or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Does your cat have a large vocabulary?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Does your cat have a large vocabulary?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm not too sure if I"m placing this under the right category, but I was wondering about if it's normal for a cat to know ALOT of words?? I know dogs can develop a large vocabulary, but my cat picks up words like crazy. Here are phrases my cat know:

#1 Wanna Look out the window? (cat runs to the window)
#2 Where's the birds? (cat looks out the window for the birds)
#3 Where the bug (cat looks on the ground for bugs)
#4 Hungry, Sheba, food (knows it's time to eat)
#5 Go outside (probably an obvious one)
#6 Time for Bed (goes to the bedroom)

He also knows alot of names. There's a few others, but I can't think of them at the top of my head. He even reacts and meows when I mention an ex-girlfriend's name (we haven't been together for 6 years)...

I often wonder if the cat is just reacting on condition response or if they really link a meaning to each word or phrase?
post #2 of 11
My Gizmo is a 'chatty catty' who loves to talk to me. She is also very smart. Here's stuff that I know she understands (in addition to the basic 'no' and 'yes') .

Mouse time! (toy mouse on a string, playtime)
Mouse is going to sleep.
Mause tot (German for dead mouse)
It's all right, it is nothing (for loud noise in street)
That's yours
That's mine (yes she knows the difference)
Why don't you go eat your dinner?
Go check that out. (she will)
Get out of there, Out

and of course
Gizmo is a very, very good girl!
post #3 of 11
I believe that tone of voice is important but Gizmo definitely understands a lot of English. When I asked her to check out a new laundry basket she did.
The neighbors who catsat for her for five days would play with her, then tell her 'go eat your dinner' and she would trot off to the kitchen to eat.

They are considered one of the smartest animals on the planet. I wouldn't say they are brighter than some dogs; my old dog was about as smart at Gizmo and we had a beagle once that was smarter than both.
post #4 of 11
Well, you've brought up a "hobby horse" of mine.

I actually believe that the more you talk to your cat, and the more you do so as you would to a young intelligent child, the larger the cat's vocabulary (both understood and "spoken") will be. I'm not suggesting that the cat is going to take in and understand every word we use, though certain recurring and signifcant ones will stick, especially if they are in familiar combinations. I do believe, though, that the more naturally we speak to the animal, the more natural will be our body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, which the animal understands very well -- naturally.

Thus, a crooned "Who's Mum's baby?" elicits squinchy eyes, purrs and headbutts.

"Do I have any hungry kitties?" elicits a chirp from Cindy, and a breathy "aaaaaaa" from Fawn, and they each head for their normal eating position to wait for the dishes to hit the floor. (Suzy tends to dine later )

"Mum's going up to bed. Wanna come?" and Cindy uncurls herself and stands up on her chair, waiting to be picked up for the "ride" upstairs.

This one is going to sound anthropomorphic, but I'll include it anyway..."Hey, you two, cut it out!" causes two squabbling cats to break it up, and the guiltier one to toss a disgusted "Mwah!" over her shoulder as she departs.

That's just off the top of my head. And, no, I don't think it's conditioned response, because there are enough times when the comment or question from the human has some similar elements, but is not the same as a standard one, and still gets an appropriate response.
post #5 of 11
Originally Posted by rapunzel47 View Post
...I actually believe that the more you talk to your cat, and the more you do so as you would to a young intelligent child, the larger the cat's vocabulary (both understood and "spoken") will be....
I'll back that up by personal experience, and frankly, I wish my cat hadn't become so vocal ... sometimes he drives me nuts!! If I'd known that ahead of time maybe I would have talked to him less
post #6 of 11
Well, Swanie knows what Swanie! Knock it off! means
post #7 of 11

Jumps on computer desk shelf and taps me on the knee (I pick her up to cuddle)

Sits on floor looking at me while I'm in the bathroom (I put down dish of cold water for her to drink)

I say "Mummy loves love bugs" (Chynna gives me kisses on the nose)

I say "Chynna no!" (she stops attacking my rug)

Sits in the hallway outside the bathroom (tells me that I need to scoop or put more litter in the pan)

I get up to go to the bathroom or bedroom (she sits by the computer desk to see which room I've gone into. If it's the bedroom, she's right behind me)


"Bring Mummy the socks" (Abby brings her rolled up socks)

"Bring Mummy the mouse" (Mostly she just sits and stares at me but sometimes runs and lays down on her furry stuffed mouse)

"Want brushes?" (sees the brush and comes running)

I open a window (Abby runs to window)

I go in the kitchen (Abby lays on floor watching me)

I go to the bathroom (Abby lays by my feet)

If I leave her site, she's right behind me.
post #8 of 11
All of mine know their names. They understand when they are not supposed to be scratching by my tone of voice. Rocky is pretty much the only comes when I say, rocky, come here! They all understand that sounds of a bag crinkling means treats.
post #9 of 11
Wick knows "Kitty" ( not her name, but her name has changed so much in her life that Kitty is the only constant)- she'll look up and meow.
She also knows "who's my baby?"- she'll start purring and come sit next to me.
She knows "brush?"- jumps up on her "brushing chair" and waits for brushings.
She knows "you get a treat"- meows and looks up at the treat baggie.
She knows "no"- and stops scratching the couch.
She knows "goodbye!" and will walk me to the door and meow goodbye.
And of course, she knows "dinnertime!" and will start yowling and practically tripping me while following me into the kitchen.
post #10 of 11
It scares me now much my cats actually understand me, but if I scold them they ignore me compleetly... I know they understand me. Typical cats!
post #11 of 11
Villy is a very talkative cat.
There has been a guy here doing our bathroom for the last week and a half and he has even been talking to her

If I tell villy off she will answer back, with a short meaow! Don't tell me off!
She has a hungery meow, then when I start to put her food out she meows more and more, like, hurry up! hurry up! faster!

Then there's, let me ouuuuuuuuutttt, ouuuuuuuutttttt!

Or, when you're alseep and she's standing on you, wake up! Meow! feed me!

Last night she was indoors looking out the patio doors and she saw her enemy in her garden she let out a reeeally long low meeeeeeoooow.

If she's in the house and looking for us she does a really long loud meow over and over until we reply and she finds us.

She also has a meow that sounds like a wolf whistle, but I'm not sure what that one means!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Does your cat have a large vocabulary?