Cats Know Their Names, and Ignore Their Owners

The Big Q: Is your cat ignoring you?

The Big A: Likely, Yes.

Cats owners give their furry friends the benefit of the doubt, but the chances are they know their own names and are just ignoring our calls, a study suggests.

A group of researchers from Japan recently determined this by conducting a series of experiments over the course of 3 years to see how 77 cats would respond to their names.

What they found confirms the suspicion. Cats do know when you are calling them, they are just choosing not to respond the study revealed.

“Their lack of response may be caused by their low motivation level to interact with humans, or their feelings at the time of the experiment,” said Atsuko Saito, 1st author of the research paper.

This is not the only discovery researchers made. The team also tested cats to see if they could distinguish their own name from other cohabitating cats. They found that, while cats living in the same home could recognize their own names, when they were living in other environments such as a cat café, this was not always the case.

These cafés have become a popular concept in Japan.

Customers can sit down and order a drink, while having the opportunity to interact with the cats that live there. Researchers believe that in these environments the cats are not able to recognize their names because they are used interchangeably by customers.

This is the 1st project of its kind.

There have been other studies that looked at how animals like dolphins, parrots, and dogs respond to words spoken by humans. These mammals are likely to interact with humans and respond to their cues.

Cats, on the other hand, are not so social. Or, as Mr. Saito concluded, “Cats interact with us when they want.”

Stay tuned…