What are the most popular Japanese cat names right now? We can help you find the perfect one to suit your pet!
These names come from the most recently released list of the most popular Japanese cat names based on owner surveys conducted by Isis Pet:
- Koko – cocoa
- Hana – flower
- Kuro – black
- Momo – peach
- Chibi – tiny
- Mike – tortoiseshell
- Hime – princess
- Fuku – lucky
- Reo – Leo
- Rin – bell
- Mei or Mii – reliable sprout
- Tora – tiger
- Tama – ball
- Shiro – white
- Sora – sky
- Kai – ocean
- Chiro – bare (great for a hairless cat!)
- Mikan – mandarin orange
- Kotetsu – small iron
- Sakura – cherry blossom
- Maron – chestnut
- Azuki – sweet red beans
- Miruku – milk
- Maru – circle
- Moka – mocha
- Kinako – yellow flour
- Kurumi – walnut
- Chobi – small
- Haru – spring
- Minto – mint
Japanese Cat Names
Are you searching for the best Japanese cat names for your new feline family member? You have come to the right place!
In this article, you will find carefully curated lists of some of the best Japanese pet names for cats and kittens.
One of the most fun parts of choosing your kitty’s new name is learning more about the history of cats in Japan, which is both ancient and very interesting!
Without further ado, let’s get to the good stuff – the lists of Japanese cat names!
About Japanese Cat Breeds
The Japanese Bobtail cat is widely considered to be an ancient purebred cat breed that hails from Japan.
While modern genome analysis suggests the breed may also be influenced by felines from China or Korea, the Japanese claim the breed as their own.
The nearby Kuril Islands also have their own cat breed, the Kurilian Bobtail cat.
The Kurilian Bobtail looks strikingly similar to the Japanese Bobtail cat – sufficiently so that researchers suspect a shared ancestor.
About Japanese Cat Names
If you are not familiar with the Japanese language, it can feel a bit confusing to navigate at first.
This is because there are three different alphabets used to write in Japanese: katakana, hiragana and kanji.
Which alphabet is used, and whether it is syllabic or symbolic, can affect the Japanese cat names meaning.
If you have seen the same Japanese names meaning cat given different meanings, this is likely the reason why.
Short Names are Best
Regardless of which alphabet you use, you will notice most Japanese cat names are short.
This will work in your favor during training since a team of Japanese researchers recently revealed proof that cats can learn and recognize their names.
Picking a short, percussive name that sounds unlike common commands or other family member names (including other pets) will help your new kitty learn his or her name quickly.
Famous Japanese Cat Names
If there is any doubt left in your mind that the whole country of Japan loves cats, check out Maru.
Maru is the official Guinness World Record holder for “most watched animal on YouTube.”
Also known as Mugumogu, Maru is a Scottish Fold cat whose YouTube videos have been watched more than 325 million times!
Other famous Japanese felines hail from anime series, feline J-pop idol spinoffs, popular product mascots (like the Min Min Daha catgirls) and more.
- Maru – feline YouTube sensation
- Shironeko, aka “basket cat” – another feline YouTube sensation
- Meowth – Pokemon
- Luna – Sailor Moon anime feline
- Artemis – Sailor Moon anime feline
- Diana – Sailor Moon anime feline
- Mugumogu – Maru’s YouTube name
- Doraemon – popular Japanese robotic cat
- Kirara – Inuyasha Japanese anime
- Fusasa – Fiona (HarMEOWny leader)
- Raina (HarMEOWny member)
- Solana (HarMEOWny member)
- Topatopa (HarMEOWny member)
- Aria (HarMEOWny member)
- Yuria – Isabella (NKB48 member)
- Rena or Renacchi – Ariana (NKB48 member)
- Mako or Kojimako – Elena (NKB48 member)
- Rina or Riccan – Rebecca (NKB48 member)
- Haruka or Paruru – Petunia (NKB48 member)
- Jurina – Julia (NKB48 member)
- Kirika – Twitter cat
- Gupitaro – Instagram cat
- Map U Chin – Twitter cat
- Rai – Instagram cat
- Itosan – Instagram cat
- Hakusama – Twitter cat
- Jun – Twitter cat
- Naomiuno – Instagram cat
- Soramoon – Twitter cat
- Maruruna – Instagram cat
Japanese Female Cat Names
Japanese girl cat names are easier to spot if you know about some of the traditional endings used in Japanese culture.
For example, names ending in ko, mi, ka, e, na, no and ri are more likely to be female names.
- Emi – beautiful blessing
- Mimi – from Japanese manga “ChocoMimi”
- Ran – orchid
- Fuji – type of flower
- Tenshi – angel
- Ren – love
- Cho – butterfly
- Minako – beautiful child
- Miki – beautiful princess
- Ayaka – colorful flower
- Ara – Japanese manga name
- Ina – Japanese manga name
- Fumiko – abundant beauty
- Ayame – iris flower
- Kimi – noble
Browse through 250 more female cat names here.
Japanese Male Cat Names
Japanese boy cat names can be relatively easy to spot by how they end.
For example, if you see a name that ends with kazu, dai, shi, ji, ro, ichi, o, kichi, hiko, nobu, or ta, this name is likely a masculine name.
- Kotarou or Kotaro – dreamer, smart
- Akira – bright boy
- Suzuki – bell tree
- Taro – big son
- Akio – hero
- Kameko – long life
- Akihiko – bright prince
- Michio – journeyman
- Rikuto – down to earth
- Sho – to fly (great for a climbing or jumping cat)
- Tadao – loyal
- Yoshiro – righteous son
- Tamotsu – protector
- Kouta – peace
- Hitoshi – motivated
Check out 250 more male cat names here.
