Japan is the birthplace of the lucky cat, the famous Maneki Neko. Cats have been revered in Japan for thousands of years. Therefore, there is no shortage of possible cat names in Japan. In this post, you will find more than 200 Japanese cat names for cats and males and their meanings.

Japan and Cats

Japan is a paradise for cat lovers. There are cat cafés on practically every corner, and the lucky cat Maneki Neko waves cheerfully at passing pedestrians everywhere. Japan even has its own island, on which almost exclusively cats live.

But like many things in life, the love of cats in Japan also has a dark side: Older cats are often replaced by younger animals by many Japanese because they find them cuter. But, of course, this does not apply to all Japanese, and animal lovers in Japan also condemn this practice.

Japanese love their cats as much as we do. This is also shown by the country’s variety of possibilities and quite creative cat names. Japanese cat names are not without reason popular and by no means only among anime fans. Many who want a Japanese name for their cat simply love the Japanese culture or they have ancestors in the country.

Maneki Neko
Maneki Neko

Japanese Cat Names

Do you want to give your cat a Japanese name? Are you looking for Japanese cat names and want to know what exactly they mean? Then you are at the right place: In the following list, we present more than 200 popular cat names from Japan and explain their meaning.

The 10 Most Popular Cat Names in Japan:

Momo – “Peach.”
Kuro – “Black.”
Hana – “Flower.”
Koko – “Short.”
Shiro – “White.”
Sora – “Sky.”
Fuku – “Happiness.”
Mei – “Beautiful.”
Kai – “Ocean or shell.”
Chibi – “Tiny.”

If you look at the list, you will notice: Japanese cat names are relatively short. Often they even have only one vowel. To a cat’s ears, this sounds flattering, and the chance that a cat will listen to a Japanese name is high: cats love names that contain the syllables “ei”, “ai” or “i”.

Japanese Cat Names for Female Cats

Cats are unique little personalities and have very different traits. Some are rather sweet and playful, while others are the secret rulers of the household. Fortunately, Japanese cat names and their meanings are so varied that you can find a suitable name for any cat.

Aia – “Ruler.”
Arisu – “Noble.”
Ayame – “Iris.”
Chieko – “Child of Wisdom.”
Emi – “Beautiful Blessing.”
Haru – “Spring.”
Hime – “Princess.”
Hina – “Sun.”
Hoshi – “Star.”
Ichika – “gift.”
Izumi – “fountain.”
Jin – “Delicate.”
Junko – “Pure.”
Kayda – “Little dragon.”
Kichi – “Happiness.”
Kimiko – “Empress child.”
Kyoko – “Respectful child.”
Mai – “Dance.”
Maiko – “Child of the dance.”
Midori – “Green.”
Miku – “Beautiful sky.”
Mitsu – “Light.”
Moriko – “Child of the forest.”
Nakano – “Warrior.”
Nanami – “Seven Seas.”
Riko – “Child of truth.”
Rin – “Worthy.”
Sakura – “Cherry Blossom.”
Satoko – “Wise Child.”
Setsuko – “Melody child.”
Shinju – “Pearl.”
Suzu – “bell.”
Takara – “treasure.”
Tomoko – “Intellect.”
Tomomi – “Beautiful friend.”
Yasuko – “child of peace.”
Yoko – “Sunlight.”
Yua – “Binding love.”
Yuka – “Gentle flower.”

Many of these names have traditional feminine meanings, such as a gentle flower or princess. However, Japanese encompasses a broader range of female personalities, so names such as ruler or intellect can also have meanings.

If your new cat is more daring than petite and delicate, you still have plenty of options for finding a suitable Japanese cat name for her.

Aoshima - Cat Island - Japan
Aoshima – Cat Island, Japan

Japanese Cat Names for Male Cats

There are many beautiful names for males in the Japanese language. The following list contains the best male cat names the language offers – From the ultra-masculine “Katsuro” to the gentle “Hoshi.”

Akemi – “Beautiful dawn.”
Akio – “Gorgeous man.”
Daiki – “Great nobility.”
Hibiki – “Echo.”
Hikaru – “Radiance.”
Hiroshi – “Generous.”
Hitoshi – “Even-tempered.”
Isamu – “Courage.”
Kaito – “Supporter.”
Katashi – ” Firm. “
Katsuro – “Victorious son.”
Kazuto – “Harmonious person.”
Kenta – “Tall and strong.”
Kiyoshi – “Purity.”
Kouki – “Light or hope.”
Kunio – “Country man.”
Michio – “man on a journey.”
Minoru – “Truth.”
Mitsuo – “Shining hero.”
Ninja – “Ninjutsu master.”
Nobu – “Faith.”
Norio – “man of the law.”
Raiden – “Thunder and lightning.”
Ren – “Love.”
Riku – “Wise Heaven.”
Ryu – “Dragon.”
Samurai – “Japanese warrior.”
Satoru – “daybreak.”
Takeo – “warrior hero.”
Tomi – “Wealthy.”
Toshi – “Wise.”
Yasushi – “Peace.”
Yoshio – “Joyful life.”
Yori – “Confidence.”
Yuzuki – “Gentle moon.”

