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the "kitty kitty kitty" dilemma

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have 3 cats.... all of them are rescues, so I'm fairly certain that they've known more than one name in their lives. Two of them (Coco and Phinneus) come when they hear their name called.......

This is a question about the 3rd kitty.....

I adopted "Murray" - a gorgeous extra large and extra fluffy Maine Coon cat almost a year ago. His name had been "Tucker" in the shelter, but I had hoped to give him a fresh start when he arrived at my place, and he didn't seem to stir by the name "Tucker" so... he became "Murray".....

Well... 10-months later..... he doesn't stir to "Murray" either. He only seems to answer to "kitty kitty kitty." Do some cats just never learn their names? Should I try a different name for him??? I hate to think that I'm going to have to refer to him as "kitty kitty kitty" for the rest of his life. Any ideas? Advice? Experiences with this kindof dilemma? Please advise.
post #2 of 14
Maybe you could try something like Murraykittykitty, get him used to hearing his name along with the one he responds to.

I think names are more for the convenience of the humans than for the cats anyway. I currently have five cats, and only one of them responds to her name.

I've had Shareena the longest, almost two years. She pretty much does whatever she wants whenever she wants. I'm fairly sure she thinks her real name is You Dratted Cat.

Miss Patchwillow is next. She looks at me when she hears my voice, but it doesn't much matter what I call her. She doesn't actually do anything.

Goldy only acknowledges me when she's ready for food or cuddles.

Cali doesn't answer to her name, but she does (sometimes) respond to "Get down from there!"

Iris at least looks at me when I call her name and sometimes even comes to me.
post #3 of 14
Have you seen the Garfield cartoon where Jon asks his friend if his family ever had cats?

"Yeah," he says. "There was Cat, Cat, Cat, Cat,"

"Not very imaginative names," says Jon.

"Yeah, well, why name something that won't come when you call it, anyway?"
post #4 of 14
I think it just depends on the cat. My mom and dad have 4 cats. When you call for The Dude to come, he does, but so does Stanley. lol Stanley also comes to "Beastie" and "Henry" and probably would come to "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" too. lol
post #5 of 14
I agree that it depends on the cat's personality as to whether it 'knows' its name or not. Genever just started acknowledging her name actually after having her just 2 months. She just looks at me, but at least she gets it.. Polly on the other side of the country is always was pretty responsive to her name, but again, sometimes she'll come, sometimes she'll look at you with that "What do YOU want?" face.

My cousin has 3 cats and calls them a million names, it's so funny ot hear the latest variation. Her newest who she's had maybe a year and a half now? I forget, anyway when she adopted her she named the cat Bell Pepper. Cat never responded, so cousin started calling her all kinds of names, and she finally responded and meowed to Chi-Chi. So that's her name now. (one of them anyway.. hehe)

Maybe you can name him the sound of the treat container shaking around?
post #6 of 14
My cats know the tone of voice I use with them, but not really their names. I say each of their names a certain way, so that they have a different sound, and they have kind of picked up which sound stands for which cat.. but I don't think they know their names.

I can say "EE EE" in a certain way for "Reesey" and she'll respond the same way as she would if I'd said her whole name. Cats don't understand "human" the way dogs do, or maybe they just don't care to listen

Maybe you could try different vowel sounds until he responds to one of them, then create a name around that??
post #7 of 14
When Anna came to me she had been called 'Annie' in her previous home. I received absolutly no, nadda, zip response to that. I didn't like Annie for a name - it's too 'little orphan Annie' to me, especially since Anna's previous owner had died. So I started calling her 'Anna' thinking that sooner or later something more appropriate would occur to me. Months went by, and one day I realized she responded to Anna. So that's that.

I have never owned a cat that didn't learn and respond to his/her name. However, the catch is that it has to be the name the cat accepts. Some cats are pickier than others. You may need to experiment with different names and see what the he picks.

In T.S. Elliot's poem 'The Naming of Cats' a cat has three names. His everyday name, a particular dignified name used only for that cat and 'his........deep and incrutable singular Name'. The last only the cat knows.
post #8 of 14
Harley has been here 10 months and has no idea he has a name. He had a different name in the shelter "wookie" but he doesn't respond to that either. He doesn't respond to here kitty kitty, for awhile after we got him I was convinced he was deaf--look back at my posts! He's not! He's my special boy! Clueless

Then you have Jack, he comes to Jack, Junior, and June Bug. And if I say are you mamma's baby he always answers me. We got Jack as a 10 week old kitten.

post #9 of 14
I really don't know if my cats even know their names, lol. Sometimes Harvey will respond but sometimes not. I think it really has more to do with my tone. But then again, your baby could know very well know you're calling him, but has decided that he's going to get on his high and mighty cat thrown and ignore it. Who knows with cats?
post #10 of 14
Of my cats, only Sammy really seems to know his name. But I've had him since he was a teeny tiny little fuzzball from the Humane Society, so he's had more time to get used to it, LOL. Although I've had Scotty from birth (his mom was a pregnant stray I picked up) and he either doesn't know his name or doesn't care. Cats are funny.
post #11 of 14
Believe it or not, all of mine know their names and more than half of them usually come running when I call them. Of course Eightball comes when you call anyone, so I'm not convinced that he knows his name, rather the tone of my voice when I call someone to me. Lucky responds the least and usually I only get an ear flick when he hears his name. But Lucky is the most feral of my cats.

I do talk to my cats a lot and use their names when I love on them. And if I call for them and they come, they get rewarded with love. So I guess I've been conditioning them all along to their names without thinking about it. And my youngest is 6 years old.
post #12 of 14
You could try training him using treats... I trained Church to come when I call from another room. I used to give him these vitamin chews which he thought were treats (he doesn't like most treats.) I kept them in a drawer in the kitchen, and Church learned to recognize the sound of the drawer opening and would come running. When I realized that, I started calling "Churchie!" and then opening the drawer. Pretty soon I could just call "Churchie!" and he would come running even if the drawer noise didn't happen. Roxy also knows her name but I am not sure how she got to learn it, she just did... Roxy and Church will both look up at you if you call their names but not if you call the other cat's name. Unfortunately my dog will come if we call Roxy's name too.
My foster kittens, I never really used their names because I had a litter of 7, so they only respond to "kitty kitty!"
post #13 of 14
Zane knows his name. He can be sound asleep, and I'll say 'Zane' and his tail will twitch.
post #14 of 14
Mattie doesn't respond to anything.

Chloe doesn't respond to her name, but she does respond to kissy sounds and whistles. (We trained her to come to those sounds, with treats). Her name as a foster kitten was Mattie so we had to change it...she's been Chloe since she was 3 months old.

Henry responds to his name, sort of.

I wouldn't worry too much about it. Cats do as they please.
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