Japanese Black Cat Names
In many parts of the world, a black cat is considered to be bad luck, but not so in Japan.
Not only are black cats considered good luck, but this effect is amplified for single women in search of suitors!
- Choco – chocolate
- Sumi – black calligraphy ink
- Jiji – black cat companion to the witch Kiki in Japanese anime “Kiki’s delivery service”
- Kuroi – black
- Burakku – black
- Kuroba mu – black or blacken
- Kokukoku – black
- Kuron – black or dark-skinned
- Hei zhi – black mark
- Kuro neko – black cat
- Shirokuro – black and white
- Burakkupeppa – black pepper
- Yami – black
- Kage – shadow
- Kurai – dark
For more black cat names, visit this article.
Cute Japanese Cat Names
Kawaisa, or Kawaii, is the word describing the modern “culture of cuteness” that is so popular in Japan today.
Perhaps the most universally well-known icon of this culture of cuteness is Hello Kitty (Haro Kiti in Japanese), a hybrid human/Japanese Bobtail cat with wide eyes and a bow over one ear.
These cute Japanese kitten names and cat names might be perfect for the cute kitty in your life.
For an extra dose of cuteness, add the honorific “Chan” to the front of the name you choose.
Let’s Take a Look
- Ringo – apple
- Ichigo – strawberry
- Mikan – orange
- Yuzu – citrus fruit
- Mochi – sticky rice
- Anko – red bean paste
- Ocha – Japanese tea
- Kawaii – cute
- Yoshiko – good child
- Hanako – flower child
- Mew – Pokemon
- Hoshi – star
- Kyoko – happy
- Haiku – short Japanese poem
- Hotaru – firefly
Find even more cute cat names in this article.
Funny Japanese Cat Names
Does you cat have you in stitches?
One of these funny Japanese cat names might just fit your feline’s laugh-worthy antics!
- Pochi – spot
- Puss (in Boots)
- Pero – Japanese character based on Puss in Boots story
- Nyan Cat – famous Japanese meme
- Nyan Nyan – cat’s meow
- Waru Nyan – bad cat
- Kyapi Nyan – perky cat
- Genki Nyan – energetic cat
- Dame Nyan – not good cat
- Bonito – fish flakes
- Skitty – Pokemon
- Shinx – Pokemon
- Purrloin – Pokemon
- Bento – Japanese box lunch
- Nintendo – leave luck to heaven
Enjoy more funny cat names in this article.
Cool Japanese Cat Names
If there is any cooler character than a cat, we have yet to discover it!
These cool Japanese cat names are inspired by Japanese culture and history.
- Mi-kay – tri-color cat
- Maneki-Neko – Japanese Bobtail cat statues in many Japanese restaurants
- Koneko – Japanese word for kitten (“child cat”)
- Neko – Japanese word for cat
- Sensei – teacher
- Yamakawa Sutematsu (“Stematz”) – first Japanese woman to graduate from college
- Kounna – lucky
- Osamu – studious
- Kaneda – rich, wealthy
- Kimono – traditional name for a cat with a black marking on its back
- Ryou – cool
- Hotoke – Buddha nature, merciful
- Bishamon – Japanese god of war and happiness
- Haya-ji – whirlwind
- Kami – deity of the natural world
Find lots more cool cat names here.
Tough Japanese Cat Names
These tough Japanese cat names evoke some of the qualities of a brave, strong, loyal feline.
- Ryu – dragon
- Katsuo – hero or victory
- Nekomata – supernatural forked cat from Yokai folklore
- Nekomata – similar type of supernatural cat from Yokai folklore
- Kinnikou – muscle (strong)
- Tomoe – Japanese warrior woman
- Takeko – Japanese warrior woman
- Musashi – Japanese samurai
- Kojiro – Japanese samurai
- Kenta – big, strong
- Kashi – oak tree
- Noriko – thunder
- Reiko – courageous
- Honcho – leader
- Isamu – courage
- Judo – fighter
- Daiki – great glory
- Makoto – true
- Mitsuo – shining man
- Sumo – wrestler
- Taiki – large
- Katashi – firm
- Ryuunosuke – noble, herald
- Shinobu – endurance
- Takumi – skilful
- Yuudai – great hero
- Hiraku – support
- Daisuke – big help
- Daiki – great tree
- Haruki – bright like the sun
Best Japanese Cat Names
We hope you have enjoyed these curated lists of some of the all-time best Japanese cat names!
Do you have your eye on a particular name for your new cat or kitten in Japanese?
When you choose your kitty’s new name, please drop back by and share the name you chose and the story behind it – we love to learn from our readers!
Take a look at more name ideas in this article on black cat names!
Reference and Resources
Baseel, C., “Japan’s top 10 cat names for 2017,” Sora News24, 2017.
Baer, P., et al, “FLF: See Pochi Run! The most popular names for pets in Japan,” Shipai Deshou, 2011.
Inouye, I., “Japan enlists cartoon cat as ambassador,” The Guardian World News, 2008.
Swatman, R., “Meet Maru ‘Mugumogu’ – the cardboard box-loving, record-breaking cat,” Guinness Book of World Records, 2017.
Shepherd, J., “These are the 11 Most Important Cats in Japan Right Now,” BuzzFeed, 2017.
Meyer, M., “Nekomata,” Yokai, 2019.
Johnson, C., “Princess Oyama,” Vassar College Encyclopedia, 2015.
Akiyama, H., “Lucky charm: a black cat named Ara,” Japan Times, 2018.
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