Once you decide to adopt a cat, you have a few things to do to get ready for the new addition. One of the most important things to do is give your cat a name. Although felines are thought to be aloof (and some definitely can be), cat owners know that kitties can have different personalities. Some are super cuddly, and others are fiercely independent. There are cats that get along with dogs, but some that can’t stand to be near a canine. The best thing you can do when choosing out your cat’s name is to pick one that matches their temperament. To give you some help, we selected 10 famous cat names that could be your pick. These options include real and fictional pets; some of them even belonged to famous people, including Edgar Allen Poe, Winston Churchill, and Anne Frank.

10 Famous Cat Names

All of these monikers have a fascinating history behind them. Read about each one, and choose the option that best fits your kitty. It doesn’t matter which breed your kitty is or what color their coat is (whether it’s shiny black, snow white, or colorfully calico). There’s an option here for them.

All Ball: In the 1980s, Koko, the gorilla (famous for learning American Sign Language), made history by being the first primate in captivity to adopt a pet of her own. Koko treated her tiny gray Manx kitten as she would her own baby. And it was Koko who creatively named this small kitten All Ball. Later, after All Ball was tragically killed by a car, Koko was allowed to choose two new kittens named Lipstick and Smoky. They were also Manx kittens.

Catarina: Edgar Allen Poe’s tortoiseshell cat, Catarina, was thought to be Poe’s inspiration for his horror classic The Black Cat. Best known for his macabre stories, Poe and his wife, Virginia Clem, were loving pet owners, treating Catarina as a family member. Their beloved cat also provided warmth and comfort to Poe’s ailing wife, especially when the family could not afford to heat their home.

Jock: Attending cabinet meetings and relaxing with the Prime Minister were all part of Jock’s, Winston Churchill’s cat, official duties. Jock was an orange cat given to Churchill by his private secretary. Before he died, Churchill asked that there would always be an orange cat in residence at his home, Chartwell Manor, a tradition that continues today. The Prime Minister also owned another cat he named Nelson in honor of Lord Nelson.

Matilda: Holding court at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, Matilda is so famous she even has her own e-mail account where admirers can contact her. The current Matilda represents a long line of cats going back to the very first Matilda, who showed up at the hotel lobby as a stray in the 1930s.

Mouschi: Hiding out in an Amsterdam attic during World War II, Anne Frank and her family spent long, quiet days trying to avoid detection. One of the small joys they had was Mouschi, a cat who belonged to Anne’s friend Peter van Daan. Mouschi was described as a lean, friendly black tomcat. He is mentioned throughout The Diary of Anne Frank.

Polar Bear: Adopted by Cleveland Amory, the famous animal activist, and author, the white cat, Polar Bear, became the subject of three popular children’s books: The Cat and the Curmudgeon, The Best Cat Ever, and The Cat Who Came for Christmas. Amory also founded The Fund for Animals at Black Beauty Ranch, where hundreds of abandoned animals find refuge. Amory and Polar Bear are buried next to each other at the ranch.

Snowball: Ernest Hemingway might have presented himself as a tough-as-nails writer, outdoorsman, and explorer, but he had a soft side, too. He loved his white, extra-toed cat named Snowball that shared his home in Key West, Florida. Allegedly given to Hemingway by a ship captain, Snowball ruled the roost at the Hemingway Home and Museum where today, many of his descendants still roam the property.

Socks: Although presidential dogs always seem to get more press than feline members of the White House, several cats have made 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue their home. Probably the most famous was Socks, a stray black-and-white cat that President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton adopted in Little Rock, Arkansas. When the Clintons moved into the White House, Socks came along to become First Cat. Other Presidential cats included India, the black cat of President George W. Bush, and the Carter family’s Siamese cat named Misty Malarky Ying Yang.

Thomasina: In 1964, the Walt Disney Studio released one of the first live-action, full-length feature films with a cat in the starring role. The movie, The Three Lives of Thomasina, was an adaptation of the book, Thomasina, The Cat Who Thought She Was God, by Paul Gallico. It followed the adventures (and several lives) of a Scottish tabby cat as she helped bring a family together.

Tonto: Granted, not many people travel by bus with their cats in their laps, but that’s precisely what Art Carney did in the movie Harry and Tonto. This classic 1974 road movie highlights the deep bond between a Manhattan widower and a loyal cat that makes the trip from New York City to Los Angeles by bus and car. Tonto proves that cats forge deep bonds with their owners, no matter where home happens to be.

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