Infographic on medieval cat names

It is interesting to dip into the medieval world (500-1500 AD) and see how they interacted with their domestic cats. We have an image, or I do, of domestic cat persecution because of the papal bull of Pope Gregory IX which denounced them as the devil personified. Many domestic cats were brutally killed for no reason other than a misguided religious faith. However, many were loved as pets but the domestic cat population in that era must have been a tiny fraction of the approximate 11 million in the UK today. They were given names and had a mixed status as mousers and pets.

Medieval cat names
Medieval cat names. Infographic by MikeB. Source: Medieval Cats by Kathleen Walker-Meikle. This infographic is free to use under a Creative Commons: ATTRIBUTION-NODERIVS CC BY-ND license. Please link back to the page.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

There’s not a lot on medieval cat names! I guess you can tell by the infographic on this page. But the truth is there are few recorded individual names for domestic cat companions from that era.

As expected, the English language of medieval times was entirely different. In the later medieval period Middle English, Anglo-Norman (or French) and Latin were used.

Here is an example from the first line of the General Prologue of The Canterbury Tales written in Middle English:

“Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote”. Translation: “When in April the sweet showers fall”

Medieval cat chases mice
Medieval cat chases mice. Image in public domain.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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