Naming Cats in Pairs: What to Name Cat Brothers and Sisters

by K Marie Alto November 27, 2022 12 min read

Naming Cats in Pairs: What to Name Cat Brothers and Sisters

Any time you're looking to add a fur baby to your household, chances are you're going to feel the pressure to adopt more than one.

They need a friend, after all, right? Plus, giving your feline child a playmate will help keep them occupied during the hours of the day when you aren't around to give them attention and love.

There's just one question left. No, it's not whether or not you should adopt two; of COURSE, you're adopting two! 😸😸

Who wouldn't? Just look at those adorable little eyes. No, the question is… what do you name them?

Before we go into pairs of names that go well together, we need to discuss the elephant in  the room regarding cat name recognition:

What’s the point of spending time going through the process of finding meaningful and cute names when cats don’t even respond to them. Or do they?

As usual my blog is packed with research-backed knowledge. For pet parents looking for more cat care guides, I have sprinkled some additional great ones throughout the post. 

I've also added a very short video 📽️ about cat name recognition. It'll help clear some doubts in this regard. It's in Japanese, but trust me, all you need to speak is cat to understand it 😹

This post includes as many ideas as I can come up with for pairs of cats. Hopefully, you'll find something you like, and even if you don't, maybe you'll find some inspiration.

And hey, if you have ideas for names I haven't put on the list, add them to the comments!

Do Cats Actually Respond to Names?

Yes, they do, and there’s very strong evidence to support this fact. A team of researchers in Japan found cats can not only distinguish their names from other words, but also from the names of other cats.

“From the results of all experiments, it thus appears that at least cats living in ordinary households can distinguish their own names from general words and names of other cats… Sometimes, owners who keep multiple cats will call all of their cats’ names at the same time. In that situation, a cat may associate both its own name and those of cohabiting cats with reward… If cats associate their own name with rewards or stressors, it is reasonable to think that they react to their name.”- Hasegawa, Toshikazu, et al. Domestic Cats (Felis catus) discriminate their names from other words. Scientific Reports, vol. 1, no. 9, April 2019. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-40616-4

Now, you don't need to take the results of the study above at face value, watch the very short video below and you be the judge.

Cat Name Recognition Experiment 32-sec Video

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    Why Don’t Cats Come when Called?

    Domestic cats didn’t evolve to obey. It’s not that they don’t care, or that they are independent as many people over the internet argue, it’s simply that during the thousands of years of the domestication process, they were not trained to do so.

    According to the research team in the study cited above, the answer to this question seems to be linked to how cats were domesticated.

    Unlike dogs, cats were not domesticated to obey human commands. Thanks Neanderthal people! 😊

    Now, this isn't to say that cats can’t be trained to come when called. The good news is that you can actually train your cat to come when called.

    What Makes a Good Cat Name?

    There’s no shortage of options for cat’s names. You can choose a name that goes with your cat’s appearance, a name that has a history, a name that goes with your cat’s personality, etc.

    In addition to the above, a good cat name is one that your cat responds to. When picking your cat’s name, here are three considerations to keep in mind:

    1. Names with one or two syllables are easier to learn by cats.
    2. Cats are really good at recognizing names that end with "ie" or "y" sound.
    3. Names that end in high-pitched noises work much better.

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      Famous Name Pairs

      Having cleared the air about the most common doubts on cat’s cognitive abilities, let’s dive into the naming part.

      To start off, why not go with some famous name pairs from pop culture? Some of these work best for same-sex pairs (a couple of sisters, usually), while others work best for opposite-sex pairs.

      A Pair of Cats Image by Toe Beans

      Your vast amount of options include names like:

      • Minnie and Daisy – The mouse and the duck are iconic together!
      • Thelma and Louise – Who doesn't remember this famous name pair?
      • Sansa and Arya – Because no one can forget the Game of Thrones girl power.
      • Buffy and Willow – For the fans of the vampire slayers.
      • Buffy and Angel (or Xander, Giles, or Spike) – Really, any pair from Buffy is great.
      • Venus and Serena – Gotta rep the greatest players of all time, right?
      • Anna and Elsa – The Disney princess energy is strong with them.
      • Luke and Leia – Star Wars is Disney now, so technically, these are prince and princess, right?
      • Charming and Cinderella – Any princess and prince pairing is a great option.
      • Tom and Jerry – Sure, naming one cat after a cat and another after a mouse is a bit weird, but it works.
      • Ben and Jerry – As an added bonus, people names are always fun.
      • Batman and Robin – Maybe your feline friends will fight crime when you're asleep?
      • Mario and Luigi – The famous Mario brothers are instantly recognizable.
      • Romeo and Juliet – Hopefully your felines won't be fated for the same end.
      • Marge and Homer – Despite it all, they're still together decades later, just like you will be with your well-cared-for cats!
      • Barbie and Ken – For anyone who has nostalgia for their childhood toys.
      • Sonny and Cher – As an added bonus, you can post a picture and tag Cher on Twitter.
      • Beauty and Beast – Really, any pair of Disney anything works great for cats.
      • Mabel and Dipper – Gravity Falls is a fun show, and the personalities fit cats really well.
      • Bonnie and Clyde – A great option for a little troublemaking pair.

