Most popular cat names and breeds in Switzerland revealed

Most popular cat names and breeds in Switzerland revealed

While dogs in Switzerland remain “man’s best friend”, when it comes to taking care of pets, people in the alpine nation have a clear furry favourite: cats. To find out more about our mountain moggies, the animal data centre Identitas has revealed what types of cat are most common, the most popular names for cats in Switzerland and which towns, cities and cantons are in the biggest feline frenzy.

Over 748.000 cats registered in Switzerland

As of November 2023, there are over 748.000 cats registered in Switzerland - nearly 200.000 more registrations than dogs. While you don’t necessarily need to register your cat in the alpine nation, it becomes somewhat inevitable when visiting the vet, signing some rental contracts and declaring immunisations when taking your cat abroad.

Around 44.000 cats were adopted, born in or taken to Switzerland between November 2022 and 2023. The number of cats in the country has been increasing significantly since the start of 2017, when only 382.000 felines were registered with the authorities.

Most common cat breeds in Switzerland

The most common breed of cat in Switzerland is the European Common Cat, with 374.190 registered as of November 2023. In all the 10 most popular breeds are:

  1. European Common Cat - 374.190
  2. European Shorthair - 161.713
  3. Crossbreed - 38.691
  4. Maine Coon - 30.073
  5. British Shorthair - 25.896
  6. Bengal - 13.725
  7. European Longhair - 10.235
  8. Norwegian Forest Cat - 10.217
  9. Persian - 8.864
  10. Sacred Birman 8.343

Sadly, domestic breeds like the Swiss Mountain Cat did not feature highly in the ranking, with owners preferring standard European cats over their more exotic ancestors.

Which parts of Switzerland have the most cats?

Zurich has the most cats registered, with 114.575 calling Switzerland’s most populous canton home. Zurich was followed by Canton Bern (103.694), Vaud (88.582), Aargau (70.413) and Geneva (39.109). However, there is reason to suspect that Geneva is a land for dogs, as it is home to the largest canine population at over 10.000.

Interestingly, the most “cat mad” canton was Schaffhausen, with 11,8 cats per 100 people. Neuchâtel and Solothurn followed with 11,6 and 11,5 cats per hundred respectively. The least cat-obsessed canton is Uri, with only 4,6 cats per 100 people.

Most popular cat names in Switzerland

Now to the question of what people in the alpine nation name their feline friends. In Switzerland, owners have been quite uniform in how they name their cats.

Most popular boys' names for cats in Switzerland:

For tomcats, the most popular names in Switzerland as a whole are:

  1. Leo - 4.747
  2. Filou - 2.850
  3. Max - 2.608
  4. Felix - 2.501
  5. Charly - 2.467
  6. Mogli - 2.466
  7. Merlin - 2.462
  8. Jimmy - 2.443
  9. Rocky - 2.116
  10. Milo - 2.104

Interestingly, each language of Switzerland had different preferences when it came to tomcat names. In German-speaking areas, Leo, Mogli and Filou were the most popular, compared to Tigrou, Caramel and Chaton in the Romande, while the Ticinese went for Leo, Romeo and Tigro.

Most popular girls' names for cats:

For molly cats, the top 10 overall are:

  1. Luna - 10.209
  2. Nala - 7.200
  3. Mia - 4.431
  4. Mimi - 3.000
  5. Lilly - 2.812
  6. Kira - 2.809
  7. Lucy - 2.326
  8. Mila - 2.062
  9. Stella - 1.709
  10. Mira - 1.605

While they may be divided on boys' names, the different regions of Switzerland were fairly consistent with their female cat names. In French-speaking areas, Luna, Nala and Plume took the podium places, while Luna, Nala and Mia took the top spots east of the Röstigraben and Luna, Mia and Nala clinched the top three in Ticino.

A complete guide to cats in Switzerland

For everything you need to know about cats in Switzerland and beyond, check out the Identitas website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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