Formal names like Keith, Glen or Richard are unique because they are rarely considered as cat names. When choosing a unique cat's name, it is best to opt for a name that is not common or popular. According to PetMD, common male kitten names are Toby, Leo, Milo, Harley, Blade, Mikesch, Achmed, Smudge, Mr. Meowgi and Bailey. Names of famous cat characters such as Garfield, Tigger, Simba or Felix are well-known and therefore not unique.

A cat's name usually reflects the personality, actions or looks of the feline. In this way, a unique cat might produce a unique name simply by having a distinct appearance or displaying unusual character traits. Names stemming from looks or personality might include descriptive labels like Lively, Scamper, Smoky, Socks or Tiger.

In other cases, a name's uniqueness is determined simply by the location of the cat and owner. A common name in one part of the United States could be considered unique in another area because it is used less frequently. A cat's name is often reflective of the owner as well so the owner's preferences in movies, music or books might produce a name that may seem common but is one that other people find unique. What is or is not unique depends entirely on a person's perspective.

Mikesch is a name of unknown origin that held the second position on PetMD's list of most popular male kitten names. Mikesch was the name of one Australian cat that was among the heaviest in the world. Achmed is an Arabic name that means "most praiseworthy." The name is associated with an Internet meme that involves posting pictures of cats in Middle Eastern costumes and captioning the picture with a quote from Achmed the Dead Terrorist, a character played by comedian Jeff Dunham.

Smudge is an English word that describes a blurred mark, so the word can be used as a name for cats that have a multicolor pelt. Smudge was the name of a famous cat in Scotland used in various cat awareness campaigns. Mr. Meowgi is a reference to the movie character Mr. Miyagi, played by Pat Morita in the film "The Karate Kid." Given Mr. Miyagi's fame for his well-groomed mustache, the name is best given to cats with notable whiskers.

Cats tend to respond better to names that end in a hard "E" sound, which favors names such as Mr. Meowgi and Apache. Also, cats respond better to shorter names rather than longer ones. Cat owners can draw inspiration from the cat's appearance, where names like Smudge might arise. Cultural references can also spawn unique cat names, such as Catbert, the character from the "Dilbert" comic strip, and Sassafras, a catchphrase of "Looney Tunes" character Sylvester.