Japanese Cat Names: Beautiful Names from the Land of the Rising Sun

cat sitting on blooming sakura
Martha Harvey
Written by Martha Harvey

With its long history and many breathtaking places to see, it’s no wonder that many people have a strong interest in Japan and its culture. So it also comes as no surprise that Japanese cat names are gaining popularity all over the world. Even if you’re not inherently a Japanophile—and even if your cat isn’t a Japanese breed like the Japanese Bobtail—there are many reasons why you should consider giving your cat a Japanese name.

Japanese people love and respect their cats so much that February 22nd is an official Day of Cats (Neko No Hi), so it is no wonder that they have so many cute names for their feline companions. Just like Japan itself, all of the names on our list are beautiful and mystical. They will describe your cat’s personality in a single powerful word. Best of all, although Japanese cat names are popular, there is little chance that some of your neighbors will name their cat the same as you.

If you are looking for a unique, exotic, and beautiful name for your new cat, you are in the right place, since we will provide you with a list of special Japanese cat names that will make your kitty cat stand out. Here you will find cool names for both male and female cats. We’ve also included some name choices from the extensive world of Japanese mythology.

Japanese Cat Names by Gender

White japanese bobtail with orange spot

Whether your new kitty is male or female, here you will find a myriad of cute Japanese cat names with their meanings so it will be easier for you to choose between them. We will start our list with male cat names, so if your cat is a female, you can scroll down, or you can continue reading; you never know where you’ll stumble upon the perfect name for your cat, regardless of gender.

Cat Names by Gender #1: Male

These are all powerful names that will perfectly describe your male cat’s personality. All the names come with their meanings so we are sure that you will find one that will describe your cat’s character perfectly.

  • Aki: “Autumn or bright.” Can be a good fit for a brown tabby cat with a shiny coat. This cute name will distinguish your cat from all the other tabbies named Goldy, Ginger, or Fawn. It’s predominately male, but can be used for females too.

  • Akihiko: “Bright prince.” This is a great name for male cats that are smart and graceful like a prince. This is a good choice for fun and curious cats that spend their days exploring their new home.

  • Akihiro: “Great glory.” A cat with this name will have a bright future. He may win many cat shows and spend his senior years being pampered because of his successes. This is a great name for fearless cats that love adventures and have a playful spirit.

  • Akira: “Bright.” A name for very smart cats, who are able to learn just about anything. Akira will learn any trick in no time and will always listen to what you say. The name is also sometimes given to females.

  • Arata: “New.” This is a name for a long-anticipated cat. Arata symbolizes change and a new type of joy that comes with owning a cat.

  • Atsushi: A great name for cats who will always get what they want. Meaning “industrious director”, Atsushi will start to run your household from day one and get all of your other pets under control.

  • Dai: Which means “great or large” is a great pick if you want to describe your cat’s robust build with a nice-sounding word. Dai will have a healthy appetite and tendencies to eat leftovers if you leave them unprotected. With this cat, you need to know how to keep him off the table.

  • Daisuke: This cute name is a great choice for cats who want to be involved in their owner’s activities. This name means “great helper,” and it is perfect for cats who love to follow their owners around the house and offer useful advice about house duties.

  • Doraemon: We all know and love the famous robot cat from the future, but did you know that his name literally means “stray male”? This is the name for the charmer who was able to get under your skin and find himself a loving home.

  • Hiroki: “Abundant joy.” This is a funny and playful cat that always makes you laugh. His frisky and childlike personality will be a part of him even when he has grown old, and he will always be the house jester.

  • Jun: This is a cute and short name for cats that have a dog-like personality and listen to everything you say. It means “obedient.”

  • Ken: “Healthy and strong.” It is a nice-sounding name to give a cat to extend his longevity. It can also symbolize the physical traits of a muscular and robustly-built cat.

  • Michio: “Man on a journey.” He is adventurous and always in motion. This is a great name for forever curious cats who always want to be a part of your active lifestyle.

  • Nori: “Born to rule.” This cat will immediately become the top cat in the household.

  • Satoshi: “Wise, fast learner.” This is a very intelligent cat that will learn to behave nicely with no effort. Training this cat will be a breeze, and he will always entertain you with his newly-acquired tricks.

  • Tadao: This name means “loyal.” Although this is a personality trait often seen in dogs, some cat breeds are known to be extremely devoted and faithful to their owners. Tadao is a happy cat that will make a loving and loyal companion without asking for much in return.

  • Yasu: “Snow.” Can be a good choice for white cats or pure kitties that offer you unconditional love.

  • Yasushi: “Peaceful.” A great name for cats that will spend most of their time purring in your lap. This is the name for calm and docile cats that sleep in your bed and are never mischievous.

  • Yoshio: A name for happy and funny cats as it means “joyful life.” If your cat fills your days with happiness and laughter, don’t hesitate to pick this name.

Cat Names by Gender #2: Female

cute cat wearing japanese kimono

If you are looking for a unique and cute Japanese cat name for your female kitty, you are in the right place. All of these names are feminine and gentle—just like the Japanese’s image of a perfect woman (Yamato Nadeshiko). We are sure that you will be able to find just the right one for your cat.

  • Aoi: It literally means “blue.” It is a nice pick for any blue-eyed beauty, such as the Ojos Azules cat.

  • Asami: All cats are fastidious groomers and are always trying to look their best, but a cat names Asami—which means “morning beauty”—takes it to a whole another level. She also loves it when you are willing to spare some time to groom her.

  • Ayumi: Meaning “making progress,” this is a good choice for active cats that are always plotting their next adventure.

  • Chie: “Wisdom.” This is a strong name for assertive and calm cats. This cat knows when you are feeling blue and will offer her companionship to make you feel better.

