If cats could speak, we assume they’d speak French. Elegant, sophisticated, and just a touch haughty. The “language of love” is a natural fit for our feline friends.
Not surprisingly, French is brimming with très bon names for continental kitties. Whether you’re looking for classy or sassy, funny or fancy, these magnifique French cat names are something to meow about.
Popular French Cat Names
Oh la la! Consider these popular French cat names for cultured kitties.
Babette: In French, names ending in “ette” are usually diminutives, meaning nicknames used for children. Babette is unique in that it can stand on its own, or be a diminutive for Barbara. Either way, Babette the Cat is a winner.
Beau: Meaning “handsome,” Beau is a popular French boy’s name and a classic choice for fine-looking felines.
Bijou: The French word for “jewel,” Bijou is also a unisex name that’s perfect for the most precious of pets. We especially like it for cats with expensive taste (so, all of them).
Bonbon: Tiny, sweet, and surprising, the liquor-filled French confection has plenty in common with cats. Plus, just like cats, it’s hard to stop at one! It’s a classic food-inspired cat name.
Cherie: Looking for a simple name with a certain je ne sais quoi? Meaning “cherished” or “darling,” this French term of endearment is short and sweet.
Clémentine: Ideal for low-key cats, this French girl’s name means “gentle.” With the orange fruit in mind, it can also be fun for ginger kitties.
Colette: Known mononymously, Colette was a French novelist, journalist, mime, actress, and all-around wild woman. She was also a life-long cat-lover, and featured felines prominently in her work.
Gaston: As the villain of “Beauty and the Beast,” Gaston may have negative connotations for Disney fans. However, the name could also be a literary nod to Gaston Leroux, author of “Phantom of the Opera.”
Miaou: Presumably, cats meow in the same language. But “miaou” is the French human word for a meow – and we think it makes a pretty purrfect cat name.
Minette: French for kitten, this diminutive name is cute for cats of any age. After all, they’ll always be your baby.
Male French Cat Names
Bonjour, monsieur! These male French cat names have a Parisian sensibility.
François: It doesn’t get any more French than François. The French form of “Francis,” this bougie name shortens to simply “Frank” when you want to keep things casual.
Jacques: Another classic, Jacques is the French form of “James.” It’s also a fun shout-out to Jacques Cousteau, the French explorer who—like many a cat—was fascinated by marine life.
Matisse: French artist Henri Matisse frequently incorporated feline friends into his paintings. In fact, he was said to feed his own cats – Minouche, Coussi, and La Puce – bits of fresh brioche every morning.
More male French cat names:
Female French Cat Names
Sacre bleu! These female French cat names are perfect for mademoiselles who meow.
Amélie: Audiences across the world fell in love with the titular heroine of “Amélie,” a charming, sneaky Parisian with a penchant for playful mischief. Sound like any cats you know?
Celine: Have a particularly vocal feline friend? French-Canadian singer (and occasional screecher) Celine Dion may be a fitting namesake.
Coco: French fashion designer and entrepreneur Coco Chanel was famously fixated on lions, adorning her Parisian flat with leo-themed décor. For little lions, consider paying homage with Coco—or, for more formal occasions, Ms. Chanel.
More French female cat names:
Unisex French Cat Names
For a fresh French approach, embrace the unisex name trend. These gender-neutral picks work for both Toms and Tomasinas.
Ames: Aww! Meaning “friend” in French, Ames is a natural name for four-legged besties.
Jules: A cute nickname for everything from Juliette to Julius, Jules is a perennially popular unisex name in France.
Paris: While heiress Paris Hilton may come to mind, Paris was originally a boy’s name. In Greek mythology, Paris is an extraordinarily handsome and intelligent prince (which your cat will likely find interesting).
Vogue: Is your cat’s coat quite the fashion statement? The French word for “fashionable,” Vogue is a fun name for well-dressed breeds such as Persians and Ragdolls.
More unisex French cat names:
Funny French Names for Cats
If you’re in the market for a funny cat name, French offers plenty of options, from slyly sardonic to simply silly.
Bonjour: For the cat who greets you bright and early every single morning. “Bonjour, you know breakfast isn’t for another two hours!”
Chien: Meaning “dog,” Chien is an unexpected yet elegant name for feline friends. (If you don’t tell your cat, we won’t either!)
Pepé Le Pew: The Looney Tunes character is a skunk, but the object of his affection is Penelope Pussycat, a black cat with a white, skunk-like stripe down her back.
Sartre: Was French philosopher John-Paul Sartre a nihilist? That’s up for debate. Is your cat a nihilist? Definitely.
More funny French cat names:
- Papillion (butterfly)
French Food Names for Cats
The French are masters of all things culinary–including food-inspired names! Here are some deliciously cute options for foodie felines.
Brie: There’s nothing cheesy about Brie! The famous fromage sounds like a shortened version of the French female name Brienne, lending it crossover appeal.
Croissant: Oui oui! The crescent-shaped pastry is synonymous with long, lazy breakfasts at the neighborhood café–something every cat can surely appreciate.
Éclair: For black-and-white cats, consider this classic French pastry. Iced with chocolate and filled with custard, the two-toned treats are as sweet as they come.
More French food cat names:
- Crème Brûlée
Black Cat French Names
Black cats hold a special place in French culture, and while there are plenty of black cat names inspired by other cultures, we like a little French flair. Le Chat Noir (French for “The Black Cat”) was an iconic 19th-century nightclub, serving as the home base for Montmarte’s bohemian counterculture. For your own chat noir, consider these colorful names.
Darcy: Meaning “dark one,” this gender-neutral French name has a timeless appeal. For Jane Austen fans, it can also be a fun allusion to Mr. Darcy, the famously hard-to-read (and dare we say cat-like?) “Pride and Prejudice” character.
Matagot: According to local legends in southern France, matagots are spirits who appear as black cats. Although usually considered somewhere between evil and meddlesome, some say the so-called “magician cats” will bring wealth to a household if well fed. (Something tells us a cat started this rumor.)
Réglisse: The French word for “licorice,” Réglisse is perfect for sweet black cats. For short, Reggie is cute and casual.
Minuit: Wink to the witching hour with Minuit, the French word for “midnight.”
More French black cat names:
- Baize (dark brown)
- Brume (fog)
- Fantôme (phantom or ghost)
- Noir (black)
- Nuit (night)
- Ombre (shadow)
- Panthère (panther)
- Pénombre (twilight)