Do Cats Understand Words


Do Cats Understand Words?

Cats have a reputation as mysterious, independent creatures that keep their thoughts to themselves and don’t understand us humans. But do cats actually understand words or can they learn to recognize certain words?

Do Cats Respond to Words?

Many cat owners, who have observed their cats carefully, report that their cats seem to understand certain words that are used repeatedly. Cats often respond to the sound of their name or other words like “food”, “treat”, “outside”, and “bedtime”. They may also react to other sounds like the opening of a bag of treats or the crinkle of a food wrapper.

Can Cats Learn Words?

Cats don’t necessarily understand the meaning of the words, but they can learn to recognize words over time. Research suggests that cats can remember pairs of words and associate them with particular objects or actions. We can help cats to learn words by using a consistent sound and associating the word with the same action or object every time.

Cats Understand Our Tone of Voice

Cats can’t comprehend the meaning of human words, but they understand the emotional tone expressed in our voice. Cats seem to understand praise and scolding, and they may even respond differently to a man’s voice compared to a woman’s.

How to Know If Your Cat Understands

If you want to know if your cat understands certain words, here are a few steps you can take:

    • Use a consistent sound – Consistently use the same sound for the same word, and use it in the same context every time.


    • Observe your cat’s behaviour – Pay attention to your cat’s behaviour when you use the word and see if they react in a certain way.


    • Reward with treats – Give your cat a treat or special attention every time they respond to the word.


At the end of the day, cats may not be able to understand actual words, but they can certainly understand the tone of our voice and recognise words used in particular contexts. If you take the time to teach your cat, you may be surprised by how much your cat can learn!

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