There’s a new study out saying that cats recognize their own name. Really? I mean why did they need to conduct a scientific study in Japan to determine something all cat owners already know?
When we call Lily’s name, she perks up. She’ll usually come from wherever she is to see what we have for her. If we call Sophie’s name, Lily pays little attention, but Sophie turns to look at us or she’ll make her way into the room where we are.
I sometimes wonder if it’s the tone of our voice or the actual words that cats understand. Do they know what “treat” means or “suppertime”? Does “Kitty-kitty,” mean anything as a term or is it the tone that gets the cat’s attention?
Sometimes we use sounds instead of words to entice a cat—tsk tsk sounds, a tongue clicking, clapping, or a whistle, maybe. The rattle of a treat packet is an enticement for some cats. I think it’s called conditioning. There seems to be a difference between a cat understanding a human cue and being conditioned to respond to it.
Does your cat recognize her name or is it the tone you use and the gestures that gets her attention? Our cats certainly respond to tone. A sharp “no” often sends them scurrying. A soft, melodic “Hi, precious. How’s my sweet baby?” results in affectionate head-butts and purring.