When people see black cats, they usually fall into one of two different camps. One group cringes away, feeling a shiver of superstition. The other group rushes forward in glee over discovering an adorable black panther, miniaturized. The mythology of the black cat is rich, with unexpected bumps you may not know. And if you’re a lover of these gorgeous kitties, that history may trigger some creativity. Because when it comes to black cat names, the possibilities are endless. Do you follow the expected pathways of dark and mysterious? Or do you go for the ironic? Perhaps you follow a completely unexpected route. Not to worry because we have some of the best black cat names you could ask for!
All felines with a single hair color are referred to as “solids” or “selfs” in the cat world. It pops up from a mutation on the recessive gene that blocks the expected tabby pattern. If the tabby gene is allowed even a tiny bit of expression, you’ll see faint stripes in the light. This is possible even with black cats. That mutation offers a bonus of protection against some diseases. (Pretty cool, right?)
The black “solid” comes in a few different options:
For whatever reason, black coats show up more in males than females. And most black cats have yellow eyes. The high melanin pigment (which produces the black color) triggers yellow in the eyes.
Black Cat Mythology
Everyone knows the negative side of black cat mythology (or they think they do). But did you know black cats also have a POSITIVE mythology? True story! And when you look at their history, you may find inspiration for your black cat names. Especially because these beautiful felines circled the globe!
Good Luck Kitties
Egyptians worshiped a cat-headed goddess, Bast (or Bastet). In her animal form (Egyptian deities always had two forms), she became a black cat. To curry her favor, families often kept black cats in their homes.
In Celtic mythology, you find a a fairy called Cat Sith. She transformed into a black cat. If you left a saucer of milk on your doorstep on Samhain (which falls on October 31st; it served as the predecessor of Halloween), she blessed your household.
Scottish belief held that a black cat entering your house promised prosperity for anyone living in the house.
King Charles I of England owned a black cat. He believed his lovely feline brought him luck. And while some may claim coincidence, his arrest for treason came ONE DAY after the cat died. (Kind of hard to argue with his logic when you look at that)
Sailors and fishermen chose black cats over other hair coats, believing they brought good luck. Meanwhile, their wives kept ebony felines as signs their husbands would stay safe and return home. Pirates…well, they got a little complicated. (Pirates rank as one of the most superstitious people to sail the seas). They had specific rules for black cats:
- If one walked TOWARD you, it was bad luck
- One walking AWAY from you was good luck
- If a black cat came aboard, then jumped off, the ship was doomed to sink
In both Britain and Japan, black cats serve as symbols of good luck (NOT bad). Women who own black cats are destined to attract more suitors. (That’s right, it PAYS to turn into cat ladies!) And it’s considered an honor to gift a bride a black cat in the Midlands of England.
Turning for the Worse
Unhappily, in the 12th century, black cats saw their luck changing (pun unintended). The Puritan faith tied ebony felines with witches. (Most dark-colored creatures found themselves in that position) Labeled familiars (supernatural helpers), their popularity declined rapidly. People also believed witches could assume the form of a black cat up to nine times. Thus came the superstition of cats having “nine lives.” (See how trouble can rapidly appear?)
The negative reputation persisted, and it wiggles into the most benign situations. For instance, people insist black cats find themselves languishing in shelters. Absolutely untrue! Black cats actually get adopted MORE than any other cats! The myth comes from the fact that black cats dominate the color of coat ENTERING shelters and rescues – by about 30%. The bad luck reputation DOES continue to cause harm.
Luckily, these tiny panthers get SOME respect:
- August 17: Black Cat Appreciation Day
- October: Black Cat Awareness Month
- October 27: National Black Cat Day
Black Cat Names
You’re one of the people bringing home an adorable black cat. Whether you know their complicated history, defy the old (negative) superstitions, or simply fell into an enchanting pair of eyes – congratulations! You now share a home with a miniature panther. And it’s time to sort through the impossibly-long list of black cat names. You could choose ANYTHING. Black cats offer so many possibilities! Do you go down the route everyone’s expecting? (Nothing wrong with that) Or do you want something a little more unique? Not to worry! We’ve got 108 black cat name ideas to get your brain churning!
Famous Black Cat Names
Black cats have made a variety of appearances. They show up in movies, on television, in the news, and even on social media! Throughout the ages, they’ve served as positive icons. It’s ironic, given the superstitions that plague them. But if you adore one of these famous icons, you may look to them as inspiration for your black cat naming process.
- Binx: Hocus Pocus fans know this name without an introduction. (“Amok, amok, amok!”) The transformed, immortal black cat helps thwart the witches of Salem in this Disney classic.
- Blackie: Okay, no points for originality. However, Blackie scored $12.5 MILLION from his wealthy owner!
- Boo Boo Kitty: While not a REAL cat (he was a stuffed animal), the Laverne & Shirley icon is well-known.
- Cole: Along with his cat sister Marmalade, Cole dominates Instagram. The pair promote and raise money for pet adoptions.
- Felix: You need to go into the cartoon archives, but Felix remains a favorite of many.
- Gladstone: Gladstone serves as the official Chief Mouser of Her Majesty’s Treasury at Whitehall in London!
- India: India shared the White House with President George W. Bush.
- Luna: Anime and manga fans know Luna from the ever-popular Sailor Moon series. And if you have a white cat, you can create the pairing of Luna and Artemis!
- Pluto: Anyone who’s read Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” knows this name. And who wouldn’t want to pay homage to a favorite story?
- Salem: Whether you watched the original sitcom or the new horror-slanted show, Salem appears in Sabrina.
- Snowball II (or V): Who doesn’t appreciate a sense of humor? The Simpsons went the ironic route with their black cat’s name. When the original Snowball passed away, they continued the name’s tradition…and continued (I’ll avoid any spoilers, in case you haven’t watched the show).
