Do cats respond to ‘good boy’?

I’ll rephrase the question: ‘Do domestic cats respond to words of praise?’

Cats take their time to respond to commands
Image by rihaij from Pixabay.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I say ‘good boy’ to my cat when he does something that I have informally trained him to do which benefits both of us. The words alone are not enough. You have to accompany the words with a reward of sorts. I don’t believe that the reward has to be a food treat. It might me a gentle stroke and more warm sounds. The words ‘good boy’ don’t of themselves convey anything to a domestic cat.

The cat understands that he has behaved in a way that pleases you if he hears the sound of the words because the words are accompanied by something pleasurable. Cats do respond to ‘good boy’ over time if the phrase is applied constantly as praise and if it becomes associated with a tangible treat. It is a form of training. In the end the sound alone becomes pleasurable in a small way to the cat.

But don’t expect a smile to break out on your cat’s face. Don’t expect him to give you much of a sign that he knows he is being praised or thanked. The response is dry and enigmatic. But you’ll still say ‘good boy’ because it is pleasurable to you as well.

Calling your cat

There was a lot of talk about cats not responding to the call of their name. It was said that they might come or they might ignore you. I disagree and I think one point was missed.

In my experience the response time for cats is slower than for dogs. There is no immediate response and the cat does not come bounding down the corrider towards you. My cat waits. He thinks and digests the sound of my call and about 3 minutes later he comes. He nearly always comes on my command but it is far from instant. A response, however, does depend on the relationship that the cat has with his human. It has to be one in which they have a connection in the classic interspecies sense.

It looks like my cat has ignored me and then suddenly he arrives after I have forgotten I called him. If I am right in how domestic cats generally respond to a call people should be patient. Patience is a big word in the world of cat ownership. You have to be patient with domestic cats. Perhaps humans have become too impatient due to the pressures of modern life as everything has become speeded up due to the internet.


Training cats is possible and rewarding and it happens all the time informally

Why do cats not obey commands?

Cats will take commands after formal or informal training like dogs. Image: MikeB It's actually incorrect to say that cats ...
Fearful cat by DALLE E

Infographic on ‘Train to reduce acquired fear in your cat’

Fear in a cat can be 'trained in' by bad experiences. This infographic is about 'training out' that acquired fear ...
Why the sound of a clicker helps in training your dog or cat

How does a clicker improve cat and dog training?

You will read the phrase that in clicker training a cat or dog, the sound of the clicker, acts as ...
Dan Nguyen and his three cats with 2 travel carriers and one on his shoulders

How to get a cat used to his travel carrier (and more)

How to get a cat used to his travel carrier? You let him explore the carrier at home. Then you ...
Training a cat is a good thing for 3 reasons

Cat ‘training is logical’ – informal and formal training

The phrase "training is logical" comes from Dr. Bruce Fogle (Complete Cat Care). I think that it is an interesting ...
Pet Shenanigans at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, USA

Cats and dogs will entertain you at Pet Shenanigans, Busch Gardens, Williamsburg

This video is genuinely entertaining. It is very impressive. We have to be impressed with both the trainer or trainers ...
Cat walks like a horse during dressage

Why does this cat trot like a dressage horse?

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this ...

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

1 thought on “Do cats respond to ‘good boy’?”

  1. I’m lucky that I have cats who respond immediately to my calling them. It’s pleasing and reassuring, because if I see trouble coming down the street before they do, (dogs or something) I want to be able to get them out of harm’s way to safety, usually at my side or in the house. There have been times though that some will hide and I had no idea where they were and they didn’t come to my calls. Frustrating and unnerving.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

follow it link and logo

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

I welcome and value comments. Please share your thoughts. All comments are currently unmoderated.

This blog is seen in 199 of the world's country's according to Google Analytics which is pretty much the entire world.

Scroll to Top