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How to Teach a Cat Its Name? [Tips for Naming Your Cat]

Updated by Sheryl on Dec 20, 2021

Cats are well-known for being very clever creatures. If something isn't quite right for them, they'll let you know, either by nonverbal communication (like knocking a cup of coffee over your laptop) or through their own unique cat language (howling at your bedside at 4:00 a.m.). But do cats know you're calling her? Do cats know their names?

Cats appear to distinguish their names from other words when their names call them. Indeed, cats react differently to their own names than to other words containing vowels, consonants, and syllable lengths similar to their own names. They, on the other hand, regard their given names as identifying labels.

a lying cat
  • How to Get a Cat to Learn Its Name
  • Tips for Naming Your Cat

Cats are very independent creatures who might be more challenging to teach than dogs in some situations. On the other hand, Cats are pretty intelligent, and they are more than capable of picking up a few tricks along the way. Teaching your feline companion her name is a trick that she will most likely acquire quite quickly if she is given the proper motivation, which she will almost certainly receive.

  • Encourage your cat to recognize her own name. Cats, in contrast to dogs, are not as driven by vocal praise. As a result, saying anything to your cat like "Good kitty" would most likely not be sufficient motivation for her to remember her name. The most effective method of encouraging your cat to learn her name is to provide her with delicious goodies.
  • Decide on a convenient moment to teach your cat her name. You will notice that your cat learns her name more rapidly when she is most driven to do so, such as when she is starving. She will be motivated to remember this signal since she will be rewarded with a lovely morsel of food if she does.
  • an orange cat
  • Make use of a persuading and compassionate tone of speech. Call your cat's name while keeping a stash of treats nearby. You shouldn't be startled if she doesn't answer when you call her name for the first time. She may require a few repeats before she gets used to hearing it.  As soon as she responds to her name being called, reward her right then and there. Cats have short attention spans; therefore, it is essential to give her an instant incentive to grasp what you are praising her for.
  • Establish a good association between her name and beneficial actions. When you teach your kitty her name, you want her to associate the name with only pleasant experiences in her life. You may call her name when it is time for her to feed or immediately before a scheduled playing behavior. Whenever you are doing anything unpleasant, such as putting her in the pet carrier or giving her medication, avoid shouting out her name. When you are reprimanding her, avoid addressing her by her first and last name.
  • Repeating call your cat's name in your life. Except for the time to play or eat, you can show your affection for your cat by calling her by her name in other situations in your life. Say "good morning" or "good night" with her name when she wakes up or before her go to sleep. She would love to hear her name in a warm and comfortable situation. Repeating your cat's name over and over again might increase her habitual memory.
a grey cat
  • Decide on a short name. The name you choose for your cat has an impact on whether or not she will respond to it or respond at all. Because they are short, names with one or two syllables, such as Agnes or Ace, are the best choice. In addition, the name should be nice to hear – your cat will not like a name that sounds harsh every time you speak it. If your cat already has a such name, it's possible that she isn't reacting to it because she doesn't care for the way it sounds. If you want to give her a new name, do so.
  • Avoid names similar to other terms. It is not acceptable to use a name that sounds similar to other words. You should be able to tell your cat's name apart from any other words you could mention in the same sentence as her name. Consider the name "Minnie," which to your cat would sound a lot like the word "dinner." Giving her a name that is pronounced similarly to other words may cause your cat considerable confusion. If your cat has difficulty differentiating her name from other terms, it will likely take her longer to learn her new name.
  • a lying cat
  • It's best not to give your cat a moniker. Even though it is usual to give people nicknames, giving your cat a moniker would most likely result in her being confused. Consider the following example: If you name your cat Agnes, you should not refer to her by any other form of her name, such as 'Aggie'.
  • Consider altering the name of your newly adopted cat. If you have recently acquired your feline companion, you may choose to re-name her. Even if she has suffered abuse or was mistreated poorly by her prior owner, changing her name might feel like giving her a new lease on life. Aside from that, if she was given a name at the animal shelter, she is unlikely to have a solid emotional attachment to it and would respond well to a name change.
    • Before you adopt her, come up with a new name for her. When you first bring her home, call her by her given name after every pleasant experience, such as feeding her or giving her a toy. Using a friendly and upbeat tone, address her by name.
    • You can also use the new name in conjunction with the old name ('Sally Sue'). At first, pronounce both names together, then proceed to only pronouncing the new name on its own.
    • When a cat is young, it is typically easier to alter her name than an adult. An adult cat may have gotten used to her last name.
Sheryl is an editor from iPetor, owns extensive pet care experience. As a professional writer, she can provide useful pet care tips for all "parents".
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