      Have more to add? There's a whole world of famous name pairs you can add to the list in the comments below!

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      Pairs of Objects and Items

      Some people don't like naming their cats after real people's names and prefer names that are either a little more fantastical (to avoid the "human Nigel" problem) or don't reflect people at all.

      I’m personally a big fan of human names for fur babies! How funny is it to say something like, “Samantha is the worst coworker, all she does is sleep on the job!” Meanwhile people who don’t know you well don’t realize Samantha is a cat!

      Person Holding a Pair of Cats Image by Toe Beans

      Here are some of the latter for you to peruse:

      • Jelly and Jam – Two names for the same thing; this works well for twins.
      • PB and Jelly – Peebs is a great nickname for a cat who may not answer to it anyway.
      • Ketchup and Mustard – Bonus points if you get a red and yellow collar set for your kitties.
      • Gin and Tonic – For the barflies among us who still love their kitties.
      • War and Peace – Which is funnier; naming the rambunctious one War or Peace?
      • Earth and Sky – Whether or not you like the cosmological connotations is up to you.
      • Neptune and Jupiter – Any of the planets work, and the astrology can get pretty intense.
      • Mac and Cheese – There's almost nothing more amusing than a cat named Cheese, is there?
      • Fish and Chips – Naming a cat Fish is pretty good, too, not gonna lie.
      • Spaghetti and Meatball – Just be careful not to slurp up your kitties in sauce!
      • Cake and Pie – The debate is ongoing, but we're never really going to pick favorites.
      • Yin and Yang – This works best if one cat is black and one is white, preferably with alternate markings too.
      • Silk and Satin – You're going to be petting them constantly anyway, so why not name them after textures of fabric?
      • Salt and Pepper – Another one that works well with the right color matching.
      • Sugar and Spice – Because your kitties will be everything nice!
      • Lemon and Lime – Pick your favorite citrus pairing and swap them in if you prefer.

      Obviously, this list only scratches the surface of the ideas you can come up with for name pairing. Once more, if you have fun names, feel free to leave them in the comments. Bonus points if they're names you've used!

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      Same-Letter Names

      Sometimes you want names that have a theme, but you don't want something quite as obvious as a famous name pair, a brand name set, or a pair of foods.

      Perhaps everyone in your family has the same initial for their first name, why not continue that theme with the furry family members too?!

      A Pair of Kittens Image by Toe Beans

      This list is a bunch of names in each letter of the alphabet to give you some ideas:

