What words can cats understand that we say?
Cat’s can learn about 50 words supposedly. Here are some phrases I think my oldest cats know in no specific order:
1. “yes” or “hawww?”
3. “no good”
6. “yucky” i say this when Sushi, as he loves to do, rolls around in the dirt and dust and plant debris, he knows I hate that since I brush it off him sometimes and prevent him from doing it right when he’s about to.
7. “Food, foodie foodie food, fooooooood” :) or I’ll ask them “want food?” or express bewilderment at them not wanting food with, “no food?”
12. “fish” I don’t say that often since they seem to prefer beef most of all, then chicken and raw egg, and seem to prefer fish stuff last. But since cats supposedly have good memories, I suppose they may know that word. I do remember Sasha was highly interested in smelling raw unfrozen fish, and seemed like she wanted to eat it, but since it was whole fish I’m guessing she preferred it be cut up.
13. “crunchies” (hard food)
15. “(cat’s name) go pee pee, poo poo? Good poo poo/pee pee” (I still say it since it’s a habbit since they were kittens to encourage them to use the litterbox and so their feral kitten relatives will hear me praise them. The kittens are all litter box users. Torrie has bizarre behavior, will “errrrrrrr” in an upset tone if I bring her in front of the feeding dish, even when no other kittens or cats are there. So annoying since I must bring the food to her to her chosen spot at the house, her little living area. I hate that… I did notice her, once, using the litter box, but other than that she poops in fear when I pick her up as she knows it angers me when she makes that errrr sound and hisses. I don’t understand why she is so stubborn and won’t stop (I say pee pee and poo poo so much with these new kittens I feel as if I’m going insane). No doubt Torrie still needs to hear me say for another week:
16. “no hiss” (don’t hiss)
17. “no errrrr” (don’t grrrr)
18. “hiss bad”
19. “wanna go outside?” /”outside?” Sushi, my male cat, about a year and half old will come up to me and try and warm me up and make some cute sounds or place his paw on my leg to get me to let him out. One time I looked down and saw him observing his arm, trying to turn it so that it would be on my leg sideways, as if he were a human trying to figure out how to make a human kind of gesture. He looked like he was thinking, “Am I moving my arm right?” It was cute.
20. “look, hair” I say this when I groom them or hair catches on my fingers and let them see it, or they look to see what has come off of them.
21. “so much hair”. I wonder if they understand what I mean by “much”. I wonder because I never say, “not much” or “no much”.
22. “bye/I’m going”
23. “bird” I rarely say that word.
24. “lizard” rare
25. “hot/too hot” rare
26. “cold” very rare
27. “dirty” I say that along with “yucky” sometimes
28. sometimes I sigh while or after cleaning, and I can tell Sasha knows I’m not enjoying myself and overwhelmed from the look on her face
30. “play with (cat’s/kitten’s name here)”
31. “get it” as in “get the wriggling leaf blade/lizard/bird/ball/rope”
I taught them, or rather tried to, get them to learn other body part words, but since I could tell it would be very time consuming and have little obvious benefit other than maybe boosting their intelligence a little, and being exhausted and in pain a lot, stopped.
34. “what’s wrong?”
35. purring sound
36. “(cat’s name) happy/?”
37. “(cat’s name) sad/?”
38. “watcha doin?”
39. “no scratch/scratch scratch (I say the latter when I see them scratching something, just to give them some brain boosting exercise and entertainment”
40. “no run”/”why you run?”
41.”(Sushi) so fast, (Sushi) run fast” Sushi loves to play chase and run and play big shot by arching his back and tip-toeing to imaginary foes, it’s adorable
42. “(no) hide/why you hide?”
45. “where’s my…”
46. “no bite/you bite me/why you bite me?”
47. “lick (cat’s/kitten’s name). of course it never works. Sasha and Sushi will only lick each other mostly, and stopped doing it many months ago, sadly. Sasha will only lick the kittens she knows now with one lick or an attempted lick.
48. “jump/good jump”
49. “climb tree”
50. “wanna go on the roof?/roof” I haven’t said this for months since my cats completely lost interest in going on the roof, I’m guessing because it was obviously boring up there and they already knew how much more interesting it was to wander freely outside and they made that painfully, excruciatingly, exhaustingly obvious.
51. “bzzz bzzz” they know this means “fly”, or a red laser dot is somewhere around or about to appear
52. “come here” (and other such phrases and words I won’t mention since they are obvious, but I’ve rarely used them
53. “sleep” something Sushi would know a little I think since almost every time during the day or night he comes to rest or sleep on my bed. I say that too him when he is wrestles and wanting to go outside, or seem unsure if he wants to.
54. of course, “i love you”
Though not words, cats can read various facial expressions, and they make it clear, especially Sasha, that they know what I’m feeling, in a way you could count these as words, though not literal words, but it would obviously take up learning/memory space. There’s also variations of their name’s I use, and I wonder if that takes up much memory language space in their brain. So, that’s about 50 words and phrases together my cats know or should be able to. It’s somewhat satisfying that they know all these things, but obviously it’s barely like talking to a human, and there’s no conversations going on. The sad thing for all pet owners with dogs, cats and parrots is the lack of the pet’s ability to answer back in our language some question, like “what’s wrong?”, except for a parrot perhaps, which might reply, “no fish” if it wanted some but was only given seeds to eat.
What unique words or phrases have you taught your cats, pets or parrots that you think they clearly understand (don’t mention anything vulgar please).