Naming a pet is a big deal. A proper one like a mammal, anyway. You can call fish anything, because you have no emotional connection to them and they die when you go away for a weekend and forget to feed them. And you can give a budgie any name you fancy, because whatever you call it, it’ll escape within six months and never be seen again. Mammals, though. A hairy beast like a dog or cat is likely to be in your life for 10-20 years, so finding the right name for it requires considering a lot of factors:
- Is it a name you think is really cute now, but will become inscreasingly unfunny and grating, to the point where you can barely bring yourself to say it, and you start just referring to General Fluffikins as “the cat” because it makes you sort of hate yourself?
- Is it a name you’d be comfortable bellowing across a meadow if you let your beast off the leash and it scarpered? Sure, it’s funny calling a dog Graham, but are you happy to shout that at the top of your voice across the heath when he’s run away?
- Is it a name that means a lot now, but will be nonsense in a decade’s time because the TV show you named it after will have been long off the air? Your kitten Pickle Rick may have feelings about this.
Argos Pet Insurance have revealed the top ten names for male and female dogs and cats, which is a bit odd given that:
a) Loads of pets have non-gendered names and are named after fun stuff like food.
b) Gender is a social construct.
c) Usually, unless you roll a cat over and look at its penis or vagina you can’t really be sure which type it has, and even then, it is a cat.
d) Animals are lucky enough to lead existences free from all the constraints human society’s fixation on gender brings, whether in the form of institutional misogyny, toxic masculinity, impossible behavioural expectations or demands to conform.
Top ten names for female cats:
Top ten names for male cats:
Top ten names for female dogs:
Top ten names for male dogs:
What can we conclude from these results? Well…
- People name cats and dogs pretty much the same things. Five names show up on both male lists, and eight on both female lists
- Both Leo and Simba show up on the (male) cat list and mean lion, yet no name meaning wolf shows up on the dog one. Maybe aggression is celebrated in cats and shied away from in dogs - a pissed-off cat is adorable meme material while an angry dog will eat your fucking child
- Plants are a popular theme for female pet names (Poppy, Daisy, Lily, Rosie, Willow), while the male lists feature two entries from the phonetic alphabet (Charlie and Oscar) and one name, Alfie, that is really, really close to being on it
- Nobody gives female pets names beginning with vowels
- The first half of the alphabet is much more popular than the second
- That’s it, that is all we can conclude, cheers