Deciding on a name for your cat can be one of the hardest decisions you’ll make. It needs to be unique to them while suiting their personality. Japanese cat names are becoming a popular choice among owners.
Japan absolutely loves cats as a nation, in fact they have been known to worship them since ancient times. Don’t get me started on the cat cafe trend they started.
So if your looking to get creative with your cat’s name or you have a Japanese background here is a comprehensive list of the best cat names.
Chibi: It means small or short. It can be applied to animals.
Akemi: Beautiful or it can mean as bright.
Toshi: Masculine name that means as wise or bright.
Emi: A popular feminine name which means beautiful blessing. E means blessing while Mi is beauty.
Ichika: A gift of God.
Junko: It means pure or obedience.
Sakura: Meaning – Cherry blossom or it can also mean as virtuous or good.
Takara: A treasure or jewel.
Tomoko: It means intellect, a female Japanese name.
Tomomi: Beautiful friend, Tomo is friend and mi is beautiful.
Akachan: My dear one or baby
Keiko: Adored one or a blessing.
Aiko: A bright child. Ai is love and Ko is a child.
Kiyomi: Pure beauty. Kiyo is pure and Mi is beauty.
Miki: A female’s name which means beautiful princess.
Satomi: Intelligent, clever, beautiful, and bright.
Takako: A noble child.
Yoshiko: Common female name which means a child of goodness.
Yoshi: Righteous, good luck or respectable
At some point, I’m sure you have seen the beckoning cat called Maneki-Neko. The popular cat figurine is believed to give good luck and positive blessings.
According to a Japanese legend, a man saw a cat waving its paw at him. Intrigued by the cat, the man went closer to the cat and after which a lightning strike hit where he was standing previously.
The man believed the cat was the cause of his good fortune because of the cat’s actions. And thus, the beckoning hand became a symbol of good luck and good fortune.
The Maneki-Neko is traditionally found at the entrance of shops, restaurants and other places of business. Some Maneki-Neko are made into piggy banks or keychains, so people can take their luck with them.
There is no doubt that cats play a huge role in Japanese culture and everyday life. Nothing says we love and adore cats more than building a shrine dedicated to them.
Throughout Japan, many shrines have been built and dedicated to cats, for example, Konoshimajinji. Located in Kyoto, it features a statue of a cat with its paw raised by its head greeting people as they enter.
The Japanese Bobtail cat breed is one of the oldest cat breeds known. The Japanese people believe they bring prosperity and good luck.
It’s believed that short tail cats arrived in Japan at least 1000 years ago and in 1602 Japanese authorities declared that all cats should be set free to help eliminate rodents. From there cats were allowed to live on farms and in the streets, earning them the nickname “street cats” of Japan.
They have an unusual bobtail more closely resembling the tail of a rabbit than that of other cats. The breed has been known in Japan for centuries, and it frequently appears in traditional folklore and art.
According to legend the luckiest color of Bobtail cat to own is the Mi-ke, it has a tri colored coat.
Bobtails can be a little dog like enjoying a game of fetch, mischievous and can be seen carrying toys and in their mouth often. They’re a strong healthy breed that lives to an average age of 15 – 17 years old.
Daiki: It means big, great, and valuable.
Isamu: Masculine name meaning brave.
Kenta: Healthy or strong. It can also mean thick and big.
Kiyoshi: Clean or it means purity.
Michio: Michi means path and O is man.
Minoru: It means the truth.
Mitsuo: A shining man or hero.
Takeo: A common masculine name meaning warrior hero.
Tomi: Japanese origin meaning rich or prosperous.
Yasushi: A Japanese word for peace.
Akihiro: Aki is bright or luminous while hiro is great.
Arata: It means new or fresh.
Haruto: Haru is light, make or sun. To is soar or fly.
Masayoshi: It can mean justice, righteous, or flourishing goodness.
Osamu: It means discipline or study.
Ryo: Japanese name for cool or refreshing.
