The diverse group of Native Americans are known by many names, including Indigenous Americans, American Indians, Indigenous Peoples, Aboriginal Peoples, and First Nations. The diversity in names and tribes in North America only touches the surface of the richness and distinctiveness of the Indigenous peoples found around the world.
If you’ve been trying to come up with the perfect name for your new kitten or cat and have decided that you would love to name your cat by honoring Native Americans, we have a list of names for you.
There are many Indigenous American words and names for nature and animals, and there are hundreds of languages from the hundreds of tribes in North America. Here, we go over a few of these names with their meanings, as well as names from Native American mythology. We hope that you’ll find just the right name for your cat.
How to Name Your Cat
Before we start with Native American names, here are a few ways of coming up with a name for your kitty.
You can start with your cat’s appearance. It’s common to name your pet based on their color or pattern, and you might be able to translate your cat’s color into the Native American word. You can also consider your cat’s shape and size as inspiration, such as their round face or slender body.
You can also look to books, TV shows, movies, musicians, songs, or characters. Listen to music by Native musicians. There could be something in the lyrics that you’ll appreciate.
Finally, look at your cat’s temperament and quirks. Sometimes your cat’s personality can give you great ideas. There are also food, nature, animals — the options are endless!
Female Native American Cat Names
Here are words that could make lovely names for female cats. They could work for males too!
- Alawey (Mi’kmaq for “pea”)
- Aponi (Blackfoot for “butterfly”)
- Ikwe (Algonquin for “woman”)
- Kateri (Mohawk variant for “Catherine”)
- Lomasi (Hopi for “good flower”)
- Macawi (Sioux for “female coyote”)
- Meli (Cherokee variant for “Mary”)
- Nizhoni (Navajo for “beautiful”)
- Sipala (Hopi for “peach”)
- Tanis (Cree for “daughter”)
- Winona (Sioux nickname for “first daughter”)
- Woya (Cherokee for “dove”)
Male Native American Cat Names
Here are words that would make great names for male cats. We have also included a few Native American variants for traditional English male names.
- Adohi (Cherokee for “timber” or “woods”)
- Atian (Abenaki variant for “Steven”)
- Biyen (Ojibwe variant for “Peter”)
- Chaske (Sioux for “first son”)
- Chaytan (Sioux for “hawk”)
- Hongvi (Hopi for “strong”)
- Ininì (Algonquin for “man”)
- Keme (Algonquin for “secret”)
- Magi (Cherokee variant of “Michael”)
- Tyee (Chinook for “chief”)
- Wahya (Cherokee for “wolf”)
Unisex Native American Cat Names
Here are names that could definitely go to either a male or female cat. These names come from a few different words, so it depends on whether you prefer the meaning of the name or how the Native American words sound.
- Ama (Cherokee for “water”)
- Hickory (Powhatan for “milky drink made with hickory nuts”)
- Lintu (Maliseet-Passamaquoddy for “sing”)
- Keesog (Mohican for “sun” and “moon”)
- Maize (Indian corn)
- Mitsu (Maliseet-Passamaquoddy for “eat”)
- Nahmana (Sioux for “secret”)
- Newt (Mi’kmaq for “one”)
- Nigamo (Algonquin for “sing”)
- Nova (Hopi word for “food”)
- Nutaq (Mi’kmaq for “hear”)
- Oki (Alabama for “water”)
- Sagwu (Cherokee for “one”)
Names Based on Animals
The following are all names based on other animals. Some will sound familiar and don’t necessarily need translation, but rest assured, they all originated from Indigenous words.
