It’s official: Cats really do know their own name, study shows

For those of us who are dog owners we can safely call our pooch’s name and it will come running but for cats it’s not so easy.

It begs the question whether a cat even knows what its name is?

As difficult as it was to conduct a study on cats, who are indifferent to anything us humans want them to do most of the time, one was carried out in Japan and the results may surprise you.

A study published in the journal “Scientific Reports,”  found that a cat did recognize its name based on their reactions.

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Mental Floss

Researchers conducted a series of experiments in which a person would speak four different words and then say the cat’s name.

According to the study, the words chosen were “nouns with the same length and accents as their own names.” If the cat acted differently when it heard its name, then it was concluded they could recognize their own name.

Most of the cats moved their head or ears in response to hearing their name. The results showed that the cats could identify their own names among other similar words, researchers said.

Name carries a special meaning

“We conclude that cats can discriminate the content of human utterances based on phonemic differences,”  researchers wrote. “This is the first experimental evidence showing cats’ ability to understand human verbal utterances.”

But lead study author Atsuko Saito of Sophia University in Tokyo told The Associated Press that it could also be that the cat associates its name with rewards such as food, petting or play.

If this is the case we can at least conclude that cats recognize that their name carries a special meaning, according to the article by NPR.

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The Independent

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