Satoshi: Baby name for boys meaning fast learner.
Tadashi: It means loyalty, lucky, or auspicious.
Tsuyoshi: Male name meaning powerful.
Yamato: It means harmony. It is an ancient name and may also refer to the Yamato period.
Youta: Male name for light or sun.
Haruka: It means remote or distant.
Hiko: Japanese name for prince.
Kazuo: It means harmonious or peaceful man. It can be used for male cats.
Kenshin: Ken is humble while shin is trust.
Shin: It means genuine and real.
Shinobu: Japanese meaning endure or stealth.
Shou: It means prize or reward.
Takashi: Japanese name meaning esteem or honour.
Aimi: It means beautiful, love, or affection.
Amaya: In Japanese means night rain.
Asami: Female name for morning beauty.
Aya: Japanese female name meaning colorful or design.
Asa: It means born at dawn.
Ayaka: One of the most popular names for girls in Japan in the late 1980’s. It is considered a trendy name.
Chie: Japanese name meaning wisdom.
Chika: Chi means scatter and ka is good or beautiful.
Cho: Girl’s name for butterfly.
Eri: It means a blessed gift.
Hiromi: Generous beauty and can have other meanings too.
Kei: It means blessed.
Kioko: It means meets world with happiness.
Masako: A proper child or elegant.
Midori: Japanese word that means green.
Miki: A beautiful princess.
Noriko: Japanese given name for females meaning thunder.
Natsu: Means born in summer.
Reiko: It means courteous in Japanese.
Suki: Japanese name meaning beloved.
Umeko: Feminine name for plum blossom.
Yoko: It means sunny in Japanese.
Maiya: Japanese name meaning rice valley.
Naoko: It means a highly regarded child.
Noriko: Nori is law and ko is child. It can be used for female cats.
Tamako: It means jewel.
Asuka: Feminine name meaning fragrance.
Chiyo: It means one thousand generations.
Etsuko: A child of joy.
Hideko: A child of excellence.
Hiromi: In Japanese, it means excess beauty.
Kohana: It means a small flower.
Luna: Feminine name for moonling.
Ceiko: It means a child of splendor.
Chieko: In Japanese it means a child of intelligence.
Fumiko: It means a child of abundant beauty.
Izumi: A unisex name meaning spring or fountain.
Katsumi: It means a victorious beauty.
Kimiko: A popular name; empress child.
Natsuki: It means summer hope.
Satomi: Japanese name for beautiful and wise.
Yuuna: Means gentle, perfect for gentle cats.
Daiki: It means a great glory.
Haruki: In Japanese means shining sun.
Masaaki: It means pleasing brightness.
Totoro: A character in the animated movie called My Neighbor Totoro who is furry and silent.
Doraemon: A famous, celebrity Japanese robotic cat.
Tamotsu: It means a protector.
Kirara: The character is from Inuyasha.
Naoki: It means honest and straight.
Yukio: Male name meaning he gets what he wants.
Kimi: Female name meaning she is without equal.
Toshio: A genius leader or hero.
Miho: It means protected, guaranteed beauty.
Momoka: Japanese name for peach tree flower.
Yuka: It means a gentle flower.
Isamu: Japanese name for courage.
Hisashi: It means long-lived.
Hisoka: Japanese name meaning reserved, perfect for cats that are shy.
Masa: Great for male cats, meaning true.
Hayate: Male name for smooth.
Hibiki: It means sound or echo.
Kenta: Japanese name for healthy, large, and strong.
Takahiro: It means great value.
Judo: Japanese for a fighter.
Tomomi: Japanese for a beautiful friend.
Saki: It means a blossom of hope.
Rina: Japanese name for jasmine.
Rei: It means lovely.
Natsumi: A beautiful summer in Japanese.
Akumi: Evil beauty, aku is evil and mi is beauty.
Amaya: Night rain, female name.
Kage: Shadow, also acknowledged as the most powerful ninja.
