For the third year in a row, this particular name takes the top spot for all felines, male or female.

While much of the country is still recovering from the chocolate-induced coma resulting from Valentine’s Day, it’s not long before an even more momentous occasion worthy of celebration arrives in Japan–Cat Day (“Neko no Hi”) on February 22. This fun day came about because the way to say “2/22” in Japanese is ni-ni-ni, which is similar to the sound that cats make (nyan).

In anticipation of this important day, Japanese pet insurance company Anicom has just unveiled their annual ranking of the top cat names in all of Japan. About 55,000 newly enrolled cats between February 1, 2021 and January 31, 2022 that were less than one year of age were eligible to make the list. Top ten rankings were provided for male cats, female cats, as well as a comprehensive overall ranking. Grab your fur baby and see if your buddy’s name made the list!

▼ Since I only have a fur baby of the canine variety, I’ve enlisted the help of my favorite felines to decorate this page instead–like Udon here, who just celebrated her third birthday.

Overall top ten names for cats

10. Moka (“mocha”): 245 cats
9. Maron (French for “chestnut”): 252 cats
8. Momo (Japanese for “peach”): 260 cats
7. Runa (Luna): 266 cats
6. Kinako (Japanese for “roasted soybean flour”): 289 cats
5. Rin (Japanese for “bell”): 298 cats
4. Koko (“cocoa”): 323 cats
3. Reo (Leo): 327 cats
2. Sora (Japanese for “sky”): 376 cats
1. Mugi (Japanese for “wheat” or “barley”): 479 cats

Interestingly, the top four overall names all held on to their exact rankings from last year. The name Mugi, meaning wheat or barley, is often given to tabbies that are light brown in color regardless of sex. Moka, or Mocha, is the only completely new entry for the 2022 ranking. We heartily approve of its inclusion due to our not-so-subtle chocolate addiction.

▼ Gord and Oliver, if you had been born in Japan, perhaps one of you would have been a Mugi instead.

Top ten names for male cats

10. Ten (Japanese for “dot” or “heavens”): 138 cats
8 [tie]. Reon (Leon): 140 cats
8 [tie]. Fuku (Japanese for “good fortune”): 140 cats
7. Maru (Japanese for “circle,” also a common suffix in Japanese names): 143 cats
6. Kotetsu (Japanese for “small iron,” also a classical masculine given name in Japan): 150 cats
5. Maron: 152 cats
4. Kohaku (Japanese for “amber”): 158 cats
3. Mugi: 269 cats
2. Sora: 287 cats
1. Reo: 319 cats

On the male side of things, Leo ranked as the top name for the fifth year in a row. Its enduring popularity in Japan is likely tied to the beloved Kimba the White Lion manga by “God of Manga” Osamu Tezuka that was adapted into a 1960s anime series (Kimba’s name in the original Japanese version is Leo). The second and third-place names also stayed the same, but fourth-place Kohaku, meaning amber, is new. Fittingly, the name Ten took the tenth spot.

▼ Soup lovers everywhere, celebrate! It’s half-brothers Miso and Dashi doin’ a circular snooze. (Those are truly some excellent cat names.)

Top ten names for female cats

10. Beru (“bell”): 137 cats
9. Moka: 158 cats
8. Hana (Japanese for “flower”): 166 cats
7. Mei (Japanese for “brightness”): 175 cats
6. Kinako: 203 cats
5. Mugi: 210 cats
3 [tie]. Runa (Luna): 233 cats
3 [tie]. Rin: 233 cats
2. Momo: 234 cats
1. Koko: 242 cats

For the female ranking, Koko jumped from third place in last year’s list to first place this year. Beru, derived from the English “bell,” is the only brand-new name to edge into the top ten. It makes us wonder if this name will eventually overtake the more traditional Rin (also meaning bell) in a future ranking.

▼ Half-sisters Biscuits and Toast really enjoy loafing around–but have to wonder why more carb names didn’t make the list.

Besides pampering your furry friends, there’s no one special way to celebrate Cat Day in Japan. However, we do encourage you to be on the lookout for any felines with the above names and keep a running tally. If you have a distinct lack of cat in your daily life, you might also consider working from a Japanese cat town for the day as well.

Source: Chiba Nippo via Otakomu
All images © SoraNews24
A special thanks to Anan, Liming, Caroline, Anabel, and Erin for sharing their adorable cats with the world.
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