It’s a question that pet owners can spend years struggling over: how to name their furry friends. For cat and dog owners in Catalonia, however, football appears to be a great source of inspiration.
In fact, some 701 Catalan familes have chosen to name their cat or dog after the Argentinian FC Barcelona striker Messi. That’s against just ten pet owners who have plumped for Ronaldo. Another 317 homes have a pet called Shakira while the most popular Spanish celebrity in Catalonia’s pet naming stakes is Letizia, after the wife of Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe.
These are the results of Catalonia’s veterinary association (CCCV), which has trawled through its archives of over a million names to shed light on the naming habits of the nation’s pet habits. Politicians feature on the list with 102 Napoleons, 48 Obamas and 17 Rajoys making the grade.
Gods and goddesses, meanwhile, do much better: there are 5,945 cats and dogs named Thors, 2,845 named Zeus and 680 named Venus. But the ‘star’ attaction is Lluna (Moon). Catalonia is home to more than 22,000 dogs and 1,000 cats named after the Earth’s satellite.
The other most popular names are Kira (13,281) and Nina (10,486) for dogs, while for cats these are Nina (1,135) and Lola (687).
In terms of most popular breeds, 38 percent of Catalans opted for mongrels with the next most popular breeds being Yorkshire Terriers and German Shepherds.