MALCOLM RITTER, writing for The Associated Press
Atsuko Saito of Sophia University in Tokyo says there’s no evidence cats actually attach meaning to our words, not even their own names. Instead, they’ve learned that when they hear their names they often get rewards like food or play, or something bad like a trip to the vet. And they hear their names a lot. So the sound of it becomes special, even if they don’t really understand it refers to their identity.
My cat, Remy, definitely knows what “food” means. He always perks up and gets really chatty whenever that word comes up.