      • Abby, Arnie, Angel, Alf, Alfredo, Angle, Apache, Adriane, Athens, Aura, Avalon, Anthony, Aspen, Apollo
      • Brinkley, Baby, Baker, Baloo, Bandit, Bart, Bentley, Bread, Boots, Bolt, Boomer, Banana, Bill, Benny, Buddy, Butterscotch
      • Cotton, Caesar, Canola, Chase, Chamomile, Chuck,  Cosmo, Cumin, Carly, Cara, Carlitos, Coral, Casper
      • Dover, Dean, Dale, Daisy, Darby, Devon, Dino, Ditty, Diva, Dom, Dodger, Dixie
      • Enzo, Earl, Eaves, Echo, Ego, Einstein, Eris, Elijah, Eric, Elmer, Emerald, Electra, Eyes, Enya, Ebony, Eloise, Espresso
      • Frank, Fairy, Fawn, Fatcat, Florence, Flint, Fire, Flounder, Freddie, Fiji, Fritz, Finn, Frost
      • Gabe, Gadget, George, Giana, Garlic, Gazoo, Grace, Grape, Gyro, Gus, Grumps, Goober, Gizmo
      • Harold, Honesty, Happy, Hades, Herman, Hops, Honeydew, Hathor, Hyperion, Hugo, Henry
      • Isabelle, Ivan, Iago, Ian, Izzy, Ivy, Icy, Indie, Isaac, Iliana, India, Idris, Imaan, Isla
      • Julie, Joker, Jace, Jafar, Jade, Jack, James, Janus, Jiggs, Joey, Juno, Judy, Jenna, Jules, Jet
      • Kevin, Kiddo, Kate, Kanga, Kay, Kiwi, Karina, Kuzco, Kitty, Kirby, Kali, Koko, Kobe
      • Leo, Laurel, Lena, Leah, Lemon, Liz, Lucia, Lychee, Larry, Lenny, Logan, Lorena, Lucifer, Linus
      • Macha, Mason, Maxie, Mercury, Melon, Mirage, Mittens, Muffin, Mike, Morgan, Missy, Maple, Maurice
      • Natalie, Nate, Nathan, Nick, Neo, Neville, Nemesis, Nike, Nutella, Nutters, Nero, Nibbles, Nacho, Noodles
      • Ophelia, Oden, Oliver, Odie, Otto, Ozzie, Orpheus, Osiris, Ocean, Olivia, Obsidian, Oboe, Oscar
      • Parker, Philia, Panda, Pacha, Pixie, Pineapple, Pickles, Pollux, Porkchop, Princess, Petunia, Palermo
      • Query, Queue, Quincy, Quackers, Quinn, Quest, Quan, Quron, Quiro, Quill, Quince, Queeny
      • Rambo, Ryan, Renee, Ratigan, Ripley, Rita, Rolly, Ratty, Reginald, Rufus, Rudy, Robin, Rowdy, Ruby
      • Socks, Salem, Sandals, Saffron, Simon, Steve, Shadow, Sheriff, Skittle, Smokey, Slate, Shadow, Sunny
      • Theo, Travis, Tina, Tabbie, Tom, Thyme, Tigger, Tiki, Tomato, Typhoon, Tux, Tourmaline, Timon, Turbo
      • Uriel, Universe, Ursula, Uranus, Uriah, Ulysses, Uma, Umberto, Usher, Urban, Ukulele, Uber
      • Valerie, Valentine, Venus, Venom, Violet, Vivian, Vinnie, Victor, Velocity, Vincent
      • Warner, Wes, Walker, Wander, Warden, Wainright, Whimper, Witch, Winkie, Winston, Wilbur, Wookie
      • Xerox, Xavier, Xenos, Xyla, Xenia, Xiao, Xia, Xenophon, Xander, Xoss
      • Yara, Yona, Yahoo, Yen, Yoko, Yippee, Yogi, Yzma, Yellow, Yolanda, Yao, Yazmin, Yoda
      • Zero, Zen, Zinnia, Zena, Zoey, Zachary, Zeus, Zephyr, Zeke, Ziggy, Zelda

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      There are thousands upon thousands of names starting with every letter of the alphabet, so you have plenty to choose from!

      There are also a few that have a bit of a twist to them, such as these.

      • Psalm and Pterodactyl
      • Gnomon and Gnostic
      • Wrangle and Wreath
      • Knife and Knurl
      • Knick and Knack

      In fact, there's a whole book about words with silent letters, just to add that extra layer of fun to your kitty names. Anything goes when it comes to naming pets.

      Additional Theme Ideas

      Let's be honest here; a giant list of names can be kind of useful, but a list of themes might be even better. So, I've decided to round off this list with ideas for ideas if you know what I mean.

      Naming your littermates, siblings, or adoptee pairs is tricky, but you're sure to find something that resonates with you eventually, right?

      Pair of Cats Image by Toe Beans

      Here are a few themed name ideas:

