tie). Kuro (“Black”)
Black cats may be traditionally considered bad luck, but they got plenty of love in the survey.
1. Momo (“Peach”)
▼ With victory secured, Momo can rest easy.
めっちゃいい顔して寝てました。 ＠夫 #猫 #モモ https://t.co/HS2c8bHAOE—
モモとウメ (@momoume_ppp) February 09, 2016
Even though it was only the second-most popular choice for female cats, and its sweet, fruity image meant it wasn’t a huge hit for males, Momo had just enough crossover appeal to capture the top spot in Iris Pet’s poll for an astounding eighth year in a row.
Now, armed with this list, you’ll be more than ready to welcome 25 new pets into your home.