Catcalls – or does your pet know its name?
We know that cats are cool customers, especially when compared with dogs. Cats just do their own thing, except perhaps when reacting to the sound and smell of food being put before them. Otherwise, they come and go, they sleep, they preen and clean but do they know who we think they are. Do they know their own name?
Well, it turns out that they do. They may very well choose to ignore their owner’s call because training and obedience are not natural feline characteristics. And while we don’t generally cater for cats at Nameslink we were intrigued by the thorough way in which a Japanese research team went to work to see whether Suki and Sammy could pick out their names from the general clamour of domestic life.
The conclusions from a series of carefully crafted experiments have been reported in the online journal Scientific Reports. These show that cats respond – by moving their heads or pricking up their ears – when they hear their name, including when a human who is unknown to them threads their name among a string of other names and words.
‘From the results of all experiments, it appears that at least cats living in ordinary households can distinguish their own names from general words and names of other cats,’ the researchers concluded.
Whether they know when it’s their birthday is another question – but if they do, we’ll be delighted to supply a card to celebrate.