HomeHuman to cat relationshipDo cats know their names?


Do cats know their names? — 7 Comments

  1. I forbid the use of the words kitty kitty in my home. All of my cats were addressed by their name from very early on. Since coming to me is positive thing , i guess, they respond quite quickly.

  2. Very interesting! Every cat I have ever cared for has responded overtly to their name, also to visitors using their name. When I have cared for colonies, I or other stewards have always named the cats, and used their names. They respond.

    I have wondered about cats naming each other. I have noticed that different cats (that know each other) greet each other in different, but very subtle ways. Could ‘names’ be considered ‘names’ if not spoken or written? Could names be names if they are a set of emotions/experiences, expressed by posture, pheromones?

    Sign language, character choreography all exist, though sign language tends to follow a familiar form of nomenclature initially, but often a name, once familiar can have its own particular sign which may be a short form of the letters of the name or a sign based on characteristics or traits in a person.

    I have no doubt that cats recognise their names in a meaningful way. They respond according to the tone of voice, the situation etc.

    If humans studied what other species said to each other, rather than concentrating on what they have to say to us, we might gain better insight into their communication and learn more effective understanding of and with them.

  3. Lovely article. I do believe cats learn their names, including nicknames.

    All the cats I have ever been owned by knew their names. Many of the came to me when I called them.

    My two current cats know their names quite well. They both look at whoever calls them. Most of the time Cleo will come directly to me when I call her name.

    Rex may or may not come near when called. He does respond well to “Rex, heel.” Although he doesn’t react as well as the dog.🤣 He has to decide how close he wants to be.

    When misbehaving (according to human standards), they each know who is being addressed and will respond accordingly.

    • Great, thanks for contributing your thoughts. It is important because we have to rely on ourselves – cat owners – to answer the question.

  4. I believe they do know their names,I now have 2 semi-feral cats that appeared on my property winter of last year and the Grey Tiger one is ‘Baby Boi’ and the Black one is ‘Blackie’ and I started calling them those names and today when I go out to feed the colony and I call their names they come right to me and even my personal 13 cats also come when I call their names too so I do believe they know their names.

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