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.
Olfa knows how to get things done and has a keen business sense that others admire. She’s always on the go, coming up with new ideas! Her ability to anticipate the needs of her readers and deliver information that they want is what makes CatVills such a success. She loves cuddling her cat Picaciu. He is her inspiration.
Great info I wouldn’t know since I am not a pet owner but very helpful for the ones who are.
I found this really interesting, I had both of my cats from when they were kittens and knew that they could react to their name as seen them do it, but they could ignore it as well when they wanted too
Whoa, never knew that.. what a nice post. Thanks for sharing a very interesting info.
My older daughter is the cat lover and owner. I will share this post with her. Her babies are Beau and Rose.
Cats are so adorable. My cat, Rexy, stares at me whenever I call his name – maybe waiting for me to give some food.
I think it’s a bit difficult to change a pet’s name. Not that you can’t do it, it just takes some work. We picked up a foster cat once and didn’t like the name. We tried to change it, but the cat didn’t seem to respond to it, but they would respond VERY WELL to their old name. We just decided to keep the old name, lol.
Ah I’ve always thought that when adopting rescue cats, we’ve always kept their names the same!
This is something new I learned today. I thought they recognize their name, but actually it is just the sound of it. My sister in law’s cat is named Luna. I don’t know if she will change her cat’s name but this post would still be helpful for her if she decides to do it.
I recently adopted an older orange cat named Orange Juice Jones which fits his appearance but not his personality, it seems. I have looked at a few other sources for name changing and they all agree not to change an older cat’s name so I will maintain it. If he doesn’t respond to it, then I will consider the name I have in mind.. Also, I appreciate the advice on not overusing the new name and treats approach if I go with the new name.