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How many words do your cats understand?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Corvuscorax, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    mine understand:
    - whiskas
    -cuddle ( said while making a patting noise)
    -give me your paw

    They go to different places and make different actions for all of these. If i say the wrong word in the wrong place, they don't always notice, but sometimes they do. If I am standing by the feeding bowls where I give them Whiskas in the kitchen, and say "dreamies" they move off to the "cat entertainment area" in the hall, where I hide treats in their toys. If I say "bedtime" though they just look at me like I'm an idiot.

    Maybe they only understand the word "bedtime" at night, I should try saying something that sounds similar instead, like "paper" and see if they still shoot upstairs and stand by my toothbrush waiting for me.

    I don't know if they know their own names, though, as they all come if any one of them is called. It might be that the other two are thinking " I'll go and see why they are being called and I am not"
  2. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    How do you make a patting noise?
  3. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    Mine know 3: tuna, ham, and their own name.
    I know because if they run upstairs (mine aren’t allowed upstairs) I call these words and they come running. If I shouted ‘treats’ no response. If I shouted mouse’ no response. But if I shouted ‘tuna’ or ‘ham’ they would come running down the stairs.
    primarycat and Corvuscorax like this.
  4. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    just patting my arm or leg, or chair next to me
    Jamvic likes this.
  5. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    Ahh... I see what you mean.
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    This is probably quite a good thread to remind about that cat who learnt sign language-

    lardylady, Jamvic and primarycat like this.
  7. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    My cats know their names, ‘no!’, ‘bye-byes’, ‘dinner’ and ‘cuddle’. Such a limited vocabulary doesn’t stop me talking to them all the time, though and I always tell them where I’m going and when I’ll be back....
  8. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    None. Mine must be a bloody minded little sod. The word I use most frequently is "no" and he ignores me. He thinks I speak cat because he stands or sits in front of me and miaows.
  9. primarycat

    primarycat Star commenter

    Knowing and reacting to are two different things. Mine knows no, sometimes she listens and sometimes she ignores it. She knows her name, she knows the call for her when she's going to be fed, she knows chicken. She probably knows more than that but doesn't let on.
  10. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    How many words do your cats use that you understand?
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  11. primarycat

    primarycat Star commenter

    She is very good at making herself understood. I know when I'm being greeted, she wants a stroke, she wants to go outside, she wants food. It's usually the last one.
  12. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    One of my cats is more vocal than the other and employs a range of sounds to suit the occasion. I love his chirrups as he comes through the cat flap but not so keen on the insistent miaowing if I happen to approach their food cupboard - whether or not it’s dinner time!
  13. geraldbeattie

    geraldbeattie New commenter

    I was always under the impression that it was up to the servants to understand the cat, not the other way round. Ours can hear the back door open to go out, or the tin cupboard door open to gain access to tins of cat food. More than that it never seems to care!
    towncryer likes this.
  14. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    One cat’s totally deaf, and understands nothing at all. The other just about knows his name. They’re old, so not much hope they’ll learn anything new now. However (and I’ve mentioned it on here before), my father had a cat which knew well over twenty words. He had it from a very young kitten and talked to it constantly. It even responded appropriately to a flash card with a word written on it. Dad really enjoyed teaching it new words - something to do in the long winter evenings, I guess!

    My sister has a cat that knows the phrase “nap time” - I tested last time I visited and the cat went galloping off through the house, up the stairs and leapt joyfully onto the bed and waited for me to catch up. Clearly this is a regular arrangement!
  15. JessicaRabbit1

    JessicaRabbit1 Senior commenter

    The boy cat knows his name and the word 'chicken'.

    Girl cat - nothing at all I'm afraid. She is very simple indeed.
    lardylady and towncryer like this.
  16. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    Mine know their names. I know this because I have more than one cat and when I call a name that cat will respond. They know the word no and pow pow which is what happens if they don't respond to the word no.
    Other than that I'm not sure. I had one very intelligent cat who would sit on command but unfortunately he is no longer with us.
    The thing with cats is that they wouldn't let on if they did understand because that might result in more effort for them in the form of party tricks etc.They would rather sleep and be summoned by the sound of a tin being opened.
    Corvuscorax likes this.
  17. Laphroig

    Laphroig Lead commenter

    My cat understands many, many words but considers it beneath her to actually converse or interact with me. I turn to the dogs for that.
    lardylady and towncryer like this.
  18. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

  19. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    haha! Bet they do, they are just pretending!

    How many cat words have they taught you?
  20. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I think animals mostly pick up on the tone of voice, rather than the words. We had a boxer who I taught to do tricks in several languages, starting with English, then French, then another language, after I told someone the dog knows French. Just simple trick like sit, paw and good girl to let her know she could get back to whatever she was doing.

    The person I was showing this to asked if she responded to Swedish commands, so when I asked what the words were and tried it, the dog responded perfectly. The thing is, each of the commands was said in the same way. The dog was only hearing me say blah, blah, blah, but she had learned that when I used those particticular tones of voice, whatever I said, probably meant I wanted her to sit and so on.

    The cat will usually come in when my sweetheart calls him, but not so often when I do. She tends to talk to the animals in the same way a mother talks to a baby, which they seem to like. Again its the tone of voice.

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