How Many Of You Have Cats That Understand Words?

SwissMiss

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The other day I was reading somewhere that cats don't understand words. But I have a cat now and I had a cat years ago that both understood - "Do you want to be brushed?" Both of them love(d) to be brushed. I would ask the question often without the brush in sight and they do (did) come running over to me. Even if I said a word that sounded like "Brushed" they do (did) look at me intently and would just perk up. I think cats must understand a lot more words than they let on. Just wondering on others experiences with cats and language.
 

ProMeower

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My cats all know their names, which could count. One of them is trained to stand on hind legs when I say "up!" but it works better with a certain tone of voice, when I have a treat in hand, etc. Another cat knows to leave the room when we ask, but it's also dependent on tone of voice and the word. Even my not-so-smart cat knows what "down" means (no cat rear allowed on the kitchen counter or dining table!). Still, there's a difference between knowing what we want from him and caring enough to comply.
 

Mamanyt1953

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I have a feeling that cats understand far more than they are given credit for. Hek knows "lunch," "breakfast" "dinner," "food," "treats," "bed," "Da Bird," "Birdie," "YouTube," (she watches the nature videos for cats) and several others. Scientists would like to say that tests prove that dogs understand more words than cats, but...the thing is, cats do not have the same need to please humans that dogs do. Dogs WANT to do what the scientists say, cats could not care less.
 

tabbytom

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My boy understand words like bird, bug, lizard, room, up, down, no, comb hair, chin, counter, ball, bed, pillow, tunnel, tower, jump, over, lie down, door, hungry, do you want to eat? (spoken in our local language), come here, dig/pee pee - as asking him to go dig and pee, run and chase, hide, no noise - when he is noisy, let's go - as in getting him to go eat, sit, close eyes and sleep, wait, blink eyes, nose bump and maybe a few more words which I can't remember and of course he knows his name and also his nickname.

All these words were spoken to him from a very young age and it's a daily routine as I speak to him all the time.
 
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cmshap

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Willy definitely knows his name, but that's not anything unusual. "Willy" always elicits a response, usually immediate turning of his head and eye contact. If he is really relaxed or half-asleep, "Willy" evokes a tail twitch.

I've even tested this with subtle changes, because I am an English-major and love the subject of linguistics. Not that I'm an expert, I just like playing around with language comprehension. He can't tell the difference between consonant changes, which is not surprising. Like, "Milly," "Silly," etc. all evoke the same response. But some vowel changes don't. For example, "Wooly" (with a long "oo" sound, like."Whoo-ly") does not elicit the same tail twitch. Neither does "Waley" (like "Whale-ey) also does not. So he recognizes some major differences between some vowel sounds.

Aside from those specific curiosities, he recognizes some distinct phrases. "Are you hungry?" right before a mealtime always induces a chirrup-plus response that sounds like "Mmm-wow!"

"Willy look!" usually results in a rush to the window, which I say when I see an animal outside while he is somewhere else.
 
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catloverfromwayback

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Daisy and Phoebe know their names, the word “dins,” Daisy knows what “special drinkies” is (her Osmolax dose, which she loves) and her finest moment was when I said to her “I’ll come to bed soon, I just have to finish this row. Be really nice if you’d go and do a poo in the meantime, that would be really good” - and she did. :lol:
 

Kat0121

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Both of my girls understand a lot. I think cats understand a whole lot of what we say but choose to ignore most of it. Sophie definitely understands when I ask her what she's doing. She stops, looks at me over her shoulder and then, of course, continues with what she was doing. :lol:

They both know their names and generally come when called unless they have something better to do like relaxing.
 

Alldara

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My cats know lots of words! They use AAC buttons to express wants and even to narrate what's happening. (Like Bunny and Stella the dogs or Billie the cat - but less buttons here).

I would think they can understand many things. For example, we don't use our friends name towards him. We tell him his friend is coming over. (let's call her Amy for the purpose of the post), but he's learned that when we say, "Has Amy left yet?" Or "What time will Amy get here?" That his friend is coming. About 10 or 15 minutes after that he will start bugging at the door.

Calcifer understands some words bilingually. He was raised in a french foster home and my wife is bilingual. Magnus only speaks English so he's picked up on some things we say to Magnus. But he is most likely to respond to French.
 

