Cats are mysterious creatures. They follow a set of rules that humans can never fully decipher or understand, and yet, we find a way to coexist as comfortable companions. You might want to choose a name that’s as special as this amazing little creature you’ve let into your home.
Naming a cat can be tough because you want a name that sounds good when you’re yelling it at 3 am because they are chewing on a plastic bag again, but also one that reflects their personality, and maybe carries some deeper meaning as well. If you’re looking for something unique and other-worldly, you might want to pick a name from mythology.
We’ve got some exciting ideas for you and your precious feline. Whether you want to choose a name that’s a reference to mythological cats from various cultures, or a mythological figure that shares qualities with your cat, we’ve got you covered.
Across many cultures, there are stories of feline creatures in religious and folkloric tales. You can pick the name of one of these storied cats for your little predator.
Everyone knows that ancient Egypt was full of cat-lovers. One of their premier goddesses, Bastet, was represented as a woman with the head of a cat. She was worshipped as the goddess of cats, of course, but also protection, fertility and pregnant women, arts, music, and war. She is considered a gentler goddess than her sister, Sekhmet.
This is a good name to consider if you love Egyptian mythology and it would well suit a cat who is protective of children in the family.
Originally Bast and Sehkmet were one deity, but over time, Sehkmet grew to be considered a separate deity. Sekhmet is depicted as a woman with the head of a lioness. She has similar qualities to Bast but is considered more of a warrior goddess, leading pharaohs into battle and protecting them on their journey to the afterlife. She is also a goddess of healing.
If your cat is tough and likes to play-fight, this warrior goddess may make a good namesake.
From Chinese legends, the Zouyu was a large black and white cat that could be as large as an elephant, with a tiger-like head. Though fierce-looking, this creature was a peaceful vegetarian that would only appear to humans when a good and sincere monarch rules.
Sometimes the name is interpreted as Zouwu, though that describes a slightly different multi-colored beast. A depiction of this creature was featured in the Harry Potter universe. This is a great name for a black and white cat.
While the word “yule” refers to Yuletide, an ancient pagan celebration of rebirth surrounding the winter solstice, you might choose it as a name for a cat. The celebrations of Yuletide and Christmas became entwined in their customs in Europe. In Iceland, the Yule Cat is part of the mythology surrounding their celebrations.
Some interpretations are a little scary with a vicious Yule Cat coming to eat anyone who didn’t have new clothes to wear by Christmas Eve. In other stories, the Yule Cat just likes to snatch the food of those who aren’t properly attired. Perfect for a greedy housecat.
In Japan, there is a legend of cats, called Nekomatas, who can transform into humanoid creatures when they get old and grow enough to grow a second tail. These cat creatures are believed to dwell mainly in the mountains.
In some depictions, they are huge, vicious, and dangerous: eating humans. In others, there are illustrations of them wearing clothes and playing instruments like people. Generally, though, they were believed to be mostly wicked and chaotic.
If your furbaby is loveable, but a bit chaotic, this name might be a cute choice.
Bakeneko is another shapeshifting cat from Japanese yokai mythology, though unlike the Nekomata, with only one tale. Some were believed to be able to take on human forms and cause all sorts of mischief including summoning fireballs with their tails. Some Bakeneko are good and goofy, but others may seek revenge on human owners who didn’t treat them well.
For a mischievous cat who loves mimicking their human families, this could be an appropriate name.
The Onza is a legendary big cat from Mexico and the name comes from the Latin word for “leopard.” At the time of Spanish colonialism, there were accounts of conquistadors describing this unnerving large animal. Descriptions make it sound like a cougar with long, wolf-life ears and to this day, scientists are uncertain of what this animal is. Some modern-day sightings of a similar animal make people wonder if there really is a yet-undiscovered North American big cat.
If your little house leopard is also good at hiding, this could be the perfect name for them.
The Griffin is a mythological creature that combines a lion’s body with the head, and sometimes wings, of an eagle. This fantastical creature was depicted as far back as the Iron Age in culture from Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. It has been used to symbolize courage, strength, and military prowess. Sometimes the Griffin appeared on coats of arms and royal crests for its powerful persona.
