Barbara Fitzgerald is an AKC Breeder of Merit and author of the column "Conversations with Champions" for the BCSA magazine, Borderlines.
Cats, Magic, and Witchcraft
Among the many species that serve as witches' "familiars," cats are preeminent. Other common familiars include hares, toads, snakes, dogs, crows, and owls. These animals are said to aid witches and warlocks in spell-casting and other magical rituals.
If you have a penchant for paganism or an interest in the occult, you might want to consider choosing a witchy name for your cat. The name ideas in this article come from a variety of witchy, Wiccan, and Pagan sources.
Types of Witchy Cat Names in This Article
- Generally Witchy Names
- Historical Witch Names (Feminine)
- Historical Witch and Warlock Names (Masculine)
- Names of Witches' Familiars
- Witchy Names From Other Languages
- Names of Witches in Fiction and Film
Generally Witchy Names
Charm (or Charmed One)
Feminine Witch Names From History
The names in this section come from real female witches who have been documented over the ages. If you're looking for a feminine cat name with a rich history behind it, one of these selections may be a good choice.
Agnes (or Sampson)
Agnes Sampson was a midwife and healer in the North Berwick area of England in the late 1500s. She, along with 70 others in the area, was accused of attending a witches' coven on Halloween night and conspiring to kill the king by casting a spell on his ship, which was returning with his bride from Denmark. The king's voyage had been beset by ferocious storms, and he believed that dark forces had conspired to raise nature up against him.
Those accused were tortured and questioned by the king himself. Agnes resolutely defended her innocence, however, the witch's bridle—a torture device that held her head via four prongs in the mouth and was chained to the wall—proved to be more than she could bear. Agnes finally confessed to vexing the king's ship and was put to death via strangulation and burning.
Proclaimed the official witch of Salem by Governor Michael Dukakis, Laurie Cabot began practicing magic and Wicca in the early 1970s in Salem, Massachusetts. She maintained a coven and two small shops—Crow Haven Corner and The Cat, The Crow & The Crown—on Pickering Wharf. The latter shop has now closed. An online store, The Enchanted, still offers her jewelry and talismans. Laurie is nationally renowned and has been featured on the talk show circuit and on Leonard Nimoy's series, In Search Of . . .
Delphi (or Pythia)
The Oracle of Delphi was the most respected oracle of the ancient world. It was believed that her powers of foresight were derived directly from Apollo. Also known as the Pythia, meaning "house of snakes," she was one of the best-documented religious figures of the era. Nearly all of the classical writers made descriptions of her prophecies. By the seventh century BCE, she was the most powerful and prestigious woman in the classical world. Name your cat Delphi if you are seeking an all-knowing companion.
Alice Kyteler was the first person convicted of witchcraft in Ireland. Born of wealthy Flemish merchant in Kilkenny County, Alice was her parents' only daughter. She married four times, and she and her second husband were accused by her younger sons of killing her first husband and their father, William Outlaw. Alice was resented in the community for her activities as a money lender. In 1324, her fourth husband fell ill and stated that he believed he was being poisoned. Alice and her household were subsequently accused of sorcery and poisoning.
Alice fled to England following her conviction, but her servant, Petronella, and eldest son, William Outlaw Jr., were convicted of witchcraft. Petronella was executed for the crime, while William, who recanted, was sentenced to three masses a day and charged with caring for and feeding the poor for one year.
Marie Catherine Laveau was a Voodoo priestess in the late 1800s in New Orleans. She and her daughter, Marie Catherine Laveau II, had a large following of both Black and White believers. In 1874, as many as 12,000 followers massed along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain to watch the daughter perform her legendary rites on St. John's Eve. Being of mixed-race heritage—one-third Native American, one-third African American, and one-third French Creole—both mother and daughter were hailed as Voodoo queens.
Malin Matsdotter was one of the last to be executed during Sweden's great witch hunt known as the "Great Noise." Malin was accused by her own daughters of corrupting her grandchildren by taking them to a Black Sabbath, but she firmly maintained her innocence.