Kaguya: Originated from the “Tale of the bamboo cutter”, a Japanese story. It means radiant night.
Makkuro: Pitch black.
Mayonaka: Japanese origin meaning midnight.
Sumi: Refined or black ink, female name
Yami: Dark and use for anything related to darkness. It is also a character in the Yu-Gi-Oh!, a popular anime series.
Yamiyo: It means dark night.
Yasha: A creature from the folklore in Japan which means night devil.
Yoru: In Japanese is night.
Mika: Name for girls, popular during the 1960’s. It means beauty or flower.
Sekitan: Translates to coal.
Tsuki: Feminine name which means moon.
Hotaru: Feminine name meaning firefly.
When naming your pet you should choose a name that is easy for both you and kitty to recognize. Studies show that pets respond best to one or two syllable names and picking one that is easy to call out is a good start.
Start with the future in mind, with that I mean think of some training techniques you’ll want to use. Naming your cat Moe can sound very similar to “No” and kitty might take this the wrong way.
Most people tend to shorten names or give spin off nicknames to their original name. Keep in mind what the shorter version of your intended name could be.
A really common and in my opinion great way to name your kitty is to think about their heritage or breed. For example, a Siamese cat would suit a Thai name such as Chanarong. It means Warrior, a unique unisex name.
If you want more cat name ideas you can visit a previous article on unique cat names I have written.
It’s also a really good idea to wait a few days, sometimes even a week to get a grasp on the character of your new fur baby. The personality and appearance of your cat will be a great help.
Of course there is always the option of naming them after someone famous or a famous cat or dog. The all time classic for a dog would be Lassie or Benji. I’ve given you some famous cat names to think about above.
And finally, the most important thing when it comes to naming your cat is to pick one that makes you happy. One you can be comfortable saying for many more happy years to come.
Aka: Crimson or red.
Akahana: Red rose, use for a feminine name.
Akane: Deep red and is associated with red and brilliant red.
Aki: Autumn or clear.
Azuki: Unisex name meaning sweet red beans.
Gorudo: Japanese meaning is gold.
Kaede: Girl’s name that means maple tree
Kasai: Out of control fire.
Kohaku: Japanese word for amber.
Mikan: A citrus fruit similar size of a tangerine.
Moeru: To get fired up or to burn.
Orenji: An orange fruit.
Sabita: In Japanese it means rusty.
Shinku: A deep crimson color.
Shoga: A ginger or sushi ginger.
Akari: Bright or light, female name.
Awai: Thin, pale, or faint.
Deiji: It means dynamic or independent.
Fuyu: Feminine and masculine name which means winter.
Fuyuku: Feminine name means winter child.
Kitsune: Fox or white fox. In Japanese folklore, foxes are a common subject.
Kumo: Japanese word for cloud.
Mashiro: White or it can mean as pure white.
Miruku: Milk, feminine name.
Miyuki: Common female name which means beautiful fortune or deep snow.
Shimo: It means frost or frostiness.
Sunoboru: Meaning snowball.
Tenshi: A title of the Emperor of Japan or son of heaven. It also means as angel.
Yuki: Happiness or snow.
Yuri: Female name that is common and means lily.
Ren: Unisex, means the love of the lotus.
Akiara: A bright person. It can be used for naming cats.
Akito: A bright person who is like an autumn season.
Danuja: Japanese name for a ruler.
Harue: It means spring bough or sunshine.
Hikaru: It can be used for female or male, shining brilliance.
Hitomu: Wisdom, beautiful or intellect.
Japana: Someone or something who is energetic.
Jona: It means adored and admired in the society.
Kairi: In Japanese it means ocean village.
Kazumi: It means beautiful harmony.
Kin: Japanese name that means golden.
Kosuke: It can be used in naming female or male cats meaning the rising sun.
Mana: One who is full of spirit.
Miyo: It means a charming child.
Kimi: It means noble in Japanese.