  • Eiko: “Eternal child.” This cat will never grow up and will maintain her playful and adventurous personality her whole life.

  • Eri: For all of you who are feeling grateful for the arrival of a new family member, you can now give your cat a name that will symbolize just that. This name means “blessed gift,” and it will always evoke that feeling of joy you felt when your kitty first arrived at her new home.

  • Hana: “Flower.” A cute and feminine name for a cat that is gentle and beautiful like a flower.

  • Hoshi: “Star.” Can be used to reflect your cat’s always bright and shiny personality. This is a name for happy and loving cats that will wait at the front door to greet you.

  • Kimiko: “Empress.” The perfect name for cats who like to be pampered and have all their wishes fulfilled. If you pick this name, make sure that your cat has all the necessary accessories to go with her royal personality. You may have to build exciting furniture such as a DIY cat bridge for her.

  • Masako: “Elegant.” A nice choice if you want to accentuate the gracefulness and elegance of your cat. We know that all cats are elegant, but this name is for those who have a royal posture and poise.

  • Mi: This is a short name that means “beautiful.” This is the best pick for cats that are confident and calm, always impeccably groomed, and are ready for compliments.

  • Midori: “Green.” Can be a cute name for a female cat with green eyes.

  • Miwa: “Peaceful.” She is a calm girl who likes to lounge in her favorite place by the window and can’t wait for you to come home so she could curl up in your lap.

  • Rei: “Spirit.” A fearless cat that is always ready to play. The best name for high energy cats that are always in motion and in pursuit of new adventures.

  • Sashiko: “Joyful or happy child.” A name for a cat will always have the same playful and inquisitive personality she had when she was a kitten. This cat will love to play and interact with you and will wait excitedly for you to come home.

  • Tamako: A name for a cat that you want to treat like she is your most valuable treasure. This name means “jewel,” and a cat with this name will enjoy all the spoils and treats you can give her.

  • Tomomi: “Beautiful friend.” A name for loyal and devoted cats who can tell how you feel and will offer their support. This is a cat that will value your company as much as you value hers and will do anything a real friend would do. It is also sometimes given to males.

  • Yuuna: “Gentle.” A great choice for calm and delicate-looking female cats. This cat will be affectionate towards her owner and may be shy around strangers, so you may need to learn how to socialize her.

Cat Names Inspired by Japanese Mythology

cats having japanese dinner

For all of you who are looking for a cat name that is inspired by the unique Japanese culture, here is a list of mythological deities and their cat-like traits.

  • Amaterasu (F): Goddess of the rising sun. Plenty of cats love to lounge by a sunny window. Amaterasu is also said to be the leader of gods, so if your cat is a natural-born leader, this name is for her.

  • Benzaiten (F): Goddess of love and happiness who was originally a Hindu goddess of good luck and fortune. This is an exotic-sounding name for a cat that brings good tidings into your life and fills your days with happiness and joy.

  • Bishamon (M): God of war and happiness. The perfect name for male cats who like to challenge other cats. If your cat loves the feel of victory, maybe you should consider this name for your warrior-like cat—although remember not to let the fight go too far. You need to be able to tell when your cat is playing and when he is fighting.

  • Haya-Ji (M): God of wind. A good choice for cats that are fast and impulsive with sudden movements that are characteristic of this mythological god.

  • Hiroko (M): He protects the health of children. This is not a trait that most male cats are famous for. Usually, female cats have the sole responsibility to nurture kittens until they are old enough. Despite this fact, Siamese male cats are very involved in the upbringing of their children. If your cat is one, you may consider giving him this name.

  • Ho-Masubi (M): God of fire. Since back then houses in Japan were made of paper, everyone wanted to be in his good graces. Since most cats love to play with toilet paper, newspaper, magazines, or just about anything papery that is good for claw-trimming, you can consider this paper destroyer deity’s name for your cat.

  • Inari (F): Goddess of rice and swords who can to transform herself into a fox. There aren’t many similarities between this deity and cats, but the name does sound nice and exotic for a female cat.

  • Kami (U): This isn’t a deity but a concept that describes the principle of divinity inherited in all things. This short and easy-to-remember name is perfect for any female cat since there are no specific characteristics attached to it.

  • Maneki (U): If you visit Japanese stores, you’ll often see little calico cats figurines with one hand waving in the air in a beckoning motion. The Maneki-Neko is said to be able to call good fortune into the household. Neko literally means “cat,” so we offered the Maneki part of the name for you instead.

  • Susano (M): God of earthquakes, thunders, and storms who has an odd sense of humor and is very mischievous. All cats possess this trait in some sense, but if you have a real troublemaker on your hands, you may want to consider naming him Susano. You may also want to consider learning how to discipline a cat.

Wrap Up

orange cat wearing japanese kimono

With a culture of respect and a deep love of cats, there are so many Japanese cat names that you can choose to make your kitty stand out. Although cute Japanese cat names are gaining popularity, we gave you so many options that you won’t need to be worried that someone else in your proximity will name their cat the same as you.

Picking the right name for your cat isn’t easy, but with so many striking options, we’re sure that you will find the right one that will make your cat stand out and describe her personality completely.

Would you use any of these names for your new cat? Do you know about other interesting Japanese names for cats? If so, please share them in the comments section below. We’d love to discuss it with you. If you didn’t find the name you were looking for, check out this article on Russian cat names. They sound no less exotic and are no less meaningful than Japanese names.

About the author
Martha Harvey
Martha Harvey

Martha Harvey is a skilled veterinarian and a member of American Veterinary Medical Association from Greeley, Colorado. She has 20 years experience of working in Animal Hospital. Martha loves all of her patients, but her favorite one is the Russian Blue cat Stitch, who lives with her.