Training a kitten to learn its name is relatively easy.
It does take patience, and some kittens will be slower to learn than others. But as long as you follow some basic rules and persevere, you’ll get there. By the way, all the same principles apply for teaching an adult cat its name.
The benefits of training a kitten to respond positively to her name include:
- She’s safer. If she’s lost outside and you’re searching for her, calling her name, she’ll be much more likely to respond
- She’ll come inside when you call her name. No more embarrassing late arrivals at dinner parties because the cat wouldn’t come in…
- You can find her when you need to. No more hunting round the darkest corners of the house for hours trying to figure out where she’s hiding (or stuck) this time…
- She feels more like she’s part of the family. She has her own unique name, just like everyone else
If you’re having difficulty thinking of a name, click on these links for plenty of ideas:
How To Teach Your Kitten Her Name
1) Choose a good name
Some names are easier for kittens to learn than others, and there are practical considerations too. For advice on the do’s and don’ts of choosing names for cats and kittens, click here.
2) Repeat, repeat and repeat again!
Say your kitten’s name over and over when she’s having a nice time – for example when you’re playing with her, petting her or when she’s eating or contentedly curled up in front of the fire. She’ll start to recognize her name and associate it with nice experiences. Try to keep the same tone to your voice, so the sounds she hears are as consistent as possible.
Call her name as you’re preparing her food at mealtimes. Make a fuss of her when she arrives and carry on petting her and saying her name as she eats her food.
3) Call her name and reward her when she comes to you
Call her over when she’s not right beside you. Have a little treat to hand and give it to her when she comes to you. Obviously you don’t want her getting a weight problem (!) so once she’s started coming to you when you call, don’t give her a treat every time. But do make sure you make a big fuss of her.
4) Never shout her name when you’re angry with her
This is really important. Kitty must associate her name with positive experiences if she’s to respond favorably to it. The last thing you want is to be calling a cat that’s gone missing, who can hear you but is too scared to show herself in case she gets into trouble…
I’m sure you can see the huge advantages of training a kitten to learn her name. Because she responds when you call her, she’s safer, both inside and outside the house. She’s happier. She feels like she’s part of the family. And you don’t lose years off your life through stress, worrying where she is and if she’s OK…