We often have personal reasons for choosing our pets’ names — and they serve as an important part of developing a close bond with your cat or dog.
Given that “Fido” and “Spot” long ago went out of style, what are the most common names for family pets? In December 2014, Pets Best Insurance Services released its annual list of the top 10 most popular names for dogs and cats enrolled with the agency that year.
Changes to the most popular names for dogs & cats
While it’s typical to see a slight shift in dog and cat names from year to year, the cat names of 2014 saw significant changes. Six of the 10 most popular cat names were new to the list, while the top five dog names were repeats of 2013.
Top 10 dog names of 2014
For the third year in a row, Bella remains the most popular dog name. Other timeless classics — like Max, Lucy and Charlie — continued to hold strong at the top of the canine list. Bailey, tenth on the list of dog names in 2013, moved up to sixth place in 2014.
Top 10 cat names of 2014
On the list of top cat names, Oliver, jumped from sixth in 2013 to first place on this list.
Pop culture and pet name popularity
Pet names are often heavily influenced by pop culture, demonstrated in 2014 with the popularity of Luna. Social media sensation Luna the Fashion Kitty has her own fashion advice website and more than 1.3 million followers on Facebook.
The name Kitty, made famous by pop singer Katy Perry’s beloved feline companion Kitty Purry debuted at number eight on the Pets Best list. The famed cat has been a theme of Perry’s international concert tours, and even has a perfume fragrance named after her.
The continued popularity of the name Bella for canines reflects the nationwide obsession with the “Twilight” book and film series, which feature a main character named Bella.
Human names are also on the rise among pets. Both dog and cat lists strongly correlate to most popular [human] baby names in the US such as Sophia, Isabella and Lily, as reported by BabyCenter.
“Many Pets Best policyholders have unique names for their pets,” said Dr Jack Stephens, founder and director of Pets Best, “but every year we see noticeable patterns of pets named after animals and celebrities experiencing nationwide attention.”