Category Archives: nicknames

Funny Pet Nicknames

By Julia Williams

Sooner or later, most people will bestow a nickname or two on their pet. We can’t help it. Even when we think we’ve chosen the perfect name for them, one that fits their personality to a T, nicknames will invariably emerge as new quirks are discovered. Sometimes we don’t even know why we start calling our pet a certain nickname; we just do. Some nicknames stick, and some are quickly forgotten.

My childhood cat, Pepper, was called Salt all the time… but not by me. My obnoxious  brother called her that because he knew it annoyed me. My first cat as an adult was Tosha. An accident took one of her back legs, so she hopped around on three legs. I called her Hopalong Catsidy and also Tripod. Binky was called the Binkmeister a lot, but I have no idea why. Tiger’s nickname was “Hoover” because he vacuumed up his Canidae cat food like he was seriously training for a competitive eating competition.

My current three have many nicknames as well. Mickey is called Mickleberry, Slick Mickey and Nuthead. Rocky is Rock Star, Fluffy and Naughty McNaughterson. Annabelle is called Furry Beast (when I am brushing her luxuriously long fur). One of her other nicknames was Bella Boo which became Boo Bear and then Boo Boo and finally Moo Moo. No idea how that all happened, but Moo Moo is what I call her the most. And no, she doesn’t look like a cow!

I asked my pet loving pals on Facebook to share their own funny pet nicknames, and the responses poured in! Here are some of them:

Laure: TJ the kitten has the name Total Jerk (I did not name him) because he gets into so much trouble! TT was short for Table Troll because she used to sit under the kitchen table and stare at everyone. Toot (her real name) gets Rootsie Tootsie or Toot Toot doodley doot. Trooder gets Trooder Dooder because he really leaves a bad smell in the cat box. Mooch gets “Smoochy Moochy” because she likes to give kisses.

Karen C.: My Riley doesn’t really meow, she squeaks. It sounds like she’s saying “squeeeee,” so we started calling her Squee. Cocoa was named because he’s a lovely dark brown/black, but then I started calling him Cocoa Puff. Grr already has the perfect name, but sometimes she gets called Furry Purry Grry when she’s wanting love.

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Do Nicknames Confuse Our Pets?

By Julia Williams

Most people spend a good deal of time trying to come up with the perfect name for their newly adopted pet. We search names compiled in baby books and on the internet, read articles, ask friends for suggestions, and observe our four-legged friend to find the name that best fits them. Why then do so many of us seem to use nicknames for our pets more often than the name we decided upon when we first brought them home? And does it really matter? Is it okay to call your cat or dog by names other than their “official” one? Do multiple names confuse your pet, or will they learn to respond to the nicknames too?

In all the many years I’ve been owned by cats, I have used nicknames for them. Each cat has had their “given” name, and a slew of nicknames. I didn’t think two licks about this until the other day, when I happened upon a discussion on an internet forum for pet owners. I often feel compelled to surf the internet, and as a pet writer for this blog and other websites, I naturally gravitate towards sites that pertain to animals. Pet forums are not exactly a productive use of my time, but they can be entertaining. Or in this case, serve as inspiration for an article.

The topic that day was whether people should just stick to the name they’ve given their pet, or if it was alright to give them nicknames. The vast majority were all in favor of nicknames for pets. They said they used nicknames all the time, and that their pets responded to them just as much as they did their original name. One person really made me laugh when they wrote that their dog’s nicknames were “Hey!” and “No!” I think many people can relate to that.

But in any crowd, on any subject, there will be those who favor and those who oppose. So it was on this forum, where a few people stated that they felt giving nicknames to pets could confuse them, and that it was unfair to the pet. As I said, this wasn’t something I had ever questioned. I can certainly see where, if you are trying to teach a puppy his name, you would want to be consistent and not use nicknames. Not having ever owned a dog, I have no knowledge on whether nicknames complicate matters for an adult dog. I am, however, quite confident in my belief that nicknames do not confuse my cats. Still, I thought it only fair to conduct some research on the matter.

I turned to my friends, my family and my ever-growing number of Facebook “acquaintances,” and asked for their opinions. This produced near identical results to the pet forum, wherein about 95% said they gave their pets nicknames and didn’t see any problem with it.

In the end, this exhaustive research (ha!) and years of firsthand experience have led me to conclude that it’s perfectly fine for pet owners to give nicknames to their dogs and cats. Dog owners report that their canine companions do answer to their nicknames, and everyone knows most cats only answer to humans when food is involved. I’m pretty sure there’s no need to worry about whether pets with nicknames will suffer psychological ill effects. Therefore, we should all feel free to call our pets pretty much anything we want to, and no one will accuse us of not being responsible pet owners.

So… what cute nicknames have you come up with for your dog or cat? Do share!

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.