Luna, Loki & Charlie top furry family member names in 2021

Luna has once again topped the list of the most popular names for female cats and dogs insured1 with us.

Meanwhile, a mixture of traditional and modern monikers – many of which are popular contemporary baby names as well - were favoured by owners who took out insurance for their male pets, with Charlie taking the top spot for dogs and Loki for felines.

New Zealanders have been very consistent in the naming of their furry family members in recent years. According to our yearly list of its insured’s top pets’ names, Luna has been the most popular female name for cats for six years running, and for five consecutive years for dogs.

Loki and Charlie took home the top male pet spots this year (knocking Archie off the 2020 podium for both cats and dogs), although both names have featured highly in Southern Cross’ yearly top 10 in previous years.

Popular female pet names this year included Coco, Molly, Daisy and Lola, while favourite male dog names included George, Milo, Teddy and Bear. By comparison, pet owners in the US2 are more adventurous when naming their pets, often tapping into popular culture. Names like Pfizer, Zoom and Covid have ‘zoomed’ up the charts, although the USA’s top 10 list also features many similar names that were also chosen by New Zealanders.

The popularity of the name Luna can be partly attributed to the Harry Potter character, Luna Lovegood, as well as celebrity parents like John Legend and Chrissy Teigen choosing the name for their daughter.

Ben and Lea, from Birkenhead, instead took inspiration for the name of their new Maltese Terrier, Luna, from a popular TV medical drama. “We couldn’t decide on a name when we first got her, but we were watching a television show together that we both enjoy, New Amsterdam. It had a character called Luna and that’s where we got our inspiration from,” Lea said.

Meanwhile the name Loki has been popularised by Marvel’s Thor comic and film franchise, which was how Marie Gibson from Wellington arrived at the name for her Domestic Shorthair cat.

“The choice to name our cat Loki was a family decision. We're all big fans of the Thor movies, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Loki is Thor’s half-brother and the Norse god of mischief, so it seemed a perfect fit for our mischievous cat,” said Marie.

Meanwhile, some of this year’s more quirky and humorous pet names included Lord Archie, Cucumber, Crumpet and Cheddar Cheese.

Anthony McPhail, our CEO, said it was clear that a lot of thought and imagination goes into the naming of Kiwi pets.

“Naming a pet takes a lot of care and consideration, just like human parents naming their child,” Anthony said. “Some people have a name they love, or they want their own personality or tastes to shine through in the naming of their pets.

“We also know how important it is to owners that their pets are thriving and healthy. We're there for pet owners, providing cover for over 50,000 pets and giving them peace of mind that, if something goes wrong, their pet will be well cared for.”

The most common names for pets born in 2021

Top female cat names

  1. Luna
  2. Molly
  3. Coco
  4. Lola
  5. Lulu
  6. Lily
  7. Ivy
  8. Cleo
  9. Nala
  10. Tilly

Top male cat names

  1. Loki
  2. George
  3. Charlie
  4. Milo
  5. Bear
  6. Leo
  7. Simba
  8. Ziggy
  9. Ted
  10. Tigger

Top female dog names

  1. Luna
  2. Coco
  3. Daisy
  4. Bella
  5. Poppy
  6. Millie
  7. Frankie
  8. Rosie
  9. Molly
  10. Maggie

Top male dog names

  1. Charlie
  2. Teddy
  3. Archie
  4. Milo
  5. Loki
  6. Bear
  7. Rocky
  8. Ollie
  9. Buddy
  10. Max

1Southern Cross Pet Insurance’s top insured pet names born in 2021 2

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