For a regal male cat, Griffin would make a great name.
We have lots of other mythological felines below to choose from.
Names Inspired by Mythology
While there are plenty of cats of lore that you can get inspiration from, you might want to expand your horizons. There are plenty of folkloric tales and myths from around the world to draw inspiration from.
In Norse mythology, Freya (or sometimes Freyja) is one of the premiere goddesses. She was worshipped as the goddess of love, beauty, fertility, and war. She would convey slain soldiers safely to the afterlife as well. Most exciting for cat lovers, she rode in a chariot pulled by two cats and the Norse believed that there was no better gift to give a bride on her wedding day than a cat to encourage Freya’s blessings.
For a lovely house cat, especially a breed like a Norwegian Forest cat, Freya is a classic name.
Fans of Arthurian Legend might like to name their cat after Arthur’s half-sister Morgan Le Fay, often depicted as a powerful and dangerous enchantress. She has been interpreted and reinterpreted in various forms in pop culture for many years. While she is often in opposition to Arthur, she also is a healer.
Though a morally ambiguous figure, naming your cat after Morgan Le Fay can be a great way to reference early British lore. Besides, Morgan is a cute name for either a male or female cat.
Bunzi is the rain goddess, often represented by a multi-colored serpent, from the traditional African Kongo religion. This religion was typically practiced by Bantu-speaking people in sub-Sahara Africa. Whenever a rainbow is visible in the sky, it’s believed to be a sign of Bunzi’s presence. In some tribes, they believed she also had a twin brother called Mpulu Bunzi who was a close friend with the god of thunder.
Thanks to the twins of the mythology, Bunzi can work as a name for a boy or a girl cat. It’s a sweet-sounding name, too.
The famous son of the brilliant inventor Daedalus, Icarus famously tried to escape Crete with a pair of manmade wings, but his ambition was too much. His wax wings melted in the heat of the sun and he fell into the sea. This famous character originated in ancient Greek culture and his story appeared in the famous collection of myths, Metamorphosis.
If your cat always tries to find the highest possible perch, maybe he has something in common with Icarus. It would make a unique name for a boy cat.
The Greek goddess Nyx, or her Roman equivalent Nox, is shown as the personification of night. Sometimes called the goddess of shadows, her symbol is the crescent moon, and she is often represented by an owl. Nyx is sometimes thought to be one of the earliest goddesses, a primordial figure in Greek mythology from which many other gods and goddesses were born.
For a black cat, Nyx or Nox would be a great name. Your little abyss of darkness deserves a fitting name, after all.
From Japanese mythology comes the god Inari. This god is somewhat androgynous, sometimes presented as male, sometimes female, sometimes without a specific gender at all. The characters representing Inari’s name translate to “rice” and “cargo” or “to carry,” which is particularly appropriate considering they’re the god of agriculture (mainly rice), tea, and prosperity.
Inari would be a cute name for a cat of either gender, especially one that enjoys sitting beside you while you enjoy a cup of tea or bowl of rice.
One of the most powerful creator deities from Mayan mythology is Itzamna. His name is believed to come from the word for sorcery, and his home was in the sky. He is a mysterious deity who still puzzles archeologists and historians. Some texts also refer to him as a “high priest” and art shows him to be one of the upper-tier when it comes to gods and goddesses of the Mayan pantheon.
If your cat thinks of himself as someone worthy of worship, then giving him a name referencing such ancient power and status might be fitting.
You can find many other mythologically-inspired cat names below.
- Morgan (Le Fay)
Find the Right Name for Your Feline Companion
Sometimes it can be hard to pick a name that suits both you and your cat’s personality (the world has plenty of cats called Boots, Tiger, and Felix, after all). We hope our list has given you some inspiration for something a little more special that reflects just how amazing your cat is.
Whether you want to name them after a mythic cat or deity, you’ve got plenty of choices that will still sound cute enough for your furry friend.