- Caba (Assiniboine for “beaver”)
- Caribou (Mi’kmaq for “snow shoveler”)
- Chipmunk (Odawa for “American red squirrel”, used to be chitmunk)
- Chola (Chickasaw for “fox”)
- Fala (Chickasaw for “crow”)
- Kawayo (Hopi for “horse”)
- Kinkajou (Algonquian for “wolverine”)
- Koi (Choctaw for “cougar”)
- Mackinaw (Ojibwe for “large snapping turtle”)
- Makwa (Algonquin for “bear”)
- Mika (Osage/Omaha-Ponca word for “raccoon)
- Momo (Hopi for “bee”)
- Nika (Ojibwe for “goose”)
- Nita’ (Chickasaw for “bear”)
- Nanook (Inuktitut for “polar bear”)
- Ohtuk (Maliseet-Passamaquoddy for “deer”)
- Opa (Chickasaw for “owl”)
- Sakuna (Hopi for “squirrel”)
- Sawa (Alabama for “raccoon”)
- Succotash (Narragansett for “boiled whole kernels of corn”)
- Tamu (Comanche for “rabbit”)
- Tokori (Hopi for “owl)
- Tsutla (Cherokee for “fox”)
- Wakarée (Comanche for “turtle”)
- Wapiti (elk) (Shawnee for “white rump”)
Names Based on Colors
You can use your cat’s coloring as inspiration for a name. There aren’t any names that we know of that would describe a cat’s pattern (like “Stripes” or “Patches”), but there are a few colors.
- Hinto (Sioux for “blue hair”)
- Hotah (Sioux for “gray” or “brown”)
- Laana (Alabama for “yellow”)
- Locha (Alabama for “black”)
- Losa’ (Chickasaw for “black”)
- Miskwà (Algonquin for “red”)
- Ondembite (Shoshone for “brown”)
- Sakwa (Hopi for “blue”)
- Unega (Cherokee for “white”)
- Wapáju (Mohican for “white”)
- Wapi (Maliseet-Passamaquoddy for “white”)
- Wisawi (Maliseet-Passamaquoddy for “yellow”)
- Xota (Dakota-Sioux for “gray”)
Native American Names Based on Gods and Goddesses
Native American mythologies are as rich and varied as the people who tell the stories. Here are a few of the names of the gods and goddesses featured in these stories.
- Ahone (Powhatan Creator God)
- Ataensic (Iroquois Sky Goddess)
- Esa (Shoshone Wolf Creator God)
- Maheo (Cheyenne Great Spirit)
- Masaw (Hopi Spirit of Death)
- Natosi (Blackfoot Sun God)
- Niskam (Mi’kmaq Sun God)
- Onatah (Iroquois Corn Goddess)
- Orenda (Iroquois Divine Spirit)
- Raweno (Iroquois Great Creator)
- Sedna (Inuit Goddess of the Sea)
- Selu (Cherokee First Woman and Goddess of the Corn)
- Spider-Woman (Hopi Creation Goddess)
Native American Names Based on Mythology
These names are also from mythologies but incorporate other elements too. There are many tricksters here, which may well suit your beloved but mischievous kitty!
- Blue Jay (Chinook Trickster)
- Coyote (Trickster god for many tribes)
- Crazy Jack (Lenape Trickster)
- Henon (Iroquois Thunder Spirit)
- Kanati (Cherokee Guardian of the Hunt)
- Mink (Northwest trickster animal)
- Napi (Blackfoot Trickster)
- Pomola (Penobscot Bird Spirit)
- Raven (Northwestern Trickster God)
- Sasquatch (or Bigfoot)
- Thunderbird (Plains and Western tribes)
- Whiskey-Jack (Cree Trickster)
- Yamoria (Dene Medicine Man and Hero)
Use Your Imagination!
Now that you’ve seen the many potential name options, we hope that they have given you a few ideas. Also, what we have provided here is just a small number of names, and this list is far from exhaustive. There are many more names and words out there that you could use, but you can at least try these to get your imagination going.
Also, try to use accurate lists. Unfortunately, there are many websites out there that have “Native American” names that are far from accurate. But there are websites like Native Languages of the Americas that thoroughly research the subject and are written by Native authors.
It’s important that your approach of using a Native American name for your cat be done with respect. You don’t want to stereotype, and it’s good to try to get the name right, particularly the meaning.
You should also double-check pronunciations. For the most part, if you have a favorite name in mind, look it up online for pronunciation tips. Once you have one or two contenders, try saying it out loud, as if you’re calling your cat for dinner. Hearing it aloud can help you figure out if it’s right for you and your cat or if you should keep searching.
If you haven’t found the perfect name here, just keep looking. We hope that we’ve at least provided you with a bit of inspiration, and you’ll soon find the right name for your kitty.
Featured Image Credit: Taylor Linkes, Shutterstock