This is according to veterinary video consultation platform FirstVet. The group has analyzed more than 25,000 names records from domestic animals buried in the nation’s oldest resting place for pets, Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Westchester County, N.Y.
The data, which dates back 115 years, identifies ‘Princess’ as the most popular name overall for both dogs and cats. Its longevity may be attributed to cultural fascination with monarchies and fairy tales, FirstVet speculates.
When looking at cat data specifically, ‘Tiger’ was found to be the most popular name for the species. This trend may relate to the legacy of the earliest domesticated cats in America being European ‘tabby’ cats with distinctive tiger-like striped markings, FirstVet spectulates. Likewise, the company says, ‘Tigger’ from Winnie the Pooh may have also had an influence.
When broken down by decade (with the assumption of the average cat and dog having a lifespan of approximately 10 years), the most popular dog names are as follows:
- 1930s: Queenie
- 1940s: Tippy
- 1950s: Sandy
- 1960s: Lady
- 1970s: Brandy
- 1980s: Max
- 1990s: Max
- 2000s: Max
The decades-long popularity of ‘Max’ might be connected to the Mad Max film series, the first of which was released in 1979, FirstVet says.
Meanwhile, the most popular cat names by decade are:
- 1960s: Cindy
- 1970s: Ginger
- 1980s: Tiger
- 1990s: Smokey
- 2000s: Smokey
‘Smokey’ topping the list for two consecutive decades may be linked to the popularity of Smokey and the Bandit (1977), FirstVet says. Additionally, it may be attributed to the enduring popularity of Smokey Robinson.
Other findings of note include:
- The pet name identified with the highest regnal number (a number denoting it is one in a series of pets with the same name) was Virgo XIII.
- Nobility-related names (i.e. ‘Princess,’ ‘Duke,’ ‘King,’ ‘Lady’) featured consistently in the top 10 animal names in the U.S. throughout the latter half of the 20th century. In contrast, names with royal attributions did not achieve ‘top 10’ status in the U.K during this time.
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