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Names given to pets including cats and dogs by owners reveal some surprises

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 20, 2014

Puppy yawning

Pets are being given some unusual names.

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We often treat our beloved pets like humans – which is shown by some of the names we give our furry friends. 

Indeed, latest ONS research shows that four of the most popular baby names are among those for pets owned by the over 50s.

A Saga Pet Insurance poll has revealed the top-10 names that Britain’s over 50s give to their cats and dogs – as well as a few of the more whacky names handed to smaller pets.

Nearly 10,000 Saga customers revealed that the favourite name for both cats and dogs is Molly, while Poppy is also a much-used ID. But that name is more popular with dog owners than cat fans. Other names revealed in the poll, include sausage for a rat, a guinea pig called Chaka Khan and a parrot named Asbo.

The most popular cat and dog names for Britain’s over 50s:

Cat Dog
1. Molly 1. Molly
2. Oscar 2. Poppy
3. Tigger 3. Max
4. Daisy 4. Charlie
5. Lucy 5. Alfie
6. Rosie 6. Jack
7. Tilly 7. Toby
8. Charlie 8. Millie
9. Smudge 9. Lucy
10. Poppy 10. Sam

Further research by Saga Pet Insurance highlights the most unlucky pet names you can give your cat or dog. After studying the 50 most-popular names of pets with a Saga policy, the company ranked them by frequency of vet visits and amount of claims associated with that name over the past 12 months

The top 10 most unlucky names for cats and dogs:

Cat Dog
1. Felix 1. Megan
2. Archie 2. Monty
3. Bailey 3. Tess
4. Amber 4. Henry
5. Holly 5. Misty
6. Smokey 6. Ollie
7. Oscar 7. Barney
8. Kitty 8. Cassie
9. Alfie 9. Benji
10. Oliver 10. Ellie

Records show that pets with these names have had an unusually high amount of claims/vet visits compared to other cats and dogs with a popular name. The figures show that dogs called Megan are three times as likely to have a pet visit as the average dog. While cats called Felix are almost twice as likely to have to see the vet as the average puss.

The poll of over 50s coincidentally chime with national ONS statistics for baby names released last week. These include four names that are in the top 10s for pets. Jack, Charlie, Oscar and Poppy are among the most popular names given to babies in England and Wales last year.

Almost two fifths of pet owners (38%) chose their pet’s name simply because it suited the pet, while nearly a fifth (17%) just liked the sound of it. 6% of those asked named their pet for sentimental reasons, while 3% picked the name in reference to a celebrity.

Regionally, it seems that London is the city of cats, according to the poll. 71% of pet owners living in London have a feline friend, compared to 28% of pet owners who have a dog. The north east gives more paws for thought, as 57% of over 50s there say they own a dog.

Below are some of the unusual names that Britain’s over 50s have given their pets, according to the Saga Pet Insurance poll:

Animal Unusual names given to pets by over-50s owners
Cat Lady Gaga, Madame Flutterby, Rawlplug, Schrodinger, Scampi
Dog Frodo, Asterix, Gazza, Offy, Padme, Spigot, Dog
Guinea pig Chaka Khan, Biscuit, Peppa, Whoopie, Dudley
Rabbit Bilbo, Cognac, Thumper, Sweep
Parrot Asbo, Porker, Fashion, Norma, Dougal
Parakeet Baldrick, Pearly, Lulu
Hamster Beyonce Beelzebub, Yoda
Tortoise Theophulus, Gatsby, Speedy, Sheba
Rat Squeak, Sausage, Snap, Jean

Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services, said: “The huge variety of names revealed in the poll goes to show just how much Britain’s over 50s view their pets as one of the family. Just as we take our time over naming a child, it also seems we mull over a pet’s name to get it right and make sure it suits them.

“That care hints at how much pets mean to the over 50s, many of whom see their cat or dog as a loyal companion. That’s why it’s important to make sure your pet is properly covered, should he or she ever become unwell.”

Saga Pet Insurance offers up to £5,000 cover for vets fees per year, up to £2 million of personal liability over for dogs and advertising and reward costs if people lose their pets.

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