Historical Cat Names: Respect, Honor, and Reverence for a Deserving Kitty

Old tabby cat reading history book
Jeremy Vaughn
Written by Jeremy Vaughn

Going through history elicits feelings of respect and adoration for the men and women whose selflessness, courage, and willpower led to the discovery of the world as we know it. Over time, they have been revered and honored in all conceivable ways. It is not uncommon to find people who have named their cats after their favorite historical figures. Numerous historical cat names are available for anyone who is looking to indulge in a piece of history.

If that sounds like you, you are in the right place. We have sourced for names across all annals of history and come up with a list that will fully satisfy your need. There’s so much to be remembered about the owners of these monikers that your cat has got to fit somewhere. By the time you are done going through our list, you will not only have found a name for your kitty but will also have quenched your thirst for history.

The best thing about history is that it is all-inclusive. Both men and women who stood out ended up in the archives. This gives you an exhaustive list of both male and female names to choose from. Did you know that even felines were not left out? Yes, cats have also left their paw marks in human history. Read on to find the best name for your cat and let his/her legend be remembered for eras to come.

Female Historical Cat Names

cat wearing Cleopatra costume

Historically, women were regarded as inferior to men. The women who left a mark visible enough to be remembered had to fight their way through a male-dominated world. Here are the women who defied the odds in their societies.

  • Agatha. The name found itself in the history books due to Saint Agatha: The 3rd-century Christian martyr from Sicily. It’s also the name of famed detective novelist Agatha Christine. Click here to discover more literary cat names.

  • Alexandra. Also known as Irana Feodorovna. She was the Tsaritsa of Russia from 1584 to 1598.

  • Amelia. Amelia Earhart was an American pilot who became the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean. She disappeared in 1937 as she attempted to fly around the world. The name will do for a passionate and daring cat.

  • Aphra. Aphra Behn was the first female professional writer. She wrote Oroonoko, a story about an African slave who led a revolt. A name for an independent molly.

  • Blackie. The richest cat in history who inherited $12.5 million from her owner, Ben Rea, in 1988.

  • Catarina. American writer Edgar Poe’s pet cat. The tortoiseshell cat could be the writer’s inspiration behind The Black Cat.

  • Clara. She was a nurse who attended to soldiers during the American civil war. Clarissa Harlowe Barton was a self-trained nurse and humanitarian who founded the American Red Cross. The name suits an affectionate cat.

  • Cleopatra. The last queen of Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. She reigned from 51 to 30BC. Among the many things she is remembered for, wit and charm take the forefront. Your molly surely has these attributes. You can play with the name and have Cleo or Patra as nicknames.

  • Coco Chanel. The founder of Chanel fashion brand. She was a French businesswoman who pioneered the revolution of women’s clothing.

  • Creme Puff. Wish a long life for your cat by naming her after the oldest domestic cat in recorded history. She lived to be 38 years and three days old. Click here to find out more about the average lifespan of a cat.

  • Elizabeth. The name of the legendary English monarch, ‘the Virgin Queen.’ Nicknames include Bess, Eliza, Liz, Beth, and Betty. It’s a name also shared by the current English Queen.

  • Ella. Ella Fitzgerald was an accomplished American jazz singer. The name means ‘beautiful fairy woman.’ She had an illustrious career spanning from 1934 to 1993. The name would do for a molly who loves music.

  • Emily. The first name of Elizabeth Dickinson. She was an American poet of the late 19th century. The name means ‘industrious’ or ‘striving.’ It will do for a molly who is full of energy.

  • Frida. The name is derived from Old Norse and means ‘beautiful’ or ‘peace.’ Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter. A name for a mellow and loving cat.

  • Gloria. American political activist Gloria Marie Steinem has been a national icon on women empowerment. She was at the forefront as a leading feminist in the 1960s and 1970s. The name will do for an independent and smart molly.

  • Guinevere. The wife of the legendary King Arthur. The folktales depict her as a beautiful Queen albeit an unfaithful one. Gwen will do as a nickname. It means ‘fair’ or ‘white.’

  • Harriet. Name your cat after Harriet Beecher Stowe. She was an author who wrote books on the plight of African slaves in America. A name for a molly who knows how to stand her ground.

  • Helen. She was said to be the most beautiful woman in the world. The Greek mythology has her as the daughter of the sun god, Zeus. Her unfaithfulness led to the epic Trojan War. A name for a beautiful molly.

  • Hera. Greek goddess of women and family. She was Zeus’s vengeful wife. The name will do for a jealous and overbearing cat.

  • Iberia. The name of Georgian Kingdom of Kartia. The monarchy covered the present day Eastern Georgia region and lasted from 303BC to 580 AD. A name for a cat from one of the oldest cat breeds.

  • Isabella. The moniker has been used by many queens from European royal houses over the years. Isabella of Hainaut was the Queen of France in the late 12th century. The name is a variant of Elizabeth, which means ‘devoted to God.’

  • Joan. Name your molly after the French 15th-century war heroine Joan of Arc. Her allegiances during the wars between France and England led to her martyrdom. She is the patron saint of France. A name for a brave kitten.

