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Does your cat recognise certain words?

(49 Posts)
StuffezLaYoni Wed 24-Apr-13 20:50:02

I know how stupid that sounds. Obviously he recognises when I do things like pickup his food bowl, head to the loo (sign to sit in the bath and mew for water!)
But do you reckon your cat actually hears some words and understands them? My kitten I SWEAR recognises the words "where's the ball?" It sends him into excited frenzy looking for his plastic jingly balls - there are about eighty hidden in various corners of the house!
I have tested this scientifically (!) and said the words in a neutral voice and I swear he KNOWS!

Or am I a loser with too much time on her hands...?

cozietoesie Wed 24-Apr-13 21:08:49

Definitely. He has a vocabulary of about 30 words, maybe 20 of which are food related. He can just about cope with two words being linked, depending on the words, but anymore than that you lose him. Bright cat though - which is something I've always been used to.


cozietoesie Wed 24-Apr-13 21:09:44

Much depends as well on voice and intonation of course.

CognitiveOverload Wed 24-Apr-13 21:11:56

Yes they can recognise the sounds...not sure they could make a sentence though ; )

Hamnvik Wed 24-Apr-13 21:18:01

They recognise their names, No!, come here and dinner but not breakfast for some reason you have to call it dinner. I'm sure its a lot to do with tone of voice too though, I have a special speaking to the cat tone I think.

MillyMoo1113 Wed 24-Apr-13 21:20:32

They recognise their names and "chicken!!!"

In fact calling chicken gets then in the house quicker than their names sometimes....grin

Schlock Wed 24-Apr-13 21:20:43

I used to have to spell the word vet if I wanted to see the cat within 48hrs.

I bet people would pay good money to see a cat with jingly

cozietoesie Wed 24-Apr-13 21:20:59

Yes - I think I have that tone. But he does do different things according to what I say in that tone.


StuffezLaYoni Wed 24-Apr-13 21:21:25

Haha! You lot have tested this too!! grin
I have fallen out with mine this evening because he has pulled the curtain down about six times. He KNOWS my NO voice but chose to ignore it. If I could make him sit on the time out step I bloody would!!!

crazynanna Wed 24-Apr-13 21:22:15

When crazycat was a little kitten, I used to say repeatedly, in a slow quiet voice, "go to sleeeeep", and she did! shock I used to show all my family and the neighbours...'twas my party trick wink

StuffezLaYoni Wed 24-Apr-13 21:22:44

Schlock he has had his jingly balls removed recently! As an aside, my pad isn't correcting the word schlock - what is a schlock?

cozietoesie Wed 24-Apr-13 21:23:28

Seniorboy has re-started an old habit which is pulling down washing drying on radiators. He avoids censure by doing it when I'm not immediately around and then diving up to his bed. As I said - bright cat.

miaowmix Wed 24-Apr-13 21:23:48

Yes! One of my cats always miaows when I say 'tell me'. But neither of them seem to understand no wink

cozietoesie Wed 24-Apr-13 21:24:25

Trashy, Stuffez.

Sparklingbrook Wed 24-Apr-13 21:24:36

Yes-Sparkling Cat understands 'birdies' (dashes to the window to look) and 'dinner' and the name of the cat over the road grin All have to be said in a sing-song voice.

SacreBlue Wed 24-Apr-13 21:24:48

Mine do too. I think it's part and parcel of ruling the world with a padded claw.

Hassled Wed 24-Apr-13 21:26:36

I'm not convinced mine know their names but they certainly understand "get down".

StuffezLaYoni Wed 24-Apr-13 21:32:59

Ah thanks!
My little bundle of joy is very chirruppy, he has quite an obnoxious meow when he wants attention and I'm shattered and sitting down, but generally if I talk to him, he respons with little chirrups which is lovely!

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 24-Apr-13 23:38:17

Yes cats can recognise commands and can be trained using commands. I clicker train the beautiful moggy girl when she was a youngster to sit, lie and stand.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 25-Apr-13 07:08:39


I trained my cat 1 - 2 - 3 to stop him dithering at the door!

He also knows, crunchies, no, his name and to come when I whistle 4 times.

Sadly missing atm. I miss him terribly.sad

bootsycollins Thu 25-Apr-13 09:12:24

I can shout my cats name in the garden like a crazy cat lady and after a pause I hear his bell and he jumps onto the fence, so cute. I hope your cat comes home soon TeWi

heronsfly Thu 25-Apr-13 09:14:25

My cat is off to the vets tomorrow for the chop, and i'm sure he knows,he is most definitely sulking grin

aliciaflorrick Thu 25-Apr-13 09:20:00

If I say bed time to my cat, she knows to leave whatever room we're in and take herself off to her bed upstairs on the landing. She knows her name. However after 17 years she has me trained to be fluent in cat speak, I can understand " get out of bed, NOW. Feed me, NOW. I need water, NOW. Open the front door I want to go outside, NOW. Budge up I want to snuggle under this blanket on the sofa too". She's a tiny little thing but she's been able to control my behaviour for years.

cozietoesie Thu 25-Apr-13 09:22:10

Not totally relevant to the thread but I couldn't resist telling you.

My boy two ago went outdoors and had a 'calling whistle' that he'd learned. (Three high notes and then a dip to a lower note.)

One dusk, I heard this being repeated and knowing that the cat was inside asleep on my bed, I first told DH that he was in (because I hadn't called it) and then asked DH why he kept calling him when he was inside. DH firmly denied calling him at all.

We eventually worked out by listening and watching that the local chief blackbird had incorporate a pitch-and-timing-perfect version of the cat's calling whistle into his song. He'd obviously heard it a lot and liked it - so decided to adopt it as his own.

Must have been one confused cat thereafter.

For years after the cat died I would hear this in the garden of an evening. It was a bittersweet reminder of him.

bootsycollins Thu 25-Apr-13 09:33:51

Arw * cozie* thanks

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