Cats can recognize their own names but just chose not to listen to their owners, researchers claim.
The study by Sophia University in Japan showed felines responded by moving their heads or twitching an ear when their names were read out among three other words of a similar length.
And no reaction was spotted after the other words were spoken.
“Many cat owners know that cats understand their own names. Cats understand human cues better than many people think,5′ Dr Atsu-ko Saito, first author of the study said.
The experiment involved 78 cats in homes and “cat cafes” in Japan.
However, Dr John Bradshaw, an expert on dog and cat behaviour at the University of Bristol, said: “In my view, the study doesn’t tell us much about the cat-human relationship, merely that cats are capable of learning the significance of particular sounds, something that most cat owners will know already.”