Are you wondering if cats recognize a new name if you decided to change it?
For example, you adopted an older kitty with an incredibly inappropriate name and really want to give him something better.
Now, you want to know if it’s even possible or if it’ll just confuse him.
Then you’ve found the right place.
Keep on reading to find out more about changing a cat’s name.
Would a cat recognize a new name if the owner changes it?
Sometimes when you adopt a cat, she comes with an awful name that the poor animal doesn’t deserve.
Or as the weeks and months go by, you realize that the name you’ve chosen for your feline is not appropriate.
What should you do in these circumstances? Would the cat mind you calling her something else and get pissed at you?
Let’s find out.
Can cats recognize their names?
Cats are notorious for not coming when you call them. But does this mean that they don’t recognize or know their names?
A study involving single-cat and multi-cat households discovered that cats recognize their names among similar-sounding words.
Furthermore, cats reacted to their names when pronounced by unfamiliar people.
This discovery shows us that they are not merely acknowledging their owners’ voices.
Moreover, some cats living in a multi-cat household could distinguish their name among the names of their siblings.
So, don’t harbor any doubts. Chloe can recognize her name when you speak to her and can identify your voice among strangers’ voices.
She is just not feeling motivated enough to respond to your calls.
Are names important to cats?
While cats might recognize their names, they don’t regard names the same way we do. For us, humans, the name is part of our identity.
Even if we change our given birth name, it still remains a big part of who we are.
For cats, the name we give them is not part of their identity. It’s a string of sounds which they learn to recognize because it equals something good happening, for example, a meal.
What you call your cat is not what she calls herself.
We can’t be even sure that cats have names for one another. After all, verbal communication is not that important in the feline world.
Instead, cats communicate with one another through body language and scent.
That’s why adult cats don’t meow at one another. They only meow at humans.
Would cats recognize a new name?
Since names are only meaningful to cats in their relationships with humans, a cat can learn to recognize a new name if her owner decides to change the old one.
However, you have to establish a connection between the new name and the possible reward before that happens.
You can do that by using the new name when you’re about the feed your pet. As long as you don’t use the old one, your furbaby will get used to the new sounds and start responding to them.
Alternatively, you can use this method to teach a cat its new name:
- Wait for the cat to get hungry.
- Call the cat’s new name and wait for her to turn to you.
- When the cat responds, you should immediately reward her. Verbal praising is not going to work.
- Keep practicing.
- Increase the distance between you and the cat and start phasing out the treat.
Remember that you should never use the new name when something unpleasant is about to happen, for example, a bath or trip to the vet. Otherwise, Chloe will stop calling when you call her.
The same goes if you use her name often. She gets so used to it that she tunes you out.
Should you change your cat’s name?
You might be wondering if you should change the name of your new cat.
According to some, keeping a cat’s old name will make the transition to her new house less traumatic. It will be one familiar thing in a world suddenly gone mad.
On the other hand, some think that a new name will give your pet a fresh start and make the new experiences less confusing.
Abused or mistreated animals might also be more comfortable with a new name than their old one.
They might have some bad memories linked to that name, and changing it will make them feel safe and secure.
But the choice is yours.
How frequent can I change my cat’s name?
No one will stop you from changing your cat’s name as many times as you like.
However, the cat will get tired of learning one name after another and will start to ignore you.
In addition to this, changing names often might confuse your cat and make her feel insecure.
My advice is that you shouldn’t change your cat’s name more than once without good reason to do so.
That’s why you have to be certain that you have found the perfect cat name before you start teaching your furball her new name.
A cat can have a lot of names throughout her life. But as long as you provide enough food, Chloe will recognize her new name and respond to it whenever she feels like it.
What do you think about changing a cat’s name? Would the cat recognize a new name? Tell us your opinion in the comment section.
I’ve grown up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped me into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). I’ve got two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but I also feed my neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them.
I discovered that writing is my vocation early in my school years. Since then I’ve taken part in several literature contests – writing horror and fantasy short stories and novellas.
For the past three years, I’ve been an ELS teacher, pouring my heart into showing children and teenagers how important English is for their future and trying to educate them how to treat their pets with care.
Learn more about Grigorina here