  • Louisa. The name was made popular by Louisa May Alcott. She is best known as the author of Little Woman, a novel in 1868. Give your cat a name honoring one of the earliest female intellectuals.

  • Marge. A moniker borrowed from American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead. It means ‘pearls.’ Other variants of the name include Meg, Maggie, and Madge. The name will do for a molly with pearly grey eyes.

  • Nightingale. She is considered to be the founder of modern nursing. She tended to wounded soldiers during the Crimean war. A name for a caring and affectionate molly.

  • Peta. The first female “Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office”—the official designation given to mousers at the United Kingdom PM’s office.

  • Portia. The heroine in William Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice. She was rich with a beauty to match her noble stature. The name will fit a beautiful molly.

  • Rosa Parks. Name your molly after the ‘mother of freedom movement.’ Rosa Loise McCauley Parks was a civil rights activist. Her refusal to vacate a ‘whites only’ seat led to the Montgomery bus boycott of the mid 1950s. A name for a stubborn and dominant molly.

  • Rosie. Name your cat after the iconic poster girl of world war two. ”Rosie the riveter” was a name given to women who worked in shipyards and factories. The images were used as a rallying call for women to join the war effort.

  • Sheba. An ancient kingdom that is associated with the Hebrew biblical accounts of Queen of Sheba. Historians believe it to have been in present-day Yemen.

  • Thomasina. A Scottish tabby cat who was among the first felines to star in a leading film role. She featured as the lead in The Three Lives of Thomasina, a Walt Disney movie released in 1964. If your cat is a tabby, you can find a separate article dedicated entirely to her in this tabby cat names page.

Male Historical Cat Names

Gray cat Beethoven

Men have been instrumental in shaping history. They have made an immense impact on almost all aspects of the human existence. In a world where they were considered superior, one had to really stand out to end up in history books. They have carved the most powerful and largest of empires and created everlasting symphonies.

Below are some masculine historical names for your cat.

  • All Ball. The name of a male Manx cat that was adopted by Koko the Gorilla. The primate was the focus of media attention after learning American Sign Language in the 1980s.

  • Attila. He was a ruler of the Huns who controlled most of Central and Eastern Europe. He instilled fear even in the mighty Roman Empire. A name for a ruthless and brave cat.

  • Augustus. He was the first emperor of Roman Empire. He ruled for forty years, from 27BC to 14AD. Despite the violence associated with the empire’s expansion, he was able to rule for 20 years in relative peace. The moniker will best suit a superior kitty.

  • Barka. One of the greatest military commanders in history. Hanibal Barka was a general of the Ancient Carthage army. He won many battles and resisted the encroaching Roman empire. His battle tactics are still being studied by historians to date. A name for a fierce territorial cat.

  • Beethoven. Ludwig van Beethoven was a renowned German classical composer and pianist. His legacy lives to date with the Beethoven music festival which has been held since 1845. The name will appeal to your love of music.

  • Brutus. A politician in the ancient Roman Republic who led the assassination of Julius Caesar. His first two names would also do for a cat: Marcus & Junis.

  • Byron. An English nobleman who was a poet in the early 19th century. You can go all the way and name your dominant feline Lord Byron.

  • Caesar. He was a military general and dictator of the Ancient Roman Republic from 49BC to 44BC. His name continued to be used as a title by many of his predecessors long after his death.

  • Casanova. The name brings to mind a charming cat. Giacomo Casanova was an Italian author—a womanizer who penned most of his adventures and exploits under aliases.

  • Churchill. He was the prime minister of the United Kingdom during the second world war. He was also a military officer and a writer. A name for a dominant cat.

  • Dali. A famous Spanish painter who was known for surreal and bizarre images. A name for a tomcat who plays by his own rules.

  • DaVinci. Better known as Leonardo da Vinci. He was an Italian Renaissance inventor and artist who is credited as the father of architecture. Among his outstanding works is the “Mona Lisa” painting. A name for a crafty cat who can do anything he puts his mind to.

  • Dewey Readmore Books. Feel free to shorten the name to just Dewey. He was the library cat of the public library of Iowa, US. He shot to fame after the publishing of a book about his life: Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched The World.

  • Dickens. A famous Victorian-era English writer. He is credited with creating many fictional works that continue to be enjoyed the world over. He was a visionary, and his name will do for an intelligent cat.

  • Einstein. A German theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate. He developed The Theory of Relativity. A name for an intelligent cat.

  • Excalibur. The sword of the legendary King Arthur. It’s also known as ‘the sword in stone.’ It contained magic. Caliburn, Calliborc, or Caliburn will also do as variants of the moniker for a tough cat. Looking for epic cat names? This article should be of help.

  • Genghis. The First Great Khan or Emperor of the Mongol Empire. He was a ruthless ruler who occasioned the largest empire in history. The moniker best describes a ruthless cat.

  • Goliath. The name comes from the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. He was a Philistine and a military hero who was felled by David. The name will do for a bully cat.

  • Himmy. The world’s heaviest cat in record who weighed 21.3kg (46.8lbs) in 1986. He made TV appearances from 2010 to 2012 as the heaviest domestic cat at the time.