Alldara

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Magnus's words are kind of amazing actually . The best is what he's associated from the words he does have. We do catnip bubbles and he has a button for bubbles. One day he started pressing bubbles outside. We thought maybe he meant birds....but actually he means snow or rain.

We put birdseed outside daily (a small amount, keeps the feeder cleaner). He began to press hungry outside when he wanted us to put some out.

It takes trial and error to figure out what he wants sometimes.

This morning after my wife left (we both WFH mostly so it's odd for us to leave in the AM), he kept saying Mom, Outside. So that kind of narration is really fascinating.
 

Caspers Human

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Casper: "Tuna" = code word for canned cat food. -- "Cookie" = code word for cat treats. -- "Door" = open the patio door so the cat cat sit and watch the Great Outdoors. "Window" = open the window so he can sit on the window sill. "Catnip" = his favorite thing in the whole world. He knows his name and he knows his nickname. ("Puddy Tat") He knows when you're talking to him. He comes when called most of the time. If he's playing with one of his mouse toys and you say, "Kill that mouse!" he'll do the death shake. He knows the names of the neighborhood cats, "Louise," "Freddie" and "Pikachu." If you say their names he comes to see them at the back door.

Elliot: He knows his name and his nickname. ("Tiger") He comes when you call his name. He knows when it's dinner time. He knows "Churu" (lickable cat treats... which he goes coo-coo for!) But he's still a new cat. (Only a month since we took him in.) He's doing well but he still needs time to develop his vocabulary.

Both cats know when we're coming home and greet us at the door when we walk in. Elliot will be sitting by the door, waiting for you to come in and "attention" him. Casper plays it cool. He sits at the top of the stairs, watching us come in. Then, when we say, "Hey, Puddy Tat!" he comes down for his attention.

How do cats know when their humans are coming home, even before they get to the door? I'm not talking about them knowing what time of day their humans come home from work. I mean, like, if we go to some place such as the grocery store for an hour then come home at a random time. They must know the sound of the car pulling into the driveway. However, there are at least a half-dozen cars that regularly pull in and out of driveways around our house. How do they know WHICH car is ours? Can they recognize the sound of our particular car, apart from others? It'd be pretty amazing if that's true!
 
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bbdoll22

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Baby D knows his name he knows what treat means and he knows his favorite toy named baby. I’ll ask his where’s your baby or go get baby and he will run and get baby or if baby is stuck under the fridge he’ll run and lay down and stick a paw under the fridge.
Bruno knows his name and he knows what pasta means as he loooves plain spaghetti. All I have to yell from the kitchen is pasta and he comes running.
 

BeccaCat

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Oh yes, definitely. My cats know their names. They understand “treat” and “kitty cat food”. Smudge is Siamese and will actually carry on a conversation it’s hysterical. Tessa is Tonkinese and I think she understands most of what we say. She definitely understands tone and emotion. If Smudge is getting in trouble (he can be very naughty) she always shows up to make sure we are treating him kindly. She also understands “SLEEPYPOD” (her carrier), beach, Dr Jackie (her vet) and “medicine” - her inhaler. She even communicates to me if she feels she needs her inhaler. It’s pretty amazing.
 

Sarthur2

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All of my cats know their names and each other’s names. They know the words no, eat, out, up, down, in, play, bed, night-night, litter, vet, freshy (fresh bowl of water), work, home. They know the sound of my car. They know when I’m mad, or sad, or don’t feel well. Cats are very smart, in my opinion. I have seven cats presently. They study me, and I study them.
 

Tobermory

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They know their names, of course, although it took Mocha a year to learn hers. :lol: Most of the remaining words are food related: treat, are you hungry, time to eat, eatin’ time. They know “time for bed, girls” and both make a beeline for the bedroom. Mocha knows “hey!” and “stop” which she hears when she pounces on super senior Iris who’s too frail for pouncing.
 

CharlotteK

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I had a cat years ago that loved to play fetch. You could ask him, "Smokey, where's your ball?" and he would go find it and bring it to you to play. Somehow he definitely knew what we were asking him. All of my cats have also always know their names for sure.
 

silent meowlook

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Omypaw sits on command. Both cats know their names. Cheeta knows that “knock it off” means don’t bite so hard, and “YOUR SERIOUSLY CRUISING LITTLE CAT” means stop what you’re doing and get away fast as you’ve drawn blood …..again.
 
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