Photo: Pakutaso
lifestyle

Japanese universities determine cats know names of other cats

19 Comments
By SoraNews24

Despite humans’ long lasting relationship with cats, there are still many mysteries to the feline mind. Their preference for GU jeans and fear of circles are but a few of the many secrets locked behind those stoic eyes.

However, researchers at Kyoto University and Azabu University in Kanagawa have been steadily learning more and more about cats’ psyches. Their latest research has found that in homes where three or more cats reside, they can learn each other’s names.

This was determined in a similar way to Kyoto University’s 2016 study which found that cats have a rudimentary understanding of physics. Nineteen test subjects were shown photos of different cats on a computer, including ones that they cohabitate with, while also saying a name. In instances where cats the subjects knew were displayed but a different name was called out, the subjects would stare at the image for about a second longer than usual, indicating that they realize something is not right and are in thought.

But before you go thinking, “Aha! I knew that cat I lent money to was just pretending it didn’t know me,” a similar study was carried out with human faces and names, but with less successful results. Test subjects didn’t seem to acknowledge mismatched humans as clearly as they had with other cats, but the research found that the longer-lasting the relationship and the larger the family of the home the cat lives in, the more likely it is to remember human names.

Research fellow Saho Takagi with Azabu University explained to NHK that she herself is a cat fancier and wanted to learn more about how they understand human language. Cat fans online were also quick to point out that the study results matched their own experiences too.

“My cat definitely knows. I think my cat also knows the dog’s name.”

“That makes sense. They always seem to know when I’m about to come home or go to the toilet too.”

“I tried it on my cat and it seemed startled when I changed its name slightly.”

“My mother tried to change our cat’s name because she was bored with it, but the cat would only respond to its old name. I was impressed.”

“When I would call one of my cats, the others would look at him like, ‘What? Why does he get to go first?'”

“Cats are really smart. When I left the stove on one time, it stood in front and started meowing to get my attention.”

“I had three cats and one dog with five names between them because of a nickname: Kiki, Ki-kun, Kitchu, Ki-tan, and Chu-kun. They would always only answer to their own names.”

While this appears to be common sense among multiple pet owners, at least it now has some peer-reviewed scientific backing. It also perhaps lends some credit to the more controversial theory that one way to find a lost cat is to ask other cats in the neighborhood about it.

Source: NHKTwitter/@nhk_news

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Kyoto University study finds that cats have interest in physics

-- Japan now has a traffic safety video for cats to watch to help keep them safe on the streets

-- Japanese cat cafe livestream on Twitch lets you hang out with cute cats anytime you want

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

19 Comments
Login to comment

Universities are actually funding these studies?

No wonder graduates are so useless out of the gate.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Rome 3.0. On a much bigger scale

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"The naming of cats is a difficult matter. It isn't just one of your holiday games. You may think at first I'm mad as a hatter when I tell you a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. An ordinary name and a fancy name. That's two.

Do you want to guess what the third one is? But above and beyond there's still one name left over, And that is the name that you never will guess;

The name that no human research can discover -- - But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess."

-- Logan's Run (simplified from T.S.Elliot)

So, cats are bad at human names. Shocking. /s

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cats are known for 'disobedience' and difficulty to 'herd'. Disobedience, much, much more than obedience, is a sign of intelligence. That's why fascists first kill or imprison all of the intellectuals...

Google: Do intellectuals prefer cats or dogs?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Great to see that taxpayer funded research is solving the planet's problems.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Not only cats!! almost all animals know their names and the names of others even if not of the same type.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Great to see that taxpayer funded research is solving the planet's problems.

Yes, of course, sarcasm. Taxpayer funded weapons are a MUCH better use of what is stolen from us by psychopaths to maintain their dominance, I'm sure you agree...

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@William

This is escalating so fast from kitty cats to weapon research.

What are you trying to say?

Will these cats be used as weapons?

Are they gonna use weapons to kill these cute kitties?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Do intellectuals prefer cats or dogs?

