An animal lover, having raised and cared for over 35 cats both purebred and feral converts, as well as an AKC Breeder of Merit.
Cat Names That Mean Survivor
Cats are know for their ability to survive, up to nine lives, if necessary. These names celebrate how they endure, via pluck, luck, caginess and arrogance in the face of defeat. Name your rescue kitty with a moniker that suits his or her style, when defying the odds against survival.
- Whoop Ass
Lucky Names for Cats
Throughout history, the numbers three and nine, including multiples of them, have been considered magical or lucky numbers. An old English saying tells us, "A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays, and for the last three he stays."
These cat names are associated with aspects of good fortune and luck as well as keeping the faith, all characteristics of the best survivors.
- Felix: Latin, means "lucky."
- Heldij: Danish, means, "lucky."
- Laki: Samoan, means "lucky."
- Suerte: Spanish, means "Lucky."
Survivor Names for Cats From Myth and Fiction
- Aslan: A magical speaking lion in the Narnia Chronicles, Aslan is sacrificed on the Stone Table by the White Witch, and then resurrected by the laws of Deeper Magic. Alsan is Turkish for "lion."
- Atlas: Titan god, condemned to hold the heavens on his shoulders for all eternity. The Atlantic ocean is named for him, the Sea of Atlas.
- Baihu or Byakko: White tiger in Japanese and Chinese mythology, representing the West and autumn season.
- Cosmos: Orderly universe.
- Deucalion: The Noah of Greek myth, Deucalion and his wife, Pyrrha, are the only survivors of a great flood, sent by Zeus to cleanse the world.
- Emzara: Wife of Noah and survivor of the great flood.
- Epic: Heroic or grand in scale.
- Homer: Author of the Iliad, and obnoxious parent to Bart, Lisa and Maggie Simpson.
- Jad-bal-ja: Tarzan's lion companion.
- Noah: Builder of the Ark and survivor of the great flood.
- Odysseus: The ultimate survivor, Odysseus survived the Trojan War, only to struggle ten years to return to his home in Ithaca.
- Parker: Richard Parker is the name of the tiger who survives on a raft with an young Indian boy, Pi, in The Life of Pi. Richard Parker (the Bengal tiger) symbolizes the animal instincts Pi must employ in order to survive.
- Sekhmet: Egyptian goddess with the head of a lioness.
- Tarzan: Lone survivor of a shipwreck, the child, Lord Greystoke, is raised by apes, and eventually matures into Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.
- Tarzana: Edgar Rice Burroughs's (author of the Tarzan series) California ranch, which later became an LA neighborhood.
- Titan: The Immortal Gods that preceded the Olympians.
- Zorro: Spanish for "fox," Zorro is a master acrobat and skilled with swords. He is known for his daring escapes from the bungling authorities. He is nicknamed "Zorro" by the towns people because of his fox-like cunning and sense of humor.
Famous Escape Artists and Survivors Who Make Great Cat Names
Buttercup: Infamous Hunger Games kitty survivor and Princess Bride survivor. Buttercup makes a cute name for an orange cat; you can call her Butters for short.
Casanova: Imprisoned in Venice at the infamous Leads prison, for adultery, Casanova immediately began plotting his escape. Having been foiled once in his attempt to dig his way out of The Leads, Casanova handed off his digging tool to his cell neighbor. This neighbor, Balbi, obliged Casanova by not only digging a tunnel out of the prison for himself, but also between their cells. The pair split up upon arriving in Venice proper, and were never recaptured. Indeed, Casanova must have been an extraordinarily charming man.
Claudius: Roman Emperor Claudius was born Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; on 1 August 10 BC, and lived to 13 October AD 54. Because he was born with a limp, had difficulty hearing and spoke with a stammer, Claudius was exempt from the normal purges of the reigns of his uncles and nephew, Caligula. Believing Claudius to be mentally deficient, he was precluded from holding any official positions in the Roman government, and therefore was never seen as a threat throughout the many palace intrigues. In time, however, Claudius eventually shared a consulship with Caligula, and after Caligula's assassination, Claudius was declared Emperor by the Pretorian Guard. He was the last survivor of his lineage, and it seemed Rome had been left with slim pickings. Happily and against all odds, Claudius turned out to be an excellent Emperor; he built the aqueduct and his reign of the Roman Empire was marked by fairness and economic success. "Clawdius" makes a cute name for an unassuming yet cunning male cat.
Connor: In the film Highlander, Connor MacLeod, suspects that he is immortal after quickly recovering from a fatal wound in battle. Banished from his village for witchcraft, Connor stumbles upon a Spaniard familiar with his condition, who takes Connor under his wing, in order to train him to properly meet his destiny. As it turns out, Connor and an undisclosed number of men were born immortal, and only their beheading can end one's life. The ensuing centuries are spent with immortals, like himself, meeting up and sword fighting to the death, in anticipation of the "Gathering" which is to be held in New York, New York. In an epic battle of good versus evil, fair Connor faces off with the dark Kurgan, whose execution ushers in a beautiful new age for mankind.
