Do Cats Recognize Their Own Names?

Do Cats Recognize Their Own Names?

Did you ever wonder if cats knew their names? Unlike dogs, cats don’t typically come when called. However, the fact that your cat doesn’t move an inch when you call their name doesn’t necessarily mean he or she doesn’t know it.

Cats do recognize their names, according to a study published in Scientific Reports in 2019 by Atsuko Saito from Sophia University, which shows that cats can recognize the voices of their owners.

Cats living in ordinary homes and cats living in cat cafes were observed for the name recognition study. Cafe cats could distinguish their names from general nouns but not those of other cats living in the cafe. On the other hand, house cats could distinguish their names from general nouns and those of other cats in the house. Researchers concluded that cats can distinguish human language content based on phonemic differences.


So Then, Why Does My Cat Ignore Me?

Why don’t cats come running when we call them if they recognize their names? It’s just a cat being a cat. We tend to compare cats and dogs, but these two very different species shouldn’t behave similarly. Cats are more independent and aloof than dogs, so they don’t always respond when we call them.

It is true that some cats run when their names are called. Congratulations if you have a cat like this! As a result of their extra devotion to their owners, such cats are often described as “dog-like.”.

When renaming your cat, be patient.

In some instances, a cat may not know her name, such as when she was a kitten given her first name or an adult cat who has been adopted and given a new name. It’s understandable if adopted adult cats aren’t responding immediately to their newest name, especially if they are on their third or fourth.

If your cat doesn’t seem to react when you say her name, she may not know it. It’s good news that cats can easily learn new names. Although your cat will probably learn her new name eventually, there are ways to speed up the process.

The Best Way to Teach Your Cat Its Name

Try not to use your cat’s name too often. Repeating your cat’s name repeatedly can cause your cat to tune it out like background noise. If you are teaching your cat a new name, use it during training sessions. Her name should become more familiar to your cat after a while.


Pair your cat’s name with a tasty treat to create a positive association. Whether it’s small pieces of plain chicken or a favorite treat (try to keep it small), give your cat something she enjoys.

Give your cat a treat as soon as you call its name. Give your cat another treat after saying her name again. Take a break after doing this about 10 times within a few minutes. During training sessions, mix your cat’s name with other words and talk normally, but only reward her with treats when you say her name. Your cat will associate the treat with her name rather than just the sound of your voice. Repeat as long as it takes for your cat to recognize her name. Play the name game every day, two to three times a day (morning, noon, and night).

Say your cat’s name without holding a treat and see how it reacts. You have succeeded if it turns toward you (or runs toward you).

Do Cats Recognize Their Own Names?