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Pet Names: Top 10 dog and cat names of 2009

By Gary Bogue
Monday, January 4th, 2010 at 7:51 am in Cat names, Dog names, Pet Names.

AKC photo by Mary Bloom
mastiff akc mary bloom

Hey, I just received my annual news release on the top 10 dog and cat names of 2009, and guess what? “Bella” beats out “Max” for top dog name!

For six years in a row, Max ruled the top spot. But in an upset that is sure to have dog owners talking, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), has declared Bella the most popular dog name of 2009. VPI crunched the numbers on its more than 475,000 insured pets to determine this year’s most common names, and Bella beat out Max by more than 400 dogs.

Fans of Max, however, can rest assured that for cats, that name is still top dog – er, top cat.

Photo by Lois Bogue

1. Bella………………….1. Max
2. Max…………………..2. Chloe
3. Bailey………………..3. Bella
4. Lucy………………….4. Oliver
5. Molly…………………5. Tiger
6. Buddy………………..6. Smokey
7. Maggie……………….7. Tigger
8. Daisy…………………8. Lucy
9. Chloe…………………9. Shadow
10. Sophie…………….10. Angel

The same ten names appeared on 2009 and 2008’s list of Top Ten Dog Names, with only the positioning of each name changing slightly. But a greater name shake-up occurred in the cat world over the past year. In the past year, Tigger dropped four spots to become the 7th most popular cat name, while Bella jumped five to No. 3 in 2009. The newcomer Angel (No. 10) bumped Charlie from this year’s list altogether.

I haven’t got the heart to tell our black and white tuxedo Maine coon cat, “Newman,” and feral orange tiger cat kitty, “Jasmine,” that their names didn’t make the list. Sigh. Maybe next year. /Gary

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13 Responses to “Pet Names: Top 10 dog and cat names of 2009”

  1. Karen Says:

    Natasha, Rocky, and Paddy are proud that their names are relatively unique to the feline world. So are my neighbors’ cats, who I’ve affectionately called Freeloader and Graywacke.

  2. Val Says:

    I’m way too old for Twilight, but back in Aug. I named my cat Bella only because I couldn’t keep calling her beautiful girl and Bella means beautiful. It stuck.

  3. Leslie Says:

    I like that my cats’ names are not on the list. My girls are Fiona, Dominique, Tallulah Jane, Annabel and Genevieve. My boy, Riley, is the only one with a more common name (there seem to be a lot of dogs named Riley, which I didn’t know when I named my cat).

  4. Wes Says:

    I wonder where Tolkien elven names rank? My my two cats are Arwen and Galadriel; I named them in 2002, but had chosen the names before the movies came out. I’ve always thought the elves are cat-like and incredibly noble.

  5. Pat in Antioch Says:

    Calle, Penelope, Bob, Gracie & Lexi are proud to have more unique names too! (So is my grandcat Ash! :-)

  6. Simone Says:

    Our cats have had the following names: Wally, Fred, Oscar, Henry, Spike and Einstein.

  7. Jacquie Oliverius Says:

    Only our first cat, Smokey, had a place on the list, then we got warmed up. The rest of our past kitties — Rasputin, Sebastian and Thaddeus McKenzie, who lived to be 21 — were as unique as their names, and our current house-ruling critter is all-black Mrrrlin T. who seems to channel our departed black Lab, Bailey the Best Dog Ever. Our family must lean toward unique cat names, including daughter’s Jezzabelle and Talulah, and son’s Esmerelda!

  8. Bill West Says:

    Dear Gary; Enjoy your column and read it everyday. It is not only amusing but informative as well. There is only one small complaint and it would be a kindness if you let Jerry Ball know that almost all of his poems do not meet the criteria for Haiku. It is the number of syllables in each line that make up the format- 5/7/5. Keep up the good work, Gary. I share your column with friends from other areas that can not get the papers you are featured in and they enjoy the snippets I choose for them. Thanks!

  9. Sandra in San Jose Says:

    Phoebe, Perdita, Dash, Vickie and Blue (we sadly lost him to illness last week) are proud to have unique names also! As for the stray cat Momma, she responds to the name and now lives inside at night! We are making progress, but probably would have gotten off to a better start had I not caught her and immediately taken her to the vet to be spayed…

  10. Zoo World Cheats Says:

    Great site and great Zoo World Cheats information too, do you use twitter? fancy doing a link swap?

  11. Mark Bats Says:

    Great list of top rated bats for sure!

  12. Sharie Kiecker Says:

    Arthritis in dogs can be a major issue that many people never even think of in senior dogs.

  13. Barbara Says:

    Archaic. They’re stuck in the ’50s. On the other hand, I thought the names ‘Atticus’ and ‘Giselle’ were creative cat names. ‘Atticus’ Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird;” and ‘Giselle’ after a performance last season by SF Ballet. (In retrospect, I really should have stuck with a two-syllable name insofar as ‘Atticus’ is concerned — he’s the one always in trouble …).

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