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troubleinharlem's avatar

Why do cats respond more when their names end in the 'e'/'y' sound?

Asked by troubleinharlem (7981points) January 2nd, 2010

For example, Callie, or Hershey, or Blizzard (but we call her Blizzie)? I’ve noticed that cats that don’t have names that have that sound at the end don’t really respond to their owners… any ideas?

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17 Answers

smashbox's avatar

I don’t know, but great question. I have noticed that too, with my pet cats.

troubleinharlem's avatar

See, I thought it was just me… I guess not. xD

ChocolateReigns's avatar

Maybe the cats can hear that more distinctly. Like dogs with their dog whistles.

Allie's avatar

I don’t think it’s just cats. I’m pretty sure dogs are like this too. Probably pets in general.

J0E's avatar

I have a cat named Almond, he comes just fine. I think this is probably just a random occurrence.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

When we first got our boxer, it was suggested that we name her something that ended with the “y” sound. So we named her Lucy!

babygirlbubbles's avatar

Because it makes a high pitched sound, i think :)

SarasWhimsy's avatar

@babygirlbubbles cats actually hate high pitched noises. And, my cats names are Jack, Jill, Sammy, Reba, and Blue. They all come when called. Maybe it’s that you say their names a particular way?

Catlover's avatar

Maybe its because you are calling them by names which end in e/y! I have a cat named Amelia and she has never complained that she wanted her name changed to one ending with an e or y. I suspect it also has to do with the intonation you use when calling them. You may be more likely to be kind of playful or sing-songy when you are calling out for i.e. Blizzie instead of Blizzard. It’s like when we were kids I knew I was in trouble when my mother called me by my proper name but if she added an “Y” to the end all was peaceful.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

My two cats,Gremily and Bill ,both come when called.I called him Billy once.He threw a hissy fit ;)

SamIAm's avatar

I was told by a neighbor years ago that cats like when you talk to them in a baby voice… and they were always VERY responsive to her. This question reminded me of her relationship with them… their names are Sasha and Frasier but I call them Sashy and Puppy (or Frasie, or Stinky – all of which he responds to). I have a feeling it’s because we treat them like pets, adding the e/y in a cute way & they’re used to it! Cute little guys….

Austinlad's avatar

My cat Sy answers instantly to words ending in FOOD.

syz's avatar

I haven’t noticed any difference in responses to name with my current or previous cats (Chaos, Sidney, Martha, Junior, Melee, Dory, Havoc). What I have noticed is that two syllable names are much easier (and satisfying) to call or yell out loudly.

Darwin's avatar

Our cats all seem to answer just fine to their names, but only a few have names that end in “y.” Possibly when people say names that end in that sound they can’t help but soften their voices so they sound more friendly. Thus the cat is more willing to see what good thing might happen if they come.

Our cats names, current and past cats, include Shirley, Goodness, Mercy, Rena, Franklin, Six-Pack, Moose, MacDuff, Outdoor Kitty, Binx, Beauty, Julius, Pinkerton, Gracie, Peanut Butter, Butch, and several others. Shirley, Goodness and Mercy do not respond well to their names, I think because all three are supremely stupid. Everybody else responds just fine.

knitfroggy's avatar

My cats are Tabby, Tony and Timmy. Tabby and Timmy come when called, most generally. Tony however won’t come when called. Because he doesn’t want to. Because he’s a butthole. i do love him though. he is our prettiest, biggest cat, too.

susanc's avatar

@Darwin – I think that Shirley, Goodness and Mercy would be more obedient if you enlisted more cats to round out the phrasing: Will, Follow, and Me.

According to @troubleinharlem‘s thesis, Shirley will come faster when called than the others.

Darwin's avatar

@susanc – Those three already follow me all the days of my life, because I have opposable thumbs and can open the cat food storage bin. Unfortunately for @troubleinharlem‘s thesis, Shirley is the last of the three to come because he is always staring at invisible bugs or listening to something no one else can hear. But he does come when I call the dogs.

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