Despite their aloof reputation, cats (gatti) are one of the world’s most beloved pets, coming in second only to the dog (cane). In fact, according to a survey conducted in 2019, 58% of Italians owned a cat, which we can all agree is no small number!
But what are some of the most common Italian cat names? Here you’ll find a list of the top ten, as reported by Focus Junior in an article written in 2021! 🐱
The popularity of this name can probably be attributed to the 1970 Disney cartoon The Aristocats (known as Gli Aristogatti in Italian). In the Italian version, the alley cat that Duchessa meets halfway through the film is called Romeo. (In English, the two characters are called Duchess and Thomas O’Malley respectively.)
2. Pallina / Pallino
Pallina means small ball in Italian and because it is a feminine word, it is used for female cats. The male equivalent is pallino, which means cue ball or jack in the game of bowls.
3. Micio / Micia
Micio and micia are cute-sounding synonyms for gatto (male cat) and gatta (female cat), kind of like the affectionate term kitty in English.
Luna is the word for moon in Italian. I suspect this name is popular because cats, like the moon, are mysterious, beautiful and nocturnal.
5. Chicco / Chicca
Chicco means bean or grain in Italian, whereas the feminine chicca means tidbit or rarity. Both have a cute ring to them, don’t you think?
Is your kitten already showing you his or her cheeky streak? Then birba could be the perfect name! It is the word adults use to describe a mischievous or naughty person, usually a child.
7. Trilly / Trilli
Trilly (also spelled Trilli) is the Italian name for Peter Pan’s best friend Tinkerbell. Despite not being inspired by a feline character, it remains a very popular cat name in Italy.
What do you think of when you hear the name Leo? Why, a lion of course! And what better namesake for a courageous, independent male cat than his fierce male relative?
9. Minù / Minou
Once again, we most likely have The Aristocats to thank for the popularity of this female cat name. At the beginning of the film, Duchessa has three kittens she names Matisse, Minou and Bizet. Minou is a white-furred kitten and the only female in the litter.
Briciola is a cute word in Italian that literally means crumb (usually of a piece of bread or cookie), scrap or a small amount of something. The diminutive forms are briciolina (feminine) and bricionlino (masculine).
Which of these Italian cat names would you choose for your gatto? Let us know in the comment section below!