The best way to find a suitable Japanese cat name for your male cat is to closely examine the different names’ meanings. This way, you will find out which Japanese Cat Name could fit your little tiger exceptionally well.

Anime Cat Names from Japan

Japan is famous for anime, the distinctive Asian cartoon style that has fans all over the world. In the list below, you will find names of cats from famous and popular anime series and anime movies:

Goku – From ‘Dragon Ball -Z.’
Vegeta – From ‘Dragon Ball -Z.
Gohan – From ‘Dragon Ball -Z.’
Naruto – From ‘Naruto.
Sasuke – From ‘Naruto’.
Hinata – From ‘Naruto’.
Aang – From ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’.
Sokka – From ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’.
Katara – From ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’.
Toph – From ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’.
Kora – From ‘Avatar: The Legend of Korra’.
Asami – From “Avatar: The Legend of Korra”.
Mako – From “Avatar: The Legend of Korra”.
Bolin – From “Avatar: The Legend of Korra”.
Milo – From “Avatar: The Legend of Korra”.
Totoro – From ‘My Neighbor Totoro’.
Doraemon – From ‘Doraemon’.
Nyan – From the game ‘Nyan Cat.’
Ichigo – From ‘Bleach’.
Rukia – From ‘Bleach’.
Orihime – From ‘Bleach’.
Misa – From ‘Death Note’.
Ryuk – From ‘Death Note’.
Shinji – From ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’.
Rei – From ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’.
Asuka – From ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’.
Misato – From ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’.
Kirito – From ‘Sword Art Online’.
Asuna – From ‘Sword Art Online’.
Suguha – From ‘Sword Art Online’.
Yuzuru – From ‘Angel Beats’.
Kanade – From ‘Angel Beats’.
Hideki – From ‘Angel Beats’.
Takamatsu – From ‘Angel Beats’.

Anime names don’t allude to specific characteristics of a cat as much as other cat names in this article do. Nevertheless, the recognition value could undoubtedly be the deciding factor for anime fans among cat lovers to choose just such a name.

japanese anime girl with cat

Kawaii Cat Names: Sweet, Cute, Adorable

Much of Japanese culture is known for being particularly cute or “Kawaii.” So it makes sense that many Japanese like to name their cats after things that are also cute. Some of these Japanese cat names are actually exceedingly adorable! Who here isn’t thinking about spontaneously renaming their cat?

Ai – “Love.”
Aiko – “Little Love.”
Akachan – “Baby.”
Akina – “Spring Flower.”
Chika – “Scattered flowers.”
Cho – “Butterfly.”
Chotto – “Little.”
Etsu – “Joy.”
Hanako – “Flower child.”
Hare – “Sunny.”
Hashi – “Chopsticks.”
Himari – “Sunflower.”
Ichigo – “Strawberry.”
Kamu – “Tough.”
Kanmi – “Sweet.”
Karikari – “Crunchy.”
Kei – “Blessing.”
Keiko – “worshiper.”
Kegawa – “fur.”
Kioko – “Happy.”
Kin – “Golden.”
Koneko – “kitten.”
Maru – “Plump.”
Mausu – “Mouse.”
Minako – “apple tree.”
Mochi – “rice cake.”
Oishi – “Yummy.”
Pinku – “Pink.”
Rini – “Little rabbit.”
Rozu – “Rose.”
Saki – “Flower.”
Satu – “Sugar.”
Sayuri – “Little Lillie.”
Shai – “Shy.”
Shizuka – “Quiet.”
Suki – “Lover.”
Sushi – “Sushi.”
Suzume – “Sparrow.”
Udon – “Thick wheat noodle.”
Ume – “Plum blossom.”
Watage – Fluff. “
Yamu – “Yum.”
Yosei – “Fairy or ghost.”

Even if your cute cat is a little devil, some of these thoroughly affectionate names might be a fitting, sarcastic reference. What could be better than giving a cute little kitten’s name to a little street tiger?

Gloomy Japanese Names for Black Cats

While black cats (Japanese: ‘Kuro Neko’) are considered messengers of bad luck in Western cultures, they are popular good luck charms in Japan. This is because, in ancient Japan, it was believed that black cats could effectively ward off bad luck. For this reason, there is a variety of names meant for black cats:

Akumi – “The darkness.”
Amaya – “Night rain.”
Ein – “Dark.”
Anri – “Dark Jasmine.”
Hai – “Ash.”
Hatsuki – “Moonflower.”
Hotaru – “Firefly.”
Kage – “Shadow.”
Kaguya – “Shining Night.”
Kuroguro – “Deep Black.”
Makkuro – ” pitch black.”
Mayonaka – “midnight.”
Mika – “New Moon.”
Mokutan – “Charcoal.”
Sumi – “black ink.”
Sekitan – “charcoal.”
Susu – “soot.”
Tsuki – “moon.”
Tsukiko – “Moon child.”
Yami – “Darkness.”
Yamiyo – “dark night.”
Yasha – “night devil.”
Yoru – “Night.”