Swedish tradition held that condemned witches be executed prior to burning, yet Malin's stubborn insistence on her innocence seems to have riled the authorities' ire, as she was condemned to death by burning. Malin was zen-like in her death, showing no pain and refusing to cry out. This and her final curse on her daughters—that they fall eternally into the hands of Satan—convinced the villagers of her guilt.
Salem Massachusetts became a hotbed of accusations of witchcraft and executions by burning at the stake in the late 1690s. The origin of the mysterious fits two young girls suffered is believed to have been a fungus that contaminated the Salem food supply. However, a well-meaning doctor claimed it was dark magic, a diagnosis that eventually destroyed a community.
Contamination of the food supply continued to bring on fits and delirium in the residents, while the accused brought down their enemies and personal rivals with new accusations of collusion in dark magic. Some 20 residents of Salem were executed for witchcraft, and many more had their families destroyed by the accusations.
One of the original three accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, Tituba was a Caribbean slave girl. The three women were accused of causing fits and delirium in two young girls via witchcraft. Tituba confessed to being a witch and then accused others of participating in black magic.
Panic ensued as others settled old scores via accusations. In all, some 150 men and women were accused of witchcraft in this small community. Tituba was found guilty of witchcraft but pardoned, perhaps for her assistance in apprehending more witches.
Ursula (or Shipton)
Ursula Southeil, also known as Mother Shipton, lived in the 1500s and was considered England's greatest clairvoyant at the time. Described as hideous and known locally as hag face, it was believed that she was the daughter of the union between a witch and Satan.
Respected as a prophetess, Mother Shipton predicted the demise of the Spanish Armada, the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots, the Great Fire of London, and the Plague of London. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Ursula was spared beheading or burning at the stake; instead, she died of natural causes and was buried on unhallowed ground.
Masculine Witch and Warlock Names From History
The names in this section come from male witches and warlocks who have been studied and written about over the ages. If you're looking for a masculine cat name with an interesting background story, consider the selections in this list.
Abramelin the Mage
A powerful warlock of the 15th Century, Abramelin created a complex system of magic based on an intricate process through which he summoned good and evil to do his bidding. His secrets were published in the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin, which was revered by the occult community and Aleister Crowley, who we'll discuss next.
Aleister (or Crowley)
Aleister Crowley was a poet, novelist, writer, mountaineer, and occultist who practiced ceremonial magick and founded an occult religion known as Thelema. In 1898, he joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, where he was trained in the arts of ceremonial magick.
On a trip to Egypt, he was visited by Aiwass, a being of a higher existence who delivered unto him The Book of The Law. This text became the basis of his new occult religion, Thelma. As the head of Thelema, Crowley believed he was leading humanity into the Aeon of Horus, in which a new moral principle would prevail: "Do what thou shall wilt." Crowley was reviled publicly for his pornographic writings, sexual-magic rituals, and libertine lifestyle.
Balthasar was one of the three Magi that visited the newborn baby Jesus. These mages or wizards are now thought to have been Zoroastrian priests rather than kings. The Persian Magi were astronomers, astrologers, and mathematicians. These wizards, or wise ones, combined magic with religion as parts of the same whole. In fiction, the name Balthazar is used for both angelic and demonic supernatural beings.
Cayce (or Edgar)
Edgar Cayce was known as the "sleeping prophet" and the founder of holistic medicine. Through over 14,000 trance-induced readings, Cayce produced healing information for his subjects and introduced the world to the lost continent of Atlantis and its people. Cayce also made predictions regarding the end times, a mysterious library that would be found buried under the paws of the Sphinx, and various philosophies regarding spiritual growth, meditation, and reincarnation.
MacGregor Mathers was one of the founders of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and at one time a close associate of Aleister Crowley. He brought Enochian Magic into modern-day magical practice and promoted the study of the tarot.
