Do Cats know their names?

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This week the team at Capalaba Produce are pondering one of the many mysteries when it come to our feline friends. Do Cats know their names?

In short, yes. Cat’s can recognize their name, however that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will respond to it.

As we all know cats are known for their cat-attitude. They think we need to worship the ground they stand on, and that they can get away with anything because we think they’re cute. Well, they’re right about that, whether we like it or not, we are mesmerized by their cuteness and usually let them get away with anything. Because of this, forcing your cat to do anything out of their own interests can sometimes be a challenge.
So how can we train our little lions to respond to their names?

Do cats know their names? | Start young and say it often.

Always. Use their name when you reward them, feed them, play with them, or offer them their favourite treat or toy. If they are associating the sound of their name with things they enjoy, they are more likely to want to respond to it, especially if they think it will mean something good.
Never.

If you want them to come when called, never use their name when telling them off for being naughty. As this will have a negative impact.
Tone. Be positive when you call for them. Cats can pick up on tone of voice, just as we can, and if they think you are calling them for anything other then something good, then you can forget about it. We don’t like it when someone summons us and we can hear it in their voice that it’ll result in doing a chore or receiving a scolding, so why would a cat?

Do cats know their names? | Keep it simple.

It’s much easier to call for “Simba” or “Fluffy” then it is to call for “His Highness Snugglepuss Fluffykins the third” and if you do decide on a longer complicated name, train them to respond to a nickname, it’ll make it easier on everyone, you cat included.

Train them. Cats can be great learners when given the right training. One way to do this is via clicker training. They respond very well to this. Say their name when you
use the clicker and feed them a treat. They will begin to associate their name with a reward, and it is far more likely that they will come running when you call for them.

Do cats know their names? | Be patient.

Cats are not dogs, and their life goal isn’t to please you. If they get bored and walk away, leave them, try again another time. Cats work on their own time no matter how hard you try, so if you want them to do something, then you need to accommodate for them. Just remember each cat is different, with their own personality and needs. What might work well for one, might not work for another.

Cats can be magnificent companions given the chance. Take the time to enjoy your wild-natured friend. Show them love and if you’re lucky they might come when called or even let you pet them without you getting clawed.

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