Is this related to the similarities and differences between cats' and dogs' attitudes to humans?

Cat and dog both: They feed me, they play with me, they love me.

Dog's conclusion: They must be gods.

Cat's conclusion: I must be a god.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This research is just as good as any "political science" or "economics" "research". Or better.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

We have cats, and it is obvious to me that they know each other's names.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Universities are actually funding these studies?

No wonder graduates are so useless out of the gate.

Basic science research often seems wasteful and irrelevant, up to the point where the acquired knowledge becomes a very important piece to solve an important problem and then people complain why it was not researched before.

Great to see that taxpayer funded research is solving the planet's problems.

This could very well solve problems in the future, what if for example it is found that some specific structure, enzymatic pathway or receptor is present in the brain of animals that can recognize names and absent in those animals that can't? this could lead to understand how Aphasia, dislexia or Alzheimer could be treated. The whole point of studying something is that we don't know it, this includes how it could be useful in the future.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Ok I get it! They know Bobcat, Tiger woods, Felix the cat, Pink panther!! Wow very impressive!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

One of our dogs is named Gunnar and he always answers to that, but he will also come if I call out "Knucklebrain".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

 In instances where cats the subjects knew were displayed but a different name was called out, the subjects would stare at the image for about a second longer than usual, indicating that they realize something is not right and are in thought.

Alright, so this means definitely that cats know names of other cats.

Basic science research often seems wasteful and irrelevant, up to the point where the acquired knowledge becomes a very important piece to solve an important problem and then people complain why it was not researched before.

Huh??? This article does not mention anything about wasteful and irrelevant science research. But while we are on the topic . . .

This could very well solve problems in the future, what if for example it is found that some specific structure, enzymatic pathway or receptor is present in the brain of animals that can recognize names and absent in those animals that can't? 

This is a wild conjecture that has nothing to do with the article, which does not refer to enzymatic pathways in animals (remember, the article is about CATS).

The whole point of studying something is that we don't know it, this includes how it could be useful in the future.

This has nothing to with the article, and is mere elementary rhetoric. But hey, everyone wants to play scientist sometime.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Huh??? This article does not mention anything about wasteful and irrelevant science research. But while we are on the topic . . 

Read the quoted part, who is the one considering the research wasteful and irrelevant is not the article but the comment that I am replying to, putting attention would let you understand that.

This is a wild conjecture that has nothing to do with the article, which does not refer to enzymatic pathways in animals (remember, the article is about CATS).

This is an example of how the research could become useful even if people commenting here don't see it. If you think this is out of the topic you can tell that to them directly.

This has nothing to with the article, and is mere elementary rhetoric. But hey, everyone wants to play scientist sometime.

If your only argument is trying to make personal attacks that clearly demonstrate you have no interest in the topic and are just trying to get your comments deleted again.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Imprisoned 'housecats' who cannot go outside, and dogs in general, are not our 'pets' so much as they are our 'prisoners' and we their wardens and excellent examples of Stockholm syndrome in animals other than Humans...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Imprisoned 'housecats' who cannot go outside….

…..tend to have longer, healthier, happier lives than ‘free’ cats.

If sickness and/or injuries from other ‘free’ cats don’t do for the roamers, there are traffic accidents, attacks by hawks and other wildlife, and poison put out by subhuman cat-haters.

If you love your cat, keep him/her safe at home.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"…..tend to have longer, healthier, happier lives than ‘free’ cats."

Since every cat with whom I have lived has come to me from 'outside', I cannot speak to 'longer' albeit generally dying of 'old age'. 'Healthy' is a matter of the cat's companion's ability to pay attention, and 'happier' is really an unjustified and self-serving perceptual presumption.

"If you love your cat, keep him/her safe at home."

Would this go for 'children' as well given that they are as vulnerable to active and passive predators, also, maybe more so? And, in no way do these 'considerations' contradict the judgement that our 'confined' nonHuman companions and fellow travelers are our "prisoners".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites