Robert: Study shows cats understand their name, kind of

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!

Scientists in Japan say while there is little evidence to support that cats attach meaning to the words we speak, they can learn to associate the sound of their name with receiving rewards like food, treats or play. They can also distinguish when the sound of their name means something not as pleasant, like a trip to the vet.

Long story short, they kind of know that you’re saying even though they don’t really understand you’re referring to them.

In four experiments with 16 to 34 animals, each feline heard a recording of its owner’s voice, and another person’s voice, that slowly recited a list of four nouns or other cat’s names, followed by the cat’s own name. Many of the cats initially reacted, but gradually lost interest. On average though, these cats perked up when they eventually heard their own name.



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