Pet Names

Pet care & safety

Naming your cat or dog is a challenging but important task. Embrace ran a few reports to find the most popular names for cats and dogs that quoted with Embrace in 2013. Since we're analytical here in the insurance industry, we specifically looked at trends among the top names in various categories. After all, serving pet parents in all 50 states, we talk to people from a great many walks of life. Hopefully these lists and insights can help you along in the process of finding the perfect name for your new beloved pet.

Female Pet Names

When it comes to naming the ladies, 6 of the top 10 dog names also fall on the list for top cat names, making these highly popular for all of our female, four-legged companions: Bella, Lucy, Molly, Chloe, Lola, and Sophie.

When we looked at the figures based on age, Bella topped the charts for both cats and dogs in the young and adult cat segments, but oddly was not found on our top lists for senior pets (10+). It’s possible that the debut of Twilight in 2010 with the main character Bella has boosted these numbers, but more likely that the name, meaning “beauty,” has increased in popularity overall; It was the 93rd most popular name for human girls in 2013 (according to

The names Bella and Chloe traded places between 2009, when Chloe was #1, and 2013.

Male Pet Names

Charlie and Max have held the top two places for both cat and dog names for several years now, alternating every year or so, but holding strong. It isn’t until we look at senior pets that we see Tiger and Jake sneak into the top two, with Max still ranked #1. Oddly, Charlie didn’t appear at all on our list of top senior cat names, but has since climbed the ranks.

The name Buddy deserves an honorable mention, also appearing on both the dog and cat lists for several years.

Pet Names by Breed

Some breeds are more likely to lend themselves to certain names. While Foxy is #1 for Pomeranians, it’s absent for most other popular breeds we surveyed. Same goes for Beethoven with Saint Bernards and Chihuahuas named Chico.

Rescue vs Breeder vs Stray Pet Names

When comparing pet names based on how the pet was acquired, the results are quite varied. It’s quite possible that people who make a conscious decision to adopt from a rescue or breeder could have a different philosophy for naming than those who take in strays. And, as one might expect, Lucky came in as the #1 name for stray cats and dogs.

Pop Culture Pet Names

Just like the popularity of Bella could be attributed to the Twilight saga, it’s fairly common to hear of pet names related to current events. Back in 2009, Xena was a top name for female cats, yet it’s missing entirely from our list for 2013. The rise and fall of a certain warrior princess most likely had an impact on this.

We’ve all heard buzz about the Hunger Games, so maybe we’ll see a few of those character names (Katniss, Peeta, Primrose) in the next few years.

Pet Names by Location

Similar to pop culture names, we’ve seen more than a few pet names that correlate with where they live. For example, Brutus is a popular male dog name in Ohio, possibly because of the Ohio State mascot, Brutus the Buckeye. Charlotte is in the list of top female cat names in New York, which could be a reference to Sex and the City. Florida results show Sunny in the top male cat names and Texas lists include southern-sounding names like Hank and Sadie.

Classic Pet Names

Traditional, classic pet names often stand the test of time. It can be obvious when someone names a pet after a trendy pop culture character or event, and though we love those names too, we expect names like Lucy, Sophie, Jack and Oscar to remain popular for years to come.