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Winslowe Ladybird Neetenbeek has the coolest cat name in Minneapolis — and other revelations from the city’s pet registry

smiling kitteh
Photo by Jae Park on Unsplash
Eleven cats licensed by Minneapolis simply go by Kitty, three are dubbed Kitten, and a handful are named Meow Meow.

You can call your cats whatever you want, but it’s likely they’ll only slink over on their terms.

Still, those registering their pets with the City of Minneapolis have put great thought into christening their kitties. Napping somewhere in Minneapolis is a cat named Steaknshake, according to a registry of 2,707 cats currently licensed with the city, while elsewhere in Minneapolis live the likes of Ted Meowsby, Jazzpurr and Winslowe Ladybird Neetenbeek.

Some owners opt to call a spade a spade. Eleven cats licensed by Minneapolis simply go by Kitty, three are dubbed Kitten, and a handful are named Meow Meow.

In a crowd of tabby titles, one name rose to the top, though. Perhaps influenced by the classic anime “Sailor Moon” or the celestial body itself, the most popular cat name in the city is Luna. But Luna isn’t just common in Minneapolis. According to user data from Rover.com, a pet-sitting business, Luna was the most popular female cat name nationwide in 2018 (Oliver took the crown for male cats).

Other common cat names in Minneapolis were Lucy, Oliver, Charlie, Smokey and Leo. Of the cats with known ages, a 30-year-old named Buster won seniority.

You can purr-use all the registered names in the table below.

Cats registered in Minneapolis
Source: City of Minneapolis

One of the ‘most commonly unknown’ ordinances

City ordinance requires all pets be licensed with Minneapolis Animal Care and Control, but registered animals likely represent a fraction of how many pets actually live in Minneapolis. “It’s one of the most commonly unknown ordinances,” said Danielle Joreger, volunteer and engagement coordinator for animal care and control.

Twenty-four cats in Minneapolis, like this one, are named "Luna."
Photo by Audrey Kennedy
Twenty-four cats in Minneapolis, like this one, are named "Luna."
The law applies to all pets, including dogs and cats older than 4 months, and even ferrets (you need a special permit for your honeybees).

Joreger said the rule requiring pet registration originally came about to ensure proper rabies vaccination. But today animal identification is primarily used by Animal Control to give a lost Luna or Lucy a ride home when they’re found roaming the streets.

Cat naming 101

If you want your cat to at least pay attention to you, Uri Burstyn, a Vancouver veterinarian, advises calling them by names that end in a high pitch. Burstyn dispenses best naming practices and other pet care tips on his YouTube channel, Helpful Vancouver Vet.

“It’s an evidence-based finding, that cats will pay more attention to sounds in the same frequency range as their common prey,” said Burstyn.

Fourteen Minneapolis cats share their name with the cuddler, Smokey.
MinnPost photo by Tiffany Bui
Fourteen Minneapolis cats share their name with the cuddler, Smokey.
So, (theoretically) names like Lucy, Charlie and Smokey are more likely to get a cat to look your direction. Which means calling for Luna, although a popular choice, may not be the best way to get your cat to come running.

“Maybe there are a lot of cats that ignore their owners in Minneapolis,” said Burstyn.

The vet’s failsafe tip? “Call while opening their food.”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Elaine Frankowski on 06/18/2019 - 01:39 pm.

    As with any proper cat, a la T.S. Eliot, our cat has three names: Cat [my husband’s economical appellation], pussycat [my more information designation] and her secret name that we’re not allowed to know.

    Now that I know I should register her I shall.

  2. Submitted by Charlie Curry on 06/18/2019 - 07:46 pm.

    As children, Each of our kids had a cat. My daughter’s blue point Siamese was named Shep, because he acted more like a dog than a cat. My son’s tortoise shell cat was named Specky, for her white/black/brown coat. They were pretty sociable, especially Shep.

    My daughter (grown up, married, one child) has a cat named Gravy, because it had a gray muzzle on its otherwise black self. The gray disappeared as it grew older. Ot’s pretty much psychotic.

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