Getting your cat used to its name

Clue up on how to teach your new cat its name...

25 Nov 2015 By Emily Little Comments

If you’re a cat owner, you’ll be well aware that cats tend to do as they please! This makes training your feline friend a bit more difficult than training their loyal doggy companions.

When it comes to teaching your cat its name, it is important to place all the focus on the one thing that cats desire most… their own pleasure! By associating your cat’s name with positive benefits, such as food or attention, your furry friend will learn faster and will be more motivated to respond.

To encourage your cat to learn and respond to its name, try the following tips:

Motivate your cat to respond to its name

Cats act on their own wishes and need motivation to respond. Food is an excellent motivator and a perfect way to start teaching your cat its name! Many cats are quick to respond to the sound of food preparation, so call your kitty’s name when you’re preparing their favourite meal, and repeat their name as they enjoy their delicious feast. Associating your cat’s name with food will encourage them to come when you call them in the future.

 Associate your cat’s name with pleasant experiences

Encourage your cat to associate its name with a positive experience. A good idea is to begin by softly calling your cat’s name when they are in a content mood and are receiving loving attention. For example, softly pet your cat while they are sitting on your lap and say their name a few times in a friendly manner. Do this several times each day to get your cat used to its name and train them to associate their name with an enjoyable event.

Reward your cat for responding

After initially introducing your cat to its name, it is important to train your cat to respond and come when called. Start by saying your cat’s name when they are near you. If your cat responds by turning their head to look at you, praise them with positive reinforcements, such as a scratch behind the ears. Practice this several times a day. As your cat learns to respond, try calling your furry friend from a distance, such as in another room. If they come to you, reward them with praise and a treat. This will teach your cat to come when they see you or hear your voice.

Once you have repeatedly trained your cat to understand and respond to its name, you won’t even need to reward them as they learn that responding is a positive experience. However, continue to praise or pet your cat when they come as called. Try to refrain from saying your cat’s name in a forceful voice (for example, to stop naughty behaviour). If you do this, your cat will associate its name with getting in trouble and run away when they hear you call! Instead, try to use a neutral word such as “No!” or “Stop!” so that your cat will continue to respond when called.

While cats are very intelligent animals and learn quickly, it can be hard for them to learn long and elaborate names rather than simple ones. Remember to be patient when training your beloved feline friend, and try to refrain from using nicknames, as these will simply confuse your cat!

25 Nov 2015 By Emily Little Comments

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