Table of Common Cations

Illustration of zinc atoms in electrode dissolving in acid, losing electrons to form cations
Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

Cations are ions which have a positive electrical charge. A cation has fewer electrons than protons. An ion may consist of a single atom of an element (a monatomic ion or monatomic cation or anion) or of several atoms that are bonded together (a polyatomic ion or polyatomic cation or anion). Because of their net electrical charge, cations are repelled by other cations and are attracted to anions.

This is a table listing the name, formula, and charge of common cations. Alternate names are given for some cations. 

Table of Common Cations

Cation Name Formula Other Name
Aluminum Al 3+
Ammonium NH 4 +
Barium Ba 2+
Calcium Ca 2+
Chromium(II) Cr 2+ Chromous
Chromium(III) Cr 3+ Chromic
Copper(I) Cu + Cuprous
Copper(II) Cu 2+ Cupric
Iron(II) Fe 2+ Ferrous
Iron(III) Fe 3+ Ferric
Hydrogen H +
Hydronium H 3O + Oxonium
Lead(II) Pb 2+
Lithium Li +
Magnesium Mg 2+
Manganese(II) Mn 2+ Manganous
Manganese(III) Mn 3+ Manganic
Mercury(I) Hg 2 2+ Mercurous
Mercury(II) Hg 2+ Mercuric
Nitronium NO 2 +
Potassium K +
Silver Ag +
Sodium Na +
Strontium Sr 2+
Tin(II) Sn 2+ Stannous
Tin(IV) Sn 4+ Stannic
Zinc Zn 2+
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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Table of Common Cations." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, thoughtco.com/common-cations-table-603962. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 26). Table of Common Cations. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/common-cations-table-603962 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Table of Common Cations." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/common-cations-table-603962 (accessed April 21, 2021).