      • Locations. Perhaps you have a favorite vacation spot or a city you would love to go back and visit. Think Paris or Maui. My little kitty nephew is named Hershey after Hershey, Pennsylvania.
      • Famous Romantic Pairs. There are a few of these already on the list, like Romeo and Juliet, but you can also go with names like Antony and Cleopatra (Cleocatra?), Pongo and Perdita, or Adam and Eve.
      • Sibling Pairs. There are all sorts of common names for pairs of siblings of all genders. Romulus and Remus, Castor and Pollux, Niles and Frasier, Bart and Lisa; just pick any pair you like.
      • Inseparable Friends. Media is full of friend pairs, so you have your pick of the litter. Try pairs like Amos and Andy, Betty and Veronica, Calvin and Hobbes, Buzz and Woody, Nemo and Dory, Frodo and Sam, Merry and Pippin, or Tigger and Pooh.
      • Split-up Names. Take a single compound name and split it up to spread it between your fur babies. Dust and Buster, Harley and Davidson, Bumble and Bee, Fortune and Cookie, Sweet and Sour, there are all sorts of options.
      • Famous Cats.Perhaps you’re a big movie fanatic, or love cartoons. You could choose a name like Felix, Sylvester, Milo, Garfield, Oliver, Simba, Figaro, T’Challa, or Bagheera.
      • Food Names. This has some overlap with a few other points on this list, but you've always got additional pairs like Beef and Cheddar, Soda and Pop, Garlic and Onion, Bread and Butter, and really anything else that sounds good to you that day.
      • Animal Names.I think it’s adorable when cats have the name of another animal. We called our tuxie kitty, Moose. Think of what your kitty resembles or how they act. Names like Donkey, Seal, Cow, Bear, Goose, and Piggy could all work. Maybe you’ll end up with a house full of farm animals?! I even call my parent’s cat Bunny because he only has a little tail nub like a rabbit.
      • Plant Names. Who doesn't love naming a pet after something in nature? You have flower names like Rose, Petunia, and Lily. You have tree names like Spruce, Willow, and Maple. You have vegetable names like Bean, Broccoli, and Onion. You have fruit names like Pear, Apple, and Grape. The sky is the limit with the number of different plants you can pick.
      • Celestial Names. There are as many heavenly bodies as there are elements on earth, and you can pick from them freely. Try names of planets like Mars and Mercury, names of stars like Orion, Antares, or Lyra, or any of the many other celestial names.
      • Pun and Joke Names. The well of humor found in puns is endlessly deep. Try Sir Isaac Mewton, Catpurrnicus, Oedipuss, Harry Pawter, Ravenpaw, Furnando, Pawl, Jessicat, Pawtrick, Clawdia, Meowgaret, Ben Catleck, Fleas Witherspoon, Mewoly Cyrus, Meowtini, Mewlon, or Catamari. Okay, some of those were a little painful, but you get the idea.
      • Music Names. Musical notation is a deep well as well. Clef, Forte, Treble, Major and Minor, AltoAlto (probably the best choice – though I might be bias 😉), Tenor, Bass, String, Cello, Viola, Piccolo, Tremolo, Capo, or Reed.
      • Different Language. This category is huge right? Perhaps you like a common name in English, switch it up and use the name in another language. Maybe your fuzzy brown tabby looks like a bear but go with Oso (bear in Spanish) instead!

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      Of course, if we're being honest, how often are you going to call your cats by their names? They're either going to be some variation of "kitty," something like "come here you" or "stop that," or a bunch of pet names like "snugglebuns" and "fuzzybelly."

      Their name on paper is important, sure, but if you come up with something elaborate like "Lord Stormageddon Conqueror the Fifth," it doesn't really matter if all you call them is Stormy.

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      What if My Chosen Name Doesn't Fit?

      We've all been there. You pick a name that seems perfect for your kittens based on the limited interactions you've had with them in a shelter or as young kittens, so you pick names based on those personalities.

      Then, you come to find out that their personalities change as they mature, and the names no longer really fit.

      What if Sunny is the most aggrieved and somber cat you've ever owned, and Cloudy is the rambunctious goofball?

      Pair of Young Kittens Image by Toe Beans

      The truth is you can call your cats whatever you want to call them. Their legal names are relevant for paperwork, but even that can be changed with ease as long as you work with your vet. I personally think it’s funny when kittens grow out of their names and a “Sunny” becomes the grouchiest cat. 

      If you have kids, you can even ask for their help filling out their 'legally required' PET-1016 paperwork to finalize their name change!

      The tricky part is training a cat to answer to their new name, but that's not really much different from training them to answer to their old name was.

      While cats may not always come when called, as noted above, they do recognize and react to their names

      Still need some help picking a name? Try out Purina’s pet name generator! If you’re having trouble deciding between a few names, poll your family and friends on social media!

      Did you pick related names for your kitties? What did you pick? What are your favorite names for pairs of cats? Did I include your favorite, or do you still need to add it to the list? Please, share your best names with me in the comments; I'd love to hear them.

      One more thing, if you are feeling like getting a little special something for your fur baby that is unique, made right here in the USA (or anywhere but in China), 100% pup and cat safe, USDA certified organic and brought to you by a US company, check out Toe Beans  online pet supplies store!

      As always, if you found this content useful, all our blog content on toe beans is shareable. So, what are you waiting for to spread the love 😻? Go ahead and hit any social media icon of your preference around the post for instant sharing with friends and family. Sharing is caring! 

      K Marie Alto
      K Marie Alto

      K. Marie is an animal lover, wife, kitty mom, dog auntie, writer, and co-founder of Toe Beans, a proud American family-owned online boutique pet supplies store focused on the improvement of the life of furry family members via pet parent education, better products, and advocacy. She has over 20 years of experience as a pet momma. She loves sharing her personal journey and experience as a pet parent via her blog and Facebook page where she currently has more than 30K followers (@furrytoebeans) and counting :-).

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