- Trim: Matthew Flinders circumnavigated and mapped the entire Australian coastline. And he brought his cat, Trim, with him!
Black Cat Names Based on Coloring
Face it: that solid black color and amazing pop of yellow (or green) eyes caught your attention. So why not draw extra attention with your black cat name choice? You don’t need to go the unoriginal route, though. Why be boring and uninspired when you can be interesting and spontaneous? These black cat names have their origins in darkness and rich black textures, but they roll off the tongue with pizzazz! Your gorgeous feline will appreciate your savvy naming choice.
Black Cat Names Based on Coloring – The Ironic Route
The Simpsons probably didn’t start the trend. However, people always have a sense of humor. Why not choose a black cat name that goes the OPPOSITE direction? You’ll probably get a laugh out of people (or an eye roll – it’s a 50:50 shot).
- Blanca (Spanish for “white”)
- Yang (In Chinese culture, it’s the light – and male – side of the pairing)
Black Cat Names Based on Halloween
Whether we like the old superstitions or not, black cats will always find themselves associated with Halloween. And that’s okay! It’s a fun holiday, complete with costumes, candy (not for our pets, but us), and safe thrills. If you’re embracing the delightful side of Halloween, why not take that as inspiration for black cat names? After all, National Black Cat Day and Black Cat Awareness Month fall in October. It’s fitting.
- Elvira (Mistress of the Dark)
- Grimalkin (an archaic term for “cat”)
- Ichabod (the hapless school teacher pursued by the Headless Horseman in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)
- Igor (Dr. Frankenstein’s assistant)
Black Cat Names Based on Humor
You have a humorous streak, but you can’t bring yourself to name your tiny panther something ironic. You need something more in keeping with their…okay, maybe not dignity. But something along the lines of that gorgeous sable coloring. No problem! We have some black cat names sure to get a giggle or two. (Please don’t hate me for this)
- Bean (Come on – if you can’t laugh about kitty beans, you don’t have a sense of humor)
- Cash (Johnny Cash was known as “The Man in Black”)
- Pea (Black-eyed pea? Get it?)
- Olive (Because olives are black but the color ISN’T?)
Black Cat Names from Popular Culture
Our favorite inspiration tends to come from books, television, and movies. We LOVE picking out our favorite characters when we look at naming our pets. And when you consider ideas for your black cat, endless possibilities appear. You have characters that dress in black, other creatures that don the sleek ebony look, or black cats that may not have achieved famous status quite yet. These heroes (or villains!) may be just the black cat name you’ve been searching for. (And, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a complete and shameless geek)
- Bagheera (A true black panther, he serves as Mowgli’s mentor in The Jungle Book – in the original book by Rudyard Kipling and the movies)
- Bellatrix (This villain from the Harry Potter series dresses in black)
- Black Widow (Who doesn’t admire this heroine of the Avengers? And if you want to go more unique, opt for Natasha)
- Coraline (The black cat in Coraline never gets a name – in the book or movie – so adopt the heroine’s name)
- Darth Vader (Do I have to explain this one? Really?)
- Isis (Catwoman’s favorite black feline companion wears this name)
- Jiji (He’s the wise-cracking familiar in the anime Kiki’s Delivery Service)
- Matagot (These sleek felines appeared in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. However, they’re based on genuine myths!)
- Morticia (The matriarch of the Addam’s Family)
- Nightlock (Fans of The Hunger Games recognize the name of the famous poisonous berries)
- Odile (A ballet fan? In Swan Lake, Odile is Odette’s alter-ego)
- Scat Cat (This black cat appears in the Disney classic, The Aristocats)
- Selina (Catwoman’s alter-ego)
- T’Challa (The dignified name of Black Panther)
- Toothless (Face it, this hero of the How to Train Your Dragon series looks JUST like a cat!)
- Wednesday (The daughter in the Addam’s Family)
- Winkie (You need to go back a bit, but this black cat features in Escape to Witch Mountain – the original)
- Zorro (The masked avenger went about clad in black)
Unique Black Cat Names
You want something a little more “out of the box.” Your black cat’s special, and they deserve a name that reflects those qualities. These black cat names may prompt a visitor to ask where you came up with the idea. Which isn’t a bad thing! You want names that make people think or pause. Out-of-the-ordinary is the perfect thing for these felines with such a rich history in the mythological world!
- Nyx (The Greek goddess of the night)
- Stella (Latin for “star”)
- Yin (As you’ll guess, this the dark, female side in Chinese culture)
Black Cat Names – Different Languages
Sometimes, the best inspiration for a name comes from a different part of the world. While you may not be using an official “name,” different languages often sound amazing. And everyone around you? They’ll want to know where you came up with such an intriguing black cat name! All of the following mean “night” in their various languages. It may seem expected for a black cat, but they sound exotic and intriguing. And NOT expected! It’s the perfect compromise for your miniature panther.
- Gobi (Filipino)
- Kecha (Uzbek)
- Malam (Malay)
- Noche (Spanish)
- Noctis (Latin)
- Notte (Italian)
- Wengi (Javanese)
Sable and Sweet
Black cats carry a kind of magic and mystery about them. They’ve been symbols of good luck – and bad luck. And while some people still cross the street to avoid that black cat crossing their path, so many more welcome these tiny panthers into their homes with delight. You want to compress all of their majesty and regal bearing into the perfect name. Hopefully, we’ve given you a start with these black cat name suggestions. If not, take a look through all of our name possibilities. You’re only limited by your imagination, and no one says you have to stick to a “typical” black cat name!
Find the name that makes your kitty perk up their ears and flick their tail. You’ll know when you’ve hit on the perfect choice. And then you’re ebony feline can strut about with pride!