Yes Cats Know Their Names | Now There’s Proof

Category: Cat Research, Cat Names
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Do cats know their names? A study says they do, although they may choose to ignore you when you call.

New study shows cats know their names.

A new study shows cats know their names.

It’s official. Our worst suspicions are confirmed. A new study shows cats know their names. So if they don’t come when you call, they really are ignoring you. 

A team from the University of Tokyo watched 76 cats listen to recorded words that included their names. 

Although the cats seemed to tune out most of the human conversation, they all reacted when they heard their names, no matter who was saying them. 

But that didn’t mean they ran into their loving humans’ arms. They showed recognition by moving their heads or ears or twitching their tails

Cats Know Their Names And Understand Words With A Purpose

Call it selective hearing. Some researchers speculate that not only do cats know their names, they have a human vocabulary of about 50-60 words

If you tell your cat about your day, chances are he won’t understand a word you’re saying. But mention “food,” “eat,” “treats,” “go out” or “come in,” and he’ll be right there. I’m pretty sure my cats also understand “it’s raining” and “it’s snowing,” but they often don’t believe me until they find out for themselves. 

If nothing else, cats are efficient and experts at conserving energy. There’s no point in learning to understand all the words that describe your bad day because there’s nothing in it for them. 

Increasing Your Cat’s Human Vocabulary

Since cats know their names, you have to be careful how and when you say them. If you yell, “Boots! No!” and then soak him with a spray bottle, he’s going to learn very quickly to avoid you when you say his name.

But if you say his name, ask him to do something like get up or get down and reward him with a treat, he’ll decide it’s worth his while to follow some simple instructions. If he’s in the mood. 

For the most part, cats learn human words by associating them with actions. They associate “it’s time to eat” or“it’s dinnertime” with the sound of a can opening. But you can expand the conversation beyond food.

Try saying, “Let’s play!” or “Let’s go hunting!” as you’re reaching for a toy. Or if your cat is leash trained, ask him if he wants to go for a walk when you’re getting his harness and leash out.

You can also warn him about things he won’t like. It’s only fair to let him know when you’re about to vacuum or he needs to go in a carrier because he has a vet appointment. And vet doesn’t have to be a bad word if you’ve chosen one who’s cat-friendly

Communicating With Cats: It’s More Than The Spoken Word

You’re telling your cat about your day, and all those words seem to be going in one ear and out the other. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t understand what you’re saying. Cats pick up on our thoughts and understand our facial expressions. The way we sit, stand or walk tells them something about our frame of mind, too.

So when you tell your cat about your day, he probably knows exactly how you’re feeling. Does he care? He might. Or he might not.

How The Study Showed Cats Know Their Own Names 

The University of Tokyo researchers did their experiments with cats in their own homes and others who lived in a cat cafe. In one test, they had the cats’ people say four nouns, ending with the cats’ names. In another, people the cats didn’t know said the nouns and the cats’ names. Sometimes the nouns were the names of other cats who live in the household.

While the cats living in homes responded to their own names, the ones in the cat cafe often reacted to several. The researchers theorize this might be because the cats have fewer opportunities to learn their own names. 

So what about your cats? Do they know their names? Mine do, and they come when I call. Sometimes. 

Read more about cat names:
A Cat’s Take On Whether Cats Know Their Names
How To Name A Cat

Get Cat News You Can Use
Delivered Right To Your In Box



  1. yeezy 350 - Reply

    Thanks so much for providing individuals with a very pleasant opportunity to read from this website. It is always so ideal and stuffed with a lot of fun for me personally and my office fellow workers to visit your site at the very least three times every week to see the new tips you will have. And of course, I am certainly amazed with all the staggering solutions you give. Certain 4 tips in this post are easily the most impressive we have ever had.

  2. retro jordans - Reply

    I have to show appreciation to the writer for rescuing me from this challenge. As a result of looking out through the world-wide-web and getting tips that were not pleasant, I was thinking my life was over. Being alive without the presence of solutions to the difficulties you’ve sorted out by means of your entire write-up is a critical case, as well as the ones which could have badly damaged my entire career if I hadn’t discovered the website. Your good competence and kindness in dealing with all the stuff was useful. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I had not come upon such a point like this. I’m able to at this point look forward to my future. Thanks for your time very much for this impressive and amazing guide. I won’t hesitate to refer your web page to any person who should get care on this issue.

  3. vans shoes - Reply

    I precisely needed to say thanks yet again. I’m not certain the things that I would’ve implemented in the absence of the actual ideas discussed by you directly on that subject. This was the troublesome issue in my circumstances, but understanding the skilled manner you resolved the issue forced me to leap with fulfillment. I’m grateful for the assistance and in addition pray you know what an amazing job you were providing training many people via your websites. Probably you’ve never encountered all of us.

  4. goyard - Reply

    Thank you so much for giving everyone a very marvellous chance to check tips from here. It is always so amazing and also packed with a great time for me and my office friends to visit your web site at a minimum thrice weekly to read the fresh secrets you will have. Not to mention, we are usually amazed with your great concepts you serve. Some 2 ideas in this posting are in fact the most beneficial we have all ever had.

  5. yeezy shoes - Reply

    Needed to post you one very small observation to say thanks once again on the spectacular tactics you have featured above. It is really incredibly open-handed with people like you giving unhampered all most of us might have supplied for an e book to make some cash for themselves, specifically seeing that you could possibly have tried it in case you considered necessary. The strategies also worked to become a great way to fully grasp that some people have a similar passion just as mine to realize great deal more with respect to this matter. I am sure there are many more pleasurable periods in the future for many who read carefully your blog post.

  6. jordan 12 - Reply

    My husband and i have been thrilled that Chris managed to conclude his research from the precious recommendations he discovered from your very own blog. It is now and again perplexing to just find yourself offering strategies that people might have been making money from. Therefore we recognize we’ve got you to thank for this. The main explanations you’ve made, the simple website menu, the relationships you will assist to create – it is many extraordinary, and it is assisting our son and the family consider that the topic is exciting, which is especially important. Thank you for the whole lot!

  7. adidas stan smith men - Reply

    I needed to draft you one very small remark to thank you so much yet again for your personal awesome views you’ve provided at this time. This is certainly wonderfully open-handed with you to grant easily what a lot of folks would have distributed for an e book to end up making some bucks on their own, precisely since you could have tried it in the event you wanted. These creative ideas in addition served as a easy way to understand that most people have the identical keenness just as my very own to grasp lots more when considering this problem. I’m sure there are many more pleasurable situations up front for many who start reading your website.

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Enter Captcha Here : *

Reload Image

Reading Time: 3 minutes "Cats randomly refuse to follow orders…