Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > 74 Historical Names for Cats: Popular Choices for Your Kitty (With Origin Facts)

74 Historical Names for Cats: Popular Choices for Your Kitty (With Origin Facts)

Tabby white british shorthair cat in front of wooden shed looking to the side in sunlight

Cats can have such complex personalities that capturing their essence in a single word is rarely possible. Fortunately, countless characters throughout the ages have come to embody all kinds of personality types, and there’s likely one that will fit your kitty to a tee.

History buffs aren’t the only ones who will appreciate comparisons between their cat and the planet’s most notable figures. We’ll help you find one name that perfectly reflects your cat’s complex character as we explore these historical names for cats.


20th Century History Figures

cat with costume
Image Credit: Daykiney, Shutterstock

Recent history is the most relevant to us, and its figures tend to feel the most relatable. From WWI to the internet age, plenty of people have made indelible marks on the course of humanity in the past century. Is there one in the bunch that highlights everything you love about your cat?

  • Ali: Heavyweight boxing champion and civil rights figure
  • Beatrix (Potter): English children’s author, illustrator, and scientist
  • Benazir (Bhutto): First female prime minister of Pakistan
  • Billie Jean (King): Champion tennis player and social activist
  • Bugsy (Siegel): American mobster and Las Vegas developer
  • Capone: Chicago crime boss
  • Churchill: Britain’s prime minister during World War II
  • Coco (Chanel): Legendary French fashion designer
  • Desmond (Tutu): South African apartheid opposer and Nobel Peace Prize winner
  • Diana: Princess of Wales and noted humanitarian
  • Einstein: German physicist and Nobel Prize winner
  • Elvis (Presley): Singer, actor, and the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll”
  • Eva (Peron): Activist and influential First Lady of Argentina
  • Frida (Kahlo): Portrait artist and Mexican cultural icon
  • Georgia (O’Keefe): American modernist artist known for natural, abstract paintings
  • Golda (Meir): Israeli prime minister and a central figure in the nation’s founding
  • Hawking: English physicist and cosmologist
  • Hepburn: Audrey or Katharine, both famed actresses
  • Indira (Gandhi): India’s first and only female prime minister
  • Jobs: Tech pioneer and founder of Apple and Pixar
  • Kofi (Annan): Former United Nations Secretary-General
  • Lennon: Lead member of the Beatles
  • Malcolm (X): American civil rights leader
  • Mandela: Anti-apartheid activist and South African president
  • Maya (Angelou): American poet, storyteller, and civil rights figure
  • Nehru: Indian nationalist leader and the country’s first prime minister
  • Nixon: 37th American president
  • Orwell: English novelist and social critic
  • Patton: U.S. Army general in World War II
  • Pele: Brazilian football star
  • Picasso: Influential Spanish painter and sculptor
  • Reagan: American actor and 40th U.S. president
  • Rosa (Parks): Civil rights hero
  • Salvador (Dali): Mustachioed Surrealist artist
  • Teddy (Roosevelt): 26th U.S. president and the youngest to take office
  • Tesla: Inventor and electrical engineer
  • Woodrow (Wilson): American president during World War I
  • Zelda (Fitzgerald): American writer, artist, and socialite

18th and 19th Century Names for Cats

black smoke american shorthair cat
Image Credit: marumaru, Shutterstock

Science, technology, and global politics made significant strides in the last 300+ years. Here are some of the central figures who drove change and coincidentally also have names well-suited for feline family members.

  • Beethoven: German pianist and composer
  • Bram (Stoker): Author of Dracula
  • Byron: English romantic poet
  • Chester (A. Arthur): 21st U.S. president
  • Darwin: Naturalist and evolutionary biologist
  • Dickens: Victorian writer and critic
  • Edison: Prolific American inventor
  • Florence (Nightingale): English nurse and social reformer
  • Franklin: American Founding Father, author, and scientist
  • Hamilton: Founding Father and first Treasury secretary
  • Harriet (Tubman): Abolition movement leader
  • Jefferson: Founding Father and third U.S. president
  • Karl (Marx): German philosopher and founder of Marxism
  • Lincoln: 16th American president
  • Louis (XIV): King of France for 72 years
  • Marie (Antoinette): Executed wife of King Louis XVI
  • Monet: French impressionist painter
  • Mozart: Austrian classical music composer
  • Newton: Mathematician noted for his laws of gravity and motion
  • Nietzsche: German philosopher and critic
  • Oscar (Wilde): Irish wit, poet, and playwright
  • Poe: American short-story writer and poet
  • Robespierre: Leader of the French Revolution
  • Shelley: Author of Frankenstein
  • Ulysses (S. Grant): Civil War general and 18th U.S. president
  • Voltaire: French philosopher, critic, and satirist
  • Walt (Whitman): American poet and essayist
  • Wilhelm: German kaiser and Prussian king
  • Wordsworth: Poet and founder of English Romanticism

Greek and Roman History Names for Cats

Red cat relaxing on the wall during sunset, Santorini, Greece
Image Credit: Fotyma, Shutterstock

Roman and Greek names can be quite the mouthful, often making them impractical for cat names. But a select few are short enough to be a suitable handle for your pet. Give your cat a memorable name that has truly stood the test of time with these classic options.

  • Brutus: Politician and one of Caesar’s assassin
  • Caesar: Roman general and dictator
  • Constantine: First Christian Roman emperor
  • Nero: Fifth emperor of Rome
  • Plato: Greek philosopher, writer, and student of Socrates
  • Socrates: Pioneering Greek philosopher
  • Spartacus: Roman slave and rebellious gladiator


Final Thoughts

How far back do you have to look to discover the perfect choice for your pet? Historical figures have put mountains of meaning behind simple names, allowing you to capture your cat’s unique personality in a single label. Take inspiration from these historical names for cats, and find the figure that best represents all the distinct traits you love about your pet.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets