Cats Can Apparently Recognize Their Own Names

Have you ever wondered how much your cat really knows? It turns out that cats can actually recognize their own names. So yes, they might really be ignoring you after all. There is a lot more to our feline friends than first meets the eye.

The issue

Many cat owners have long wondered if their feline friends can understand what they are saying. Some believe that their cats comprehend different words, while some state that their four-legged friends know their own name. Many other animals, such as dolphins, parrots, and dogs, have proved they can differentiate between different words thanks to the number of tests that have taken place. However, no one has ever got to the bottom of the issue with cats – until now. It seemed as though some people had enough of not having an answer.

Creating a plan

Dr. Atsuko Saito is one one of the many people working at the Sophia University who decided they just had to know if cats know their names. The team decided to use 78 cats in their experiment. They took a selection of feline friends from cat cafes to house cats to make sure they had a varied choice. The team used recordings of four spoken words, either spoken by the researchers or their owners depending on the cat, before saying their name at the end. The team then tracked to see if the cats reacted to any of the words.

The results

The team decided that a cat reacted to the word if they moved their tail, head, or ears or if they made a noise. Initially, the cats started to respond to the words as soon as they were spoken. However, that all changed as they continued to read through the list. Many cats lost interest by the fourth word, but would then perk back up when they heard their names. It turned out that cats from the cafes would react to any of the cats’ names from the building while house cats would only react to their own.

Finding a reason

It appeared as though the team were onto something. They had proof that cats reacted to their names. However, it looked like there could be a reason. The team confessed that many cats associate their names with getting food or a reward, so perked up in the hopes they were in for a treat. Plus, they noted that cats appeared to recognize the word rather than realizing that their name was associated with themselves. The cats from the cafes were less able to recognize their own name as they are used to hearing everyone else’s all day long and appeared to get a little confused about who was who.

While it might not be definitive proof that cats have learned their names, there is new evidence that they might be able to recognize their own names after all. Hopefully, it won’t be long before the team can get to the bottom of their research and show that cats are smarter than we give them credit for.