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How To Teach A Cat Its Name

  • Post category:How-To
  • Post last modified:April 13, 2020
  • Reading time:5 mins read
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Unlike dogs, most cats do not know their names. This is not because cats aren’t intelligent enough to learn their names. It has more to do with the fact that most cat owners simply don’t teach their cats to respond to their given names.

Your cat should learn to recognize its name so it can react and acknowledge you. This will also help when you are trying to find a lost cat, whether your cat is lost in your home or outside.

Teaching your feline friend to learn its name will also help strengthen the bond between the two of you. In this article, we go over how to teach a cat its name.

First Steps In Name Recognition

Every time your cat sits on your lap or walks in front of you, speak its name clearly while also petting it. You can also speak your cat’s name while you are petting or feeding them. 

Keep doing this over and over again until it becomes second nature to you. With repetition and consistent action your cat will start to recognize the sound of their name. 

You can tell that your cat is starting to learn its name when their ears perk up and they give their attention to you after speaking its name.

Kittens Are Easier To Train

I should also mention that the younger your cat is when you start teaching them name recognition, the easier it will be for them. A kitten will learn a lot faster than an adult cat who is already set in its ways.

However, this does not mean that you can’t train an adult cat to learn its name. With repeated action, you can teach an adult cat almost anything that you can with a kitten. It will just take a little longer.

Use a Toy Clicker

One key strategy that you can use to train your cat to learn its name is by using a toy clicker device. The noise from the clicker will make your cat suddenly pay attention to you. 

You can purchase a special clicker for training here. Once you finally have the clicker, do this: Every time you put food in your cat’s dish, click the clicker and repeat your cat’s name over and over again until your cat finally comes over to you. 

Once your cat starts to catch on when you are feeding it, start using the clicker and calling its name at other times besides when your feeding your cat.

how to teach a cat its name

Make sure you reward your cat every time it comes when its called. I recommend rewarding your cat by giving it a cat treat and petting it. This will help reinforce the behavior as a good thing.

After your cat seems to have mastered the art of learning its name with the use of a clicker, you should then start to gradually wean your cat off the toy clicker. 

What we are going for here is to have your cat come to you whenever you call its name and without needing to use a clicker. This is the ultimate goal. 

But you should also realize that cats are cats and their attention span is limited. Be patient with your feline, but also be continuous in your efforts. 

Final Thoughts

I have taught almost every cat I’ve ever had to learn its name. You must be patient and consistent. Make name recognition training a normal daily routine between you and your cat, and they will eventually catch on. 

Also, be okay with the fact that your cat may not be able to learn its name. Never punish your cat just because it won’t respond to the clicker or to its name. 

Remember that cats and dogs are two different animals. While you can teach a dog new tricks, it’s possible that your cat is simply stuck in their ways. And that’s okay. Love them just the way they are.