How To Teach Your Cat Or Kitten Its Name And Get It To Respond

So, you’re about to welcome a new kitty into your home and you’re wondering how to teach it its name. What techniques to use? What types of names to choose from? How long will it take for your cat to learn its name? Will he/ she actually respond to it?

Take a deep breath.

Teaching a cat its name isn’t mission impossible. In fact, it’s easier than teaching it new tricks or building toilet habits. If you want to have a stable and loving companionship, you’ll need to teach your cat various tricks – how to do its business inside the litter box, how to use the scratching post instead of your furniture, and so on.

And teaching the furball its name is the easiest of all tricks.

How Do You Actually Teach Your Kitty Her Name?

Well, by default cats are capricious. Their moods change like the winds.

Unlike dogs, kitties aren’t motivated to please their owners and to follow commands. They also won’t appreciate you punishing or scolding them – this types of training won’t accomplish much when it comes to cats.

Felines will do what they want, whenever they want – regardless of your opinion. The correct and efficient approach to cats is positive reinforcement.

Training your beloved furball won’t be easy, but it’s far from rocket science. All you really need is a lot of patience, free time, repetitive routines, high quality cat food, treats, and positive attitude.

Of course, every cat is unique and some felines aren’t fast learners. However, as long as you keep applying the positive reinforcement technique and you’re patient with your furry pet, you’ll achieve success.

Step 1: Stock Up On Treats!

The first thing you need to do is stock up on yummy treats and lots of cat food. The products need to be tasty and aromatic in order for them to work. If you aren’t sure about treats, you can always go for high quality cat food and use it not only for feeding time, but also for training purposes.

Step 2: Create A Consistent Training Schedule

The second step is to come up with a schedule which suits both you and your cat. Training sessions should ideally run up to 10 minutes per day, once or twice a day – otherwise longer sessions will simply bore your kitty.

And you need your feline’s full attention and responsiveness, otherwise the training will be pointless!

Make sure to schedule training sessions each day and to keep up the consistency in order to establish a habit and to make sure your kitty won’t forget the previous lessons.

Step Three: Say The Name A Lot!

Start by saying the kitty’s name. Don’t go for long phrases like “Mr. Fluffy Snuggles” and focus on shorter and easier names like Fluffy, Jane, etc. When you say the kitty’s name, immediately offer it a treat or some food. You’ll need to give a bit less food during feeding schedules, otherwise your feline will feel sated or even bloated.

Repeat the name and give another treat. Verbal praise will not do the trick, so stick to petting and feeding during the training.

After your kitty has grasped the idea that its name is followed by some food or a treat, it will automatically start associating the name with a positive experience. Try taking a few steps further from the cat and repeat the same routine while luring the cat towards you with treats.

Step Four: The Ultimate Test

After you’ve been training your kitty to come to you by saying its name and giving it treats, it’s time to take the training up a notch.

This should ideally be done after a week or so of daily training sessions, but if you feel like your cat has gotten the point of the training during the first week, you may begin this step earlier. Go into a remote area of your house or apartment and start calling your cat by its name, combined with a command like “Here” or “Come.”

If your feline pal isn’t responding to the commands, then you’ll need to keep training it from the very same room as before. Eventually, it should start responding to you even in the farthest corners of your home, because it will be associating its name and the commands with food.

How Long Does It Take For A Kitten To Learn Her Name?

Each cat is unique, so there’s no ultimate answer.

Some cats are fast learners and they may learn their name during the first week, especially if they are young kittens. It will take a bit longer with older and senior cats. You can speed up the process by asking the rest of your family to keep training with the cat.

This is not only a great interaction between the children and the kitty, but it will also help the cat respond to its name and to other people instead of only to your own voice.

Remember to never scold or punish your cat, otherwise it will start associating its name and the training sessions with a negative experience. Being patient, rewarding, and positive is essential when it comes to cat training.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!