Suzu: Bell, great for female cats.
Taiki: Male name meaning shine.
Yori: It means trust.
Eiki: In Japanese means glory.
Honcho: In Japanese it means a leader.
Mitsuru: A feminine name that means fulfill or satisfy.
Taiki: It means big or great.
Botan: Name for females which means long-life.
Hoshiko: Japanese for star.
Inari: Japanese kami or spirit of foxes, rice, sake, and fertility of general prosperity.
Kichi: Name’s meaning is the fortunate one.
Komachi: A feminine beauty.
Shina: A Japanese name for virtue or good.
Jiji: It means friendly.
Oshin: A famous television character in Japan.
Kanmi: It is a Japanese word for a deity or god.
Mochi: A cute Japanese name. It means rice cake.
Yosei: A bewitching spirit that is synonymous with fairy.
Hiraku: In Japanese it means open.
Ichiro: Japanese name that means first son.
Kenichi: A strong and healthy first son which is suitable in naming a male cat.
Kichiro: Macsuline name which means lucky son.
Ceiko: In Japanese it means child of splendor.
Kiko: A chronical child; name for girls.
Kyoko: Girl’s name which means mirror.
Miwa: Mi means beautiful and wa is harmony. When combined, it means a beautiful harmony.
Nanami: A popular feminine name which means the seven seas.
Riko: A child of truth or reason.
Sachiko: It means a joyful and happy child.
Yua: In Japanese it means binding love.
Yuka: Feminine name that means beautiful or gentle flower.
Yukari: A beautiful pear tree.
Yumi: In Japanese it means archery bow.
Akina: A masculine name referring to autumn greens.
Hiro: A masculine name that can mean abundant, generous, or tolerant.
Isao: Boy name for courageous.
Nintendo: Japanese name for luck to heaven.
Norio: Masculine name for a man of principles.
Satoshi: Japanese name that means clever and agile.
Hikari: A feminine or masculine name for light.
Kyrinnia: A shining companion.
Sayaka: In Japanese it means breath of fresh air.
Noa: Japanese name for hope and love.
Kasumi: It means mist but can also come from ka which is flower and sumi is pure.
Kokoa: In Japanese it is heart and love.
Tomohisa: A male name which means everlasting friendship.
Yoshe: Perfect for female cats. It means beauty.
Kaida: Japanese name for little dragon.
Junichi: A name for an obedient first son.
Hitoshi: It means motivated. A masculine name suitable for cats.
Katashi: Japanese for hard or firm.
Noboru: In Japanese it means rise or ascend.
Osamu: Masculine name for discipline or study.
Shiro: Fourth son, perfect for a fourth male cat.
Shinji: A true second son. Name suitable for a male cat.
Tamotsu: A protector or keeper.
Taro: It means a large son. Name is suitable for a male especially large cat.
Yoshito: Yoshi means good luck or virtuous and to is person. It is a unisex name.
Hitomi: It means pupil of the eye.
Honoka: A harmony flower. It is a feminine name.
Moriko: A child of the forest.
Noriko: In Japanese it means a lawful child.
Sachiko: A joyful and happy child. It is suitable for cats.
Toshiko: In Japanese it means clever.
Yoshie: It means a beautiful stream.
Buyo: The fat kitty from Inuyasha.
Kamineko: A character from the anime Azumanga Daioh.
Nekobasu: The multi-legged cat bus from Tonari no Totoro.
Rin: In Japanese it means dignified.
So there you have it, a long list of interesting Japanese cat names. By now I’m sure you’ve got a good grasp on how to pick the best cat name for your new kitty.
If you are still stuck for a name, remember don’t be worried to give it a few days or even a week before picking a name. It’s often a cat’s coat, color, and personality that will help you decide.
Some names I have repeated in the list, this is because Japanese has two phonetic alphabets, which were invented to better fit the Japanese language. Some names are found in both Katakana and Kanji, hence the two meanings.