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Home > Cats > 125 African Cat Names: Unique & Interesting Options for Your Pet

125 African Cat Names: Unique & Interesting Options for Your Pet

African Cat

According to Newsweek, some of the most popular male cat names in the U.S. are Oliver, Leo, and Milo. Luna, Bella, and Lily top the list for female cats1. And we bet you have met at least one Felix, Tigger, or Smokey. There is nothing wrong with selecting a common moniker for your cat, but sometimes, you want your pet to stick out from the crowd.

Does your new cat stride across the floor like a lion crossing the desert, or do you just want a unique name for your kitten? Maybe you even own an African breed like a Bengal or Abyssinian. Either way, we hope you will find inspiration from our list of African cat names.


How To Name Your Cat

Naming your cat can feel like a big deal. What if your cat doesn’t come to its name? And do cats really care what we call them?

Veterinarians and scientists have observed that cats respond more to a long “ee” sound. But don’t let that rule confine you. Your cat can have a formal name and a nickname, just like many humans do! Your cat could officially be named “Zaire” but lovingly referred to as “Zee.” If nothing else, you can resort to the old standby: “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.”


Traditional Female African Cat Names

toyger cat playing outdoors
Image by: Kutikova Ekaterina, Shutterstock

You have many options if you want an African-inspired name for your female cat. Some of these names, like Cleopatra, have ancient roots. Other monikers have been popularized by celebrities in recent years, like Behati.

  • Aisha
  • Amara
  • Ameyo
  • Behati
  • Chioma
  • Cleopatra
  • Desta
  • Eve
  • Imani
  • Imara
  • Izara
  • Kamari/Kamaria
  • Kamali
  • Marjani
  • Nala
  • Nanjala
  • Noor
  • Nuru
  • Sade
  • Salana
  • Taraja
  • Thandie
  • Thema
  • Tisa
  • Omari
  • Onika
  • Zahara
  • Zara
  • Zella
  • Zendaya
  • Zora
  • Zuri


Traditional Male African Cat Names

Abyssinian cat sitting on grass
Image by: Dmitry Tsapenko, Pixabay

Are you looking for an African-inspired name for your male cat? There is something for every taste on our list below. Some of these names are strong and proud, while others are diminutive and playful.

  • Abbas
  • Adofo
  • Ameer/Amir
  • Ayan
  • Diallo
  • Ezana
  • Gamba
  • Jabari
  • Jafar
  • Jengo
  • Khalfani
  • Kijani
  • Kimoni
  • Kofi
  • Kwame
  • Malik
  • Mansa
  • Mugambi
  • Musumbi
  • Negasi
  • Omar
  • Osaro
  • Osiris
  • Pharaoh
  • Rotendo
  • Rudo
  • Safari
  • Saka
  • Simba
  • Tindo
  • Tita
  • Wanjala


African Cat Names Inspired by Landmarks

brown Bengal cat in the water, in the river
Image Credit: Amerigo_images, Shutterstock

Geographical landmarks like cities, rivers, deserts, and past and present countries inspired this list of African cat names. Many of these names are unisex or have variations that would work for a male or a female kitty.

  • Alexandria (Alexandra/Alexander)
  • Benu
  • Cairo
  • Chad
  • Congo
  • Elgon
  • Gessi
  • Guna
  • Jordan (Jordyn)
  • Kalahari
  • Karoo
  • Kenya
  • Komati
  • Leone
  • Luxor
  • Magadi
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Maasai-Mara
  • Morocco
  • Nairobi
  • Nile
  • Rudolf
  • Sabie
  • Sahara
  • Sierra
  • Tanzania
  • Victoria (Victor/Vic)
  • Volta
  • Zaire
  • Zambezi


Swahili Cat Names

snow bengal cat in wild grass
image Credit: Lyudmyla Pokryshen, Shutterstock

Swahili is just one of over 1,000 languages spoken in Africa today. Approximately 200 million people speak the language throughout Africa and the Middle East. Certain Swahili words may be meaningful to you and make a unique cat name. Do any of these catch your eye?

  • Almasi (Diamond)
  • Amani (Peace)
  • Chui (Leopard)
  • Doa (Spot)
  • Imani (Faith)
  • Jasiri (Brave)
  • Jua (Sun)
  • Kahawia (Brown)
  • Kifahari (Elegant)
  • Kijana (Boy)
  • Kijivu (Gray)
  • Kiongozi (Leader)
  • Kipenzi (Pet)
  • Kubwa (Big)
  • Kupigwa (Stripes)
  • Lulu (Pearl)
  • Manyoya (Furry)
  • Maisha (Life)
  • Msichana (Girl)
  • Kidogo (Little)
  • Malkia (Queen)
  • Mkali (Fierce)
  • Moyo (Heart)
  • Nafsi (Soul)
  • Neema (Grace)
  • Nyota (Star)
  • Paka (Cat)
  • Petali (Petal)
  • Shujaa (Warrior)
  • Siku (Day)
  • Taji (Crown)
  • Upendo (Love)
  • Usiku (Night)
  • Uzuri (Beauty)
  • Zawadi (Gift)


Final Thoughts

Africa is a diverse continent home to around 5% of the world’s population. It is also where your domesticated cat’s cousins like the lion, leopard, and serval live. These wild felines, along with Africa’s natural beauty and ancient history, can provide inspiration for your kitty’s name.

Many pet owners call their cats by more than one name. Your kitty responds best to one- or two-syllable words with a long “ee” sound. If you like the name Kipenzi, you could call your cat “Kippy” for short. A feline named Morocco could have the nickname “Rocky.”

You can be creative when choosing your new kitty’s name. There are no hard and fast rules for naming pets! Take your time picking out the right moniker. It’s only the first step in establishing a lasting bond with your new pet.

Featured Image Credit: Mehdi Photos, Shutterstock

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