  • Homer. A legendary Ancient Greek author. He was known for the “Iliad” and “Odyssey.” These two great works of Greek literature are the sources of many legends of the Trojan wars.

  • Horace. A poet and the first spokesman of the Roman Empire. He was also an army officer.

  • Houdini. A name for your trickster cat. Harry Houdini was an American illusionist or magician. He was well-recognized for being able to escape from almost any conceivable locks and handcuffs. He plied his skills in the early 1900s. Find a host of other magical cat names here.

  • Khan. It means ‘leader’ or ‘ruler.’ The moniker was used as a title by ancient Mongolian monarchs. The female variation is Khatum or Khanum. Tushiyetu Khan was the last Mongolian with the moniker.

  • Leif. Name your cat after the first European to discover continental North America. Leif Erikson was a Viking explorer. His legacy has been immortalized in postage stamps and statues in the US. A name for a curious cat.

  • Lincoln. The 16th president of the United States. He led the country during the civil war. He is remembered for abolishing slavery.

  • Mau. The Ancient Egyptian name for cats. Cats were considered sacred because the people revered a cat goddess: Bastet. A name for a cat who brings you luck.

  • Michelangelo. The Italian Renaissance artist. His many works as a sculptor, painter, and architecture still rival the modern ones.

  • Midas. A legendary Ancient Greek king who was said to turn everything he touched into gold. Vanity led to his death by starvation. That said, his name still sounds nice for a spoilt kitten.

  • Mouschi. A black tomcat who was under the care of Anne Frank. His minder became famous owing to her diary which survived the world war two. All the letters in the diary had Dear Kitty as the salutation.

  • Napoleon. A French military leader whom for about ten years ruled over most of Continental Europe. He was a hands-on emperor who led successful wars from 1804 to 1815. A moniker for a sure-footed tomcat.

  • Nikola Tesla. The man who introduced the world to alternating current that is used in electricity supply. Let your cat share a name with a genius of the yesteryears.

  • Pharaoh. The title of ancient kings of Egypt.

  • Polar Bear. The cat who inspired Cleveland Amory to write The Cat Who Came for Christmas. The book was an instant hit and was followed by two more books all about the stray white cat he had rescued. If you’ve been touched by the book and want to lend assistance to stray cats, building a DIY outdoor cat shelter is a great idea.

  • Sigmund. A hero and an outlaw from the Norse mythology. The name is, however, mostly associated with Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. Take your pick and let your furry friend be a scientist or an outlaw!

  • Socks. A pet cat that resided in the White House during Bill Clinton’s tenure as the US President. He was a black and white domestic short-haired cat. Name yours after the First cat.

  • Socrates. He was an Ancient Greek philosopher. Most of his works are recorded in the Plato Dialogues. These were meant to elicit initial thoughts from his audience. The moniker suits a ‘talkative’ cat.

  • Solomon. King Solomon is recognized by the Christians as the wisest king of Israel. Muslims regard him as one of the 48 prophets. His reign lasted from 970 to 931 BCE. The name will do for a wise tomcat.

  • Tinker Toy. The smallest cat in history. He was a Himalayan-Persian breed who measured 7cm (2.8 inches) tall and 19cm (7.5 inches) long at 2.5 years.

  • Troy. Name your cat after the Ancient Greek city. It was the site of the legendary Trojan War.

  • Ulysses. Full names Ulysses Simpson Grant. He was a Commanding General of the Army during the American civil war. He is the man credited with leading the Union to victory against the Confederacy. He was also the 18th president of the US.

  • Voltaire. French writer and philosopher. An avid advocate for freedoms of speech and religion. The name is suitable for a stubborn cat.

  • Wilberforce. The name of a cat who lived in the UK Prime Minister’s office from 1973 to 1986. He served as the official mouser through the tenures of four PMs.

  • Xerxes. The Great Persian king who led the invasion of Greece in 480BC. The Christian Bible calls him Ahasuerus. He ruled during the times recorded in the Book of Esther.

Wrap Up

white cat Napoleon

Adopting historical names has been used as a way to honor the people who made a great impact in the very existence of human beings. Cats have also benefitted from many of such names.

Besides being the names of your favorite historical figures, any of these names could represent personalities and characters that your cat can relate to. While there are some that stood out for the wrong reasons, their names were still considered important enough to end up in the records.

This list comprises of great kings, ancient rulers, scientists, people that stood out in different fields of studies, and felines who have been featured in literary works to name but a few.

In summary, this is a list of women who dared to be different, men who decided to think outside the box, and felines who stood out for one reason or another. Regardless of your cat’s gender, personality, or traits, you are bound to find at least one historical name that matches his/her uniqueness.

How did it feel going through the historical names? Which historical name did you fall in love with? Which ones did you not like? We would like to hear all about it; share your experience below. If you’re looking for more antiquated names, this list of old lady cat names should come in handy.

About the author
Jeremy Vaughn
Jeremy Vaughn

Jeremy Vaughn is a member of Canadian Professional Pet Stylists, who lives in Winnipeg. Creating new looks for cats and other pets is his passion. Jeremy shares his house with the wife and wonderful Siamese cat.