Cool Hand Luke: Decorated war veteran and rebel without a cause, Cool Hand Luke finds himself escaping from prison time after time only to be returned time after time. His many escapes, never say never attitude and postcards detailing his exploits on the outside, bestow cult status on Luke, among his fellow inmates. Name your cat Luke, if you believe the two of you might be experiencing, "A failure to communicate..."
Donner: The Donner party was a group of pioneers, who, through a series of poor decisions and inclement weather found themselves stranded in the Sierra Nevada mountains. In order to survive, they ultimately resorted to cannibalism of the already dead of their party, frozen in the nearby snow banks. Forty-two of the party died in the pass, while 47 survived.
Ginger: Gilligan's Island's movie star, Ginger makes a perfect name for a red cat.
Gilligan: Title character of Gilligan's Island, who inevitably scuttles every hope of their rescue.
Houdini: Famous escape artist, said to have more lives than a cat.
Jenny: Jenny, the Titanic Cat, was a transfer from one of the Titanic's sister ships, prior to the maiden voyage of the great ship. Such cats were employed on cruise ships to keep the rodent population in check. One of the ship's stokers, Jim Mulholland, volunteered to keep an eye on Jenny, as she had produced a litter of kittens. Shortly before the Titanic set sail, Mulholland observed Jenny removing her kittens from the ship. Considering this to be a bad omen, Jim also backed his things and left the ship. Mulholland credited prescient Jenny with saving his life.
Marshall: In 1970, the entire University of Marshall football team and coaches were lost when their chartered plane crashed, on return from a game at Eastern Carolina. The University considered ending its football program, however, the next year they determined to field the team with walk-ons and junior varsity players. The story of their rebound is chronicled in the film, We Are Marshall.
Morris: Morris, the 9 Lives spokes-cat, was a rescue from the local Humane Society, where he was "discovered." Additionally, Frank Morris is one of the only prisoners to escape from Alcatraz. His body was never recovered, so it is believed by many that he survived the swim from the Rock to San Francisco.
Papillion: Played by Steve McQueen, Papillion is a safe cracker with a knack for escaping from prison. Sentenced to life in prison on Devil's Island, McQueen and Dustin Hoffman's characters plot multiple escapes from this island Hell on Earth.
Sam: Unsinkable Sam was the World War II survivor of 3 shipwrecks. Sam, a black and white tom cat, began his naval career on a Nazi vessel. After its sinking, Sam was rescued by the British Royal Navy, where he continued his service and ultimately survived two more sunken ships.
Sully: Famous airline pilot who rescued his crew and passengers by landing his airliner in a river.
Skipper: Large Captain of the USS Minnow, grounded on Gilligan's Island. Skipper makes a cute name for a large gray or white cat.
Tao: The Siamese cat from true tale chronicled in The Incredible Journey.
Tubman: Harriet Tubman was the most famous of the "conductors" of the Underground Railroad. She risked her life time and again to lead hundreds of slaves to freedom in the North.
Names for Immortal Cats From Myth
Angel: Benevolent supernatural beings.
Bakeneko: Japanese lore tells of cats with the ability to speak and bewitch people with the movements of their long tails. Often confused with the Nekamato, the Bakeneko were believed to have growing control over their human caretakers, the longer they lived with them. Therefore, owners of cats would plan in advance how long they intended to care for a particular cat. Also, cat's tails were frequently bobbed, to reduce their ability to bewitch their owners. They are shape shifters, who often seek revenge by taking on new forms and consuming those who have wronged them or particular favorite humans.
Bastet: The Egyptian god, depicted as a cat, with divine energy to shape-shift and project her thoughts onto any cat on Earth.
Dawon: Tiger from Hindu mythology. Dawon is ridden into battle by his mistress, goddess Parvati. He uses his fangs and claws in battle, while she wields ten weapons.
Jinn: Pre-Islamic creatures made of fire and air, they have the ability to shapeshift and possess humans. They are a lower order than angels, and they possess the ability to choose to work for good or evil.
Nekomata: Chinese and Japanese lore tell of an immortal two-tailed cat spirit that torments humans by bringing about visions of departed loved ones. The worse the cat was treated in its life and the longer it lived, the greater the powers of the Nekomata. In other lore they are believed to have the power of necromancy, and can raise the dead, controlling them by a dance waving their paws and tails.
Nirvana: The state of perfect quietude that releases one from the constant cycle of samsara, or reincarnation.
Phoenix: Mythical bird that rises from it own ashes.
Samsara: The Indian life cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth.
Wampus: The Wampus cat is part of North American lore. This six legged cat is amphibious and possess occult powers. The unusual six legs are used with two for fighting and four for running. In the 1920s and 1930s, the Wampus cat was blamed for livestock deaths from North Carolina to Georgia.
Yali: Indian mythological beast, part horse, lion and elephant.
© 2021 Barbara Fitzgerald
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on January 30, 2021:
Thanks for visiting Liz. Over the last 30 million years cats have gone extinct 6 times and have then been reincarnated, because they are such effective survivors.
Liz Westwood from UK on January 29, 2021:
Given that cats are said to have 9 lives, this is an appropriate, interesting and well-structured article.