Cats understand more words than we think


A recent study found that cats can understand human language, especially if the words are spoken by their owner and with a very specific intonation. Photo: AFP

If you think that your faithful feline only understands the words “food”, “cuddles” or “play time”, think again! Recent research has revealed just how many words cats are likely to understand – and there are probably more than you think!

Have you long since given up lecturing your cat when they’re about to claw their way onto your couch, or when they’re about to knock over a vase with a nonchalant wag of the tail? If that sounds like you, then you might have given up on the idea that your furry friend can understand human language. But it could be time to reconsider.

Because cats may be able to understand a multitude of words: 25, 30 or even 50, according to various studies carried out in recent years!

One such study, conducted in France by researchers from the universities of Paris-Nanterre and Bordeaux, and published in October 2022, came to the conclusion that cats can understand human language, especially if these words are spoken by their owner and with a very specific intonation. The study authors found that felines were more likely to show interest when they heard their owners speak in the tone of voice they usually use to address them.

In 2019, a biology researcher at the University of Tokyo carried out an experiment on 78 cats. Some lived in homes, others in cat cafes. And according to the results of the study, the cats (at least those living in private homes) appeared to be perfectly capable of distinguishing between their names and the names of other cats.

In conclusion: There’s no longer any excuse if your fluffy friend continues to give you a cheeky look when they’re about to do something stupid right under your nose, and you let them get away with it... Now you know that your cat might very well understand you if you tell them off! – AFP Relaxnews

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Cats , cat behaviour , cat intelligence


Next In Living

Being kinder to yourself doesn’t mean you’re being self indulgent
Workplace: Suffer from imposter syndrome? How to ditch that self-doubt
Designers' dilemma: Embrace or evade the advancements of artificial intelligence?
Here’s why your home gets so dusty and what to do about it
Pets can transmit parasites to their owners
Written by me, myself, and I – NOT ChatGPT
Dear Thelma: My husband has another wife overseas and doesn't love me anymore
What's hot in hardware
Toilet paper adding to 'forever chemicals' in wastewater: study
5 questions to ask yourself before adopting a dog

Others Also Read