Digging through a century’s worth of records has revealed the most popular pet names over the last 115 years, according to a study by FirstVet.
Among the key findings is that people really like to name their pets after monarchies and fairy tales - “Princess” is the most popular overall pet name in the U.S. It’s also the most popular dog name.
“Princess has consistently been in the top-10 most popular dog names since the 1960s but has never been the No. 1 most popular name in any single decade,” according to FirstVet, an online pet health and consultation service.
Pet names are often influenced by cultural events and art, the study said.
The most popular cat name of all time is “Tiger.” This may be due to the earliest domesticated cats in America being European “tabby” cats, which have distinctive stripes, the study said. A version of the name - “Tigger” - got a boost in the 1960s thanks to Disney’s popularization of the Winnie the Pooh stories, which feature a bouncy tiger named Tigger.
Here are the most popular dog names for each decade, according to FirstVet, which studied pet death records at Hartsdale Pet Cemetery (founded in 1896 in New York City) to draw its conclusions. The cemetery is the final resting place for more than 80,000 animals.
- 1930 - Queenie
- 1940 - Tippy
- 1950 - Sandy
- 1960 - Lady
- 1970 - Brandy
- 1980 - Max
- 1990 - Max
- 2000 - Max
FirstVet said Max has been a consistently popular dog pet name in part due to the success of the “Mad Max” franchise as well as Russell Crowe’s character Maximus from the movie “Gladiator.”
Here are the most popular cat names for each decade starting with the earliest data available, the 1960s.
- 1960 - Cindy
- 1970 - Ginger
- 1980 - Tiger
- 1990 - Smokey
- 2000 - Smokey
Smokey has dominated the last two decades likely due to the popularity of the film “Smokey and the Bandit” and its many TV movies and sequels, as well as the popularity of Motown singer William “Smokey” Robinson.
“Naming a pet is one of the strongest indicators of human love and companionship, which is what inspired us to conduct this intriguing analysis of how Americans have named their furry friends over the last century,” said Gabriel Corredor, FirstVet’s U.S. country manager.
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