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Your Cat Might Be Ignoring You Because Of Their Name, Vet Says


Many people don't put too much thought into naming their pets.

When I adopted my first pet, a rabbit, I named her Cinnabun because of her light brown fur and bunny ears. My goldfish was named Goldie (classic).

And when I finally got my first cat, he loved to snuggle, so I named him Snuggles.

Years later, I adopted a second cat, and named her Eevee, after my favorite childhood Pokemon character.

Of course, my rabbit and goldfish never respond to their name, but my first cat, Snuggles, also ignored me when I called his name.

Eevee, on the other hand, knew her name very well.

I concluded that Eevee was much smarter and kinder than Snuggles, but that didn't feel true.

Turns out, the name you give your cat plays a big role in how they respond to you.

Cat guru and veterinarian Dr. Uri Burstyn explains on his YouTube channel that cat ears are very sensitive to high-pitched noises.

Felines can actually rotate their ears separately to pick up small sounds.

Their superior hearing skills make them much more attune to the sounds of their prey, like rodents, birds, and other small animals.

Now I know what you're thinking: If cats have such great hearing, why do they pretend they don't hear their name?

They may not actually be pretending. If you've ever blown a whistle at your cat, you might have gotten a nasty reaction.

Burstyn says there are a few things that you need to consider when picking a cat name.

In the video, the doctor is petting a cat named Lancelot. He says the cat earned his name from being noble, but "Lancelot is not an ideal cat name."

"Cats hear high frequency sounds much better than low frequency sounds," Burstyn said. "A study was done several years ago to show that cats respond to their name much better if the name terminates in a high-pitched sound."

Lancelot, for example, ends on a low sound. But if they called him Lancy, where there's a pronounced "ee" sound, the cat is more likely to respond.

When the vet says "Lancy," the cat immediately responds, looking up at Burstyn.

"He hears it much more clearly," the vet exclaims.

Other cat names that are both cute and will almost guarantee that your cat will respond to you include Creamy, Cookie, Lacey, and of course, my beloved cat, Eevee.

Watch the full video of Dr. Burstyn's explanation below:

What is your cat's name? Let us know in the comments!

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at