Cats Are Listening, And They Know Your Name – Study

Knowing one’s name is a skill more often associated with dogs than cats, but new research has revealed that cats can recall its own name, and one research indicates that they can even understand much more.

Cats Are Listening, And They Know Your Name - Study 1

Japanese researchers revealed that cats can learn not only their own names, but also the names of their human owners as well as other cats they live with in a recent study (read below) published in Nature.

The study concentrated on cats in multi-cat households and cat cafes, which are renowned in Japan and allow guests to visit and socialize with up to 50 cats at once.

Researchers showed photographs of cats to a cat that was acquainted with them before playing either an audio clip of the owner pronouncing the cat’s name or an inaccurate name. The study found that cats in multi-cat households glanced at the picture for longer when the erroneous name was played, implying that they were perplexed by the discrepancy.

Cats in cat cafés did not exhibit similar tendencies, maybe because they dwell with too many cats to remember their names and had limited opportunities to learn them due to the constant flow of unknown humans in and out of the cafe.

The effect was stronger in cats from multi-cat families with multiple persons living in them, most probably because they have more chances to hear their names called.

“I want people to know the truth,” Saho Takagi, a research fellow specializing in animal science at Azabu University who started the study when she worked at Kyoto University, told The Asahi Shimbun, “Felines do not appear to listen to people’s conversations, but as a matter of fact, they do.”

However, the researchers state that additional research is required. They still do not know much about social learning in cats, and this study only included a few dozen cats, so it needs to be duplicated before it can be considered science.

Read the study below:


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2 Responses

  1. Our cat knows the word ‘shrimp’ (favorite food). We have to refer to it indirectly.

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