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Rawr!! Cats DO recognize their names, researchers say!

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Greg Hume (CC BY-SA 3.0)

But why was that a big issue anyway?

Cats fare poorly overall in this either/or thinking. They are usually relegated to being “less intelligent than dogs.” Hence the researchers’ surprise that cats can learn their names. But if the cat can recognize and react to the household car pulling up the drive, a specific footstep on the stairs, or a can opener at work, why couldn’t he recognize his name when it is shouted?

Many misconceptions about cats stem from the all-or-nothing naturalist hierarchy:

“Cats are notorious for their indifference to humans: Almost any owner will testify to how readily these animals ignore us when we call them. But according to a study published Thursday in Scientific Reports, domestic cats do recognize their own names—even if they walk away when they hear them. Jim Daley, “Cats Recognize Their Own Names—even If They Choose to Ignore Them” at Scientific American”

Is the cat supposed to know that he should do something about the fact that a human is talking?

He pays attention once he understands that a given sound, usually pitched higher, means something for him in particular. He can have no other point of reference to human speech. – Denyse O’Leary, “Study: Cats do recognize their names” at Mind Matters

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See also: Dogs are not as intelligent as seals, say some researchers.

Crows can be as smart as apes

Yes, even lizards can be smart


Animal minds: In search of the minimal self

Rupert Sheldrake has done studies on 'psychic animals'. Around the 23:00 minute mark of the following video, several experiments are discussed that highlight the fact that some animals (such as dogs, cats, and birds) seem to have a transcendent component to their being. A transcendent component that is able to sense, while the owner is far away from the pet, what the owner's intentions are. (of note: reptile pets demonstrated no such transcendent connection to their owners).
The Extended Mind - Scientific Evidence - Rupert Sheldrake - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnA8GUtXpXY
Here is a example of the test performed on a Dog that makes Sheldrake's point clear:
Jaytee: A dog who knew when his owner was coming home - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA5wAm2c01w
His Book:
Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: http://www.amazon.com/Dogs-That-Their-Owners-Coming/dp/0307885968
Here is a detailed account of the disingenuous nature in which a particularly hostile skeptic tried to debunk Sheldrake (in fact, his results actually matched Sheldrake's results):
Richard Wiseman's failed attempt to debunk the (Rupert Sheldrake's) "psychic pet" phenomenon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkrLJhBC3X4
In fact, Sheldrake, in the spirit of full disclosure, has set up a internet site, especially for skeptics (or whomever), so they could perform the experiments for themselves at home (or at school) to see for themselves that the results do indeed stand up to scrutiny: Here is the online test site:
Take Part in Online Experiments http://www.sheldrake.org/participate
My cat is not indifferent to me. My wife, on the other hand... :) Ed George
As far as recognizing her name goes. Hazel sometimes will come to mommy or daddy calling her name or some other words. Most of the time she doesn't. I don't think much of a conclusion can be drawn about it. Andrew asauber
One of our cats is a black Siberian. He might as well be my dog the way he follows me around. He definitely knows his name. ET
Our cat Hazel is not indifferent to humans. She almost perpetually asks to be petted, frequently asks to have her food and/or water bowl filled, or in the evening when mommy and daddy finish watching TV, for nightly cat treats. She recognizes when the show is over and will start squawking proactively. Andrew asauber

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