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10 Most Popular Cat Names of 2021

What the Wildest readers’ most popular cat names say about 2021.

by Avery Felman
January 11, 2022
Tabby kitten sitting on the couch
Sally Anscombe / Stocksy

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Let’s be real. When it comes to cat names, our choices say more about us than they do about our new pet — whether they’re a Balthasar or a Fluffy, they’re going to turn their nose up at you when you call. So when we look back at the Wildest community’s most popular cat names of the year, they’re more of a reflection of our mindsets as humans existing in yet another pandemic year than they do our adoptees. Below, a sign of the times: the most common cat names of 2021, and what they reflect about the wild year we stuck out with a little help from our feline friends.

The Wildest Readers’ Top Cat Names

1. Luna 

For most of us, this year felt like more than one lap around the sun, but what about the much neglected moon? One bright spot in 2021 was the Lunar New Year, which marks the start of a new calendar year and (thankfully) wipes the slate clean and offers energetic shifts. The name Luna helps us delight in the memory that was the year of the Ox.

2. Charlie

2021 was also, arguably, the year of the TikTok. Charli D’amelio dominated the app, showing snippets of her daily life. Now you can find her on Hulu, too, breaking into the reality TV game. 2021 was the year of Charli(e)s.

3. Bella

Bella, where the hell have you been, loca?! Don’t ask us why 2021 brought a resurgence of Twilight fanaticism — maybe it’s nostalgia for a simpler time, or maybe it’s just belated recognition for a cinematic masterpiece. Whatever the case, Twilight took the internet by storm this year, and there are hundreds of four-pawed Bellas to prove it. 

4. Max

Hacks, Succession, Mare of Easttown, The White Lotus, Gossip Girl… HBO Max brought their A game last year. It’s a worthy namesake, and don’t let any cats named Hulu tell you different. 

5. Daisy

Remember Daisy Dukes? Yeah, neither do we. 2021 was the year of the sweatpant, but someone (or some cat) has to keep the memory of jeans alive. 

6. Milo

Tell the truth, Milo-parents, are you talking to your kitten in Jared Leto’s stupendously terrible House of Gucci accent? 

7. Coco

It seems we were all anxiously anticipating this particular holiday season and a cup of hot cocoa is always the perfect respite for the winter blues, which we also had our fair share of this quarantine cycle.

8. Buddy 

For cats adopted during the long months of Covid isolation, this name is a perfect fit. We all need a consistent Buddy who we can unmask around — and they need us (and the scratches we provide) too. 

9. Loki

Yeah, it feels like every year is a Marvel year, but from Spider-Man: No Way Home to Black Widow to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, 2021 was particularly notable for the cinematic universe. And when it comes to Marvel-inspired kittenhood, there isn’t a better character parallel than Loki, the rambunctious and sneaky trickster god. 

10. Bear

Bears are strong, hibernatory, and always craving something sweet. That about sums up our 2021 energy.

Top Cat Names in the US in 2021

Year after year, the names we pick for our pets seem to follow cultural trends. In the most recent pandemic years, we’ve noticed trending names linked to Covid, cultural references, and even internet-popular food trends (although, “TikTok feta pasta” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue). If you’re feeling stuck in a rut trying to find your pet a suitable title, using popular names of the moment can be a fun jumping off point. Uncover the name that perfectly encapsulates not only your pet’s personality, but also the time in which they earned their namesake rather than ending up with yet another “Midnight” in a sea of black cats.

In fact, Rover released their top names of 2021 for male and female cats, and the results were similar to the Wildest community’s favorite names, with Bella, Milo, and Luna taking the lead. Clearly, Italian culture was all the rage this calendar year with House of Gucci inspiring memes, controversial reviews, and its audience to actually attend a movie screening for the first time in years. So, if you’re looking for a non-traditional pet name and need a little help thinking outside the box, taking a look at the events of the year is sure to provide the right kind of fodder.

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Avery, editor at The Wildest, and her cat, Chicken

Avery Felman

Avery is an editor at The Wildest. She has written for numerous publications, including Refinery29, BuzzFeed, and V Magazine. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her boyfriend and cat, Chicken, and has high hopes that one of them will let her adopt a dog.