Nostradamus was a French healer, seer, and astrologer. His book, Les Prophéties, has rarely been out of print since its publication in 1555. Written in quatrains, the text is deliberately obscure and vague, as the Inquisition was in full swing at the time of its writing. Les Prophéties received mixed reviews when published, but the ruling class was taken with Nostradamus, and he was employed as an astrologer to the rich and famous.
Catherine de' Medici, Queen of France, was among his many supporters. Originally an apothecary, he drifted from the healing arts towards the occult in midlife following the death of his first family at the hands of the plague. Since his death, Les Prophéties—given its vague and poetic nature—has been purported to have predicted world events, such as World War II and the advent of nuclear weapons. Modern scholars attribute this prescience to poor translations from middle French to modern English rather than the Nostradamus' supposed prophetic ability.
Names of Witches' Familiars
Initially, the witch's familiar was seen as a satanic spirit that briefly assumed the shape of an animal when not at work performing the bidding of the dark forces. Today, we see the familiar as a benevolent companion to the witch, but in medieval times, they were viewed in a much more sinister light.
Matthew Hopkins made a good living for himself in the 1640s by ridding villages of their witches. Through the use of sleep deprivation, he was able to obtain many confessions. In his book The Discovery of Witches, he recounts an exhausted witch calling out for her familiars and their arrival in his tome.
"Holt, who came in like a white kittling (kitten).
Farmara, who came in like a fat spaniel without any legs at all.
Vinegar Tom, who was like a long-leg'd Greyhound with an head like an Oxe.
Sack and Sugar, like a black Rabbet.
Newes, like a Polecat.
Followed by her imps Elemanzer, Pyewacket, Peckin the Crown, and Grizel Greedigut"
Hopkins suggests in his book that Satan gave these spirits ridiculous names in order to trick the witches into thinking they were not associated with the dark arts.
Witches' Familiars From Literature and Legend
- Archimedes: Merlin's owl
- Grimalkin: The witches' cat in Shakespeare's Macbeth
- Harpier: The MacBeth witches' owl particular
- Kit: The charmed ones' Siamese cat, featured in the opening montage and in several episodes of Charmed
- Molly Boo: Molly Boo was Laurie Cabot's black cat and "particular" in her rituals. Laurie Cabot had been quietly practicing magic in Salem, Massachusetts when her familiar, Molly Boo, got stuck in a tree. Cabot petitioned the local fire department to rescue her cat, but they claimed it was against union policy to do so. After four days, a desperate Cabot contacted the local paper to ask for their assistance, stating that she was a witch and needed the cat for her rituals. Upon the publishing of the story, the fire department rescued Molly Boo, and Cabot became a national celebrity and appeared on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show.
- Pyewacket: The black cat familiar in the play Bell, Book and Candle
- Zombi: The pet snake and particular of Marie Catherine Laveau (named after an African god)
Witchy Names From Other Languages
- Akuba: "Witch" in Japanese
- Baba: Polish for "witch"
- Bruxo: Spanish translation of "warlock"
- Craft: The art of witchcraft
- Hexe: "Witch" in German
- Incantrix: Latin word for "witch"
- Heathen: Pagan, idolatrous, or infidel
- Kijo: Japanese for "witch"
- Koldun: Russian translation of "warlock"
- Majo: Japanese alternative for "witch"
- Necromantis: Greek word for "warlock"
- Saga: Another Latin word for "witch"
- Sahir: Arabic for "warlock"
- Sahira: Arabic for "witch"
- Shushi: Chinese translation of "warlock"
- Sorcière: French for "witch"
- Strega: "Witch" in Italian
- Tovenaar: Latin translation for "warlock"
- Veneficus: Another Latin word for "warlock"
Witch Names From Fiction, Film, and Folklore
- Dr. Bombay: Bewitched
- Broom-Hilda: Folklore
- Circe: Homer's Odyssey
- Cordelia Fox: American Horror Story: Coven
- Desdemona: Every Witch Way
- Edwina: Maria The Virgin Witch
- Elphaba: The wicked witch of the west from The Wizard of Oz as reimagined in the Broadway play, Wicked
- Endora: Bewitched
- Gayelette: The Wonderful World of Oz
- Glinda: The Wizard of Oz
- The Sanderson Sisters, Winifred, Sarah, and Mary: Hocus Pocus
- Lirio: lirio is the name of the occult shopkeeper in The Craft. Lirio is able to recognize Sarah's natural abilities and guides her to invoke the spirit of Manon to prevent the other witches from causing more harm.