Night rain, dark jasmine, shining night? Probably nothing is more poetic than Japanese cat names for animals with black fur!

Gloomy looking Black Cats

Japanese Names for White Cats

Japanese names are also great for emphasizing the appearance of a snow-white cat! Words like light or ice look almost picturesque in their Japanese translation.

Akari – “Light.”
Akira – “Bright.”
Awai – “Pale.”
Deiji – “Daisy.”
Fuyu – “Winter.”
Fuyuko – “Winter child.”
Gin – “Silver.”
Iguru – “igloo.”
Kiri – “mist.”
Kitsune – “white fox.”
Kori – “ice.”
Kumo – “Cloud.”
Mashiro – “Pure white.”
Miruku – “Milk.”
Misuto – “mist.”
Miyuki – “Beautiful snow.”
Reiki – “Lalt.”
Shimo – “Frost.”
Sunoboru – “snowball.”
Tenshi – “Angel.”
Tsurana – ” icicle.”
Yuki – “snow.”
Yukiko – “snow child.”
Yurei – “spirit or soul. “
Yuri – “Lily.”
Zoge – “Ivory.”

Snow child, white fox? Don’t many of the names sound quite like they were taken from a Japanese fairy tale?

Snow white cat with differet eye colors

Japanese Names for Red Cats

Everyone who has a red cat knows that theses animals are sometimes a bit stubborn. Even for these cat personalities, Japan offers many unique names that perfectly fit red velvet paws.

Aka – “Red.”
Akahana – “Red Flower.”
Akane – “Brilliant Red.”
Aki – “Autumn.”
Anko – “Red bean paste.”
Azuki – “Sweet red beans.”
Cheda – “Cheddar cheese.”
Do – “copper.”
Gorudo – “Gold.”
Kabocha – “pumpkin.”
Kaede – “maple.”
Kasai – “fire.”
Kohaku – “amber.”
Kōkai – “red sea.”
Koraru – “coral.”
Kyou – “apricot.”
Mikan – “Orange (fruit).”
Orenji – “Orange (color).”
Sabita – “Rusty.”
Shinku – “Purple.”
Shoga – “Ginger.”

Gold, Purple, or Amber are perfect for cat owners looking for a Japanese yet a classy name for their cat.

cute domestic red cat - Japan

Names for Gray Tabby and Brown Cats from Japan

There is a Japanese scientist who is convinced that cats know their names! Reason enough to give a gray tabby or brown cat a melodious name, too. And who knows, maybe it means a good omen, and your cat will always listen to you from now on?

Amondo – “Almond.”
Beju – “Beige.”
Buchi – “Mackerel.”
Choco – “Chocolate.”
Kasshoku – “Brown.”
Kokoa – “Cocoa.”
Komugi – “Wheat.”
Kosho – “pepper.”
Kuri – “chestnut.”
Kurumi – “walnut.”
Natsumegu – “nutmeg.”
Reo – “leo.”
Shima – “stripe.”
Shinrin – “forest or woods.”
Tafi – “toffee.”
Tanuki – “badger.”
Tora – “Tiger.”
Toro Chan – “Little Tiger.”

There are certainly more Japanese cat names. Nevertheless, this list is very extensive, and we hope you can find the perfect name for your cat in this list.

The Cat in Japan

To Japan, the cat is said to have been “imported” from China between the 6th and 9th centuries. The reason for these imports was the task of the cats to protect important Buddhist scriptures from mice. In Japanese literature, the cat is mentioned from about the 10th century AD during the Heian period. After another 200 to 300 years, it managed to be depicted on wood carvings.

Japanese Girl with cat

After the Japanese believed in the early 17th century that the cat’s tail could transform into a poisonous snake, the cat went after this important body part. To prevent the “dangerous transformation,” long-tailed cats had their tails cut off, and special cats with stubby tails were bred. At the same time, cats are said to have been first worshipped as deities (Kami) in Japanese Shintoism.

The superstition of a demon cat is also the origin of the stories of Bakeneko and Nekomata, two of the numerous monsters of Japanese superstition (Yokai). Cat figures with stubby tails sitting on their hind legs are now a symbol of good luck (Maneki Neko) and, in the meantime, have become known worldwide as waving cats or lucky cats.

In the 1950s, a catastrophe announced itself in Minamata, Japan (Kyushu Island). The local cats were behaving strangely, drooling, turning in circles and finally plunging to their deaths from the rocks. Dead fish floated in the bay. Birds were falling from the sky.

A short time later, the first symptoms of illness appeared in the people. The cat owners were also affected. It began with attacks of weakness and difficulty in articulating and ended with convulsions, infirmity and death.

In 1956, the symptomatology became known as Minamata disease. It was triggered by the poisoning of the sea by mercury, which entered the water with the wastewater from the Chisso company.

Read more about the superstitions and the relationship of the Japanese to cats.


Marco Heitner

Hello, my Name is Marco. My family has had pets since I can remember. Today we have a large aquarium and, since recently, a four-month old Labrador. I am the owner of this website, and it is my great pleasure to provide helpful knowledge about pets. Our team is constantly working hard to publish well-researched reports here.


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