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Science Proves Cats Know Their Name

April 8th, 2019

Good Monday morning. We thought we'd start the week with something lighter than what we ended last week with, and while we're at it, troll for clicks. What better way to do that than with a cat video?

But we couldn't just post one and call it a day, so we came up with this: Science has finally proved that cats know their name.

That doesn't mean they'll come when you call, unless you pair it with the sound of a can opener. The standard in this study by psychologist Atsuko Saito at Tokyo’s Sophia University, accounted for feline indifference by measuring tail swishing and ear and head movement. Call the cat's name and if it twitched an ear, that got counted as a hit.

Seems a pretty low bar, but Saito and her team ran four variations of the experiment household cats and those living in a Tokyo cat cafe. As the National Geographic explained, "The team discovered cats showed a meaningful response to their own names — even after hearing four similar-sounding nouns or the names of other cats living in the home or the cat café."

Unconvinced? Jennifer Vonk, a cognitive psychologist at Oakland University in Michigan who wasn’t involved in the research, declared it "a really well-done study."

If you're wondering, as we did, why they won't come when called, as a dog will, the article offers this excuse, sorry for that, we mean explanation: "People have selectively bred dogs to be obedient and responsive. Cats, on the other hand, pretty much domesticated themselves when wildcats followed mice and rats into agricultural settlements."

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