- Manon: Manon is the "spirit" invoked in the film, The Craft, that brings Nancy ever-increasing powers in her practice of witchcraft and ultimately assists Sarah in vanquishing her former coven members.
- Nyx: Image Comics
- Phoebe, Piper, Prue, and Penny Halliwell: Charmed
- Prospero: The Tempest
- Sabrina: Sabrina The Teenage Witch
- Samantha: Bewitched
- Sea Hag: Popeye
- Singra: The Wicked Witch of Oz
- Tabitha: Bewitched
- Tarot: Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose
- Tilly Ipswitch: Tilly Witch
- Wendy: Casper's Good Witch
- The Witches of Eastwick: Sukie, Jane, and Alex (their warlock is named Daryl Van Horne)
- Zoe Benson: American Horror Story: Coven
Tallen on May 19, 2020:
My personal favorite for a male black cat is Thackery Binx (Binx for short) which is the guy that was transformed into a black cat in the movie Hocus Pocus. I have a black kitten, that when we figure out its sex and its a male, is going to get this name!
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on March 28, 2020:
Hi Abby: They definitely qualify for the list! We will add them; thanks for the great name suggestions!
Abby Pratt on March 27, 2020:
Would the Sanderson sisters, Winifred "Winnie", Mary, and Sarah qualify to be on this list? They are from the movie Hocus Pocus
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on October 20, 2019:
Hi Sam: Thanks for the name correction on The Witches of Eastwick. I am going to blame that on one of the editors lol. Corrected now!!
Sam on October 19, 2019:
The Witches of Eastwick and Sukie, Jane and Alex not Bonnie.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on October 16, 2019:
Hi Chrys: Thanks for the update on the Charmed Ones' Names. I did not know Penny was the grandmother's name. Please come back with more info!!
Chrys on October 16, 2019:
Penny is the "Charmed" one's Grandmother. Penny (Penelope), Patty, Prue, Piper, Phoebe, and Paige.
Chelsey on July 06, 2019:
Just as an FYI - the Charmed witches are Phoebe, Piper, Prue and Paige (not Penny).
Wes.B on January 25, 2019:
I like Shiva, Shiba and Nala....
Hi on January 24, 2019:
Lunar or Luna is a great cat name
Ninevin on July 20, 2018:
How about the name Mauger pronounced Mosher? He was a relative a couple of generations down of Charlemagne. He was originally Archbishop of Rouen. He quit this position and moved to the Channel Islands In The West. Rumor had it that he practiced black magic as a Hermit around large fires. Eventually he waded into the English Channel and committed suicide.
Koda on June 30, 2018:
Thanks for the names :) I chose Nyx for my last boy and now I chose Sahir for my new boy that I just got
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 30, 2018:
The facts that you've shared are very interesting. Some of them are linked to sad incidents, but I appreciate the education that I received by reading your article. Thanks for sharing the cat name ideas, too. One of my previous cats was called Tabitha. I'm going to keep the name Saga in mind for the future.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on April 28, 2018:
If you get a female cat and are interested in witchy names, I might suggest Agnes. She was neither an evil occultist, burned at the stake nor did she meet an early, heinous end. Agnes means pure or holy.
Archimedes makes a nice neutral name for a male cat. Greek mathematician, inventor, physicist and astronomer, Archimedes was one of the greatest minds of his day. He is considered one of the great mathematicians of the ages. A lovely name for a calculating male cat!
Larry W Fish from Raleigh on April 28, 2018:
Some of those names I can't even pronounce. Others seem kind of scary. If I get another cat I want it to have a name that sounds like it fits its personality very well.