There's Science Behind the Best Name for Your Cat

Aug 14 2018 -- 10:17 AM

On this list of the top cat names of 2017, there are plenty of great names, but even among this list of the best, there are some that are better than others, especially when you consider science. If you're trying to get your cat's attention, you're better off if the feline has high-pitched sounds in its name, as Dr. Uri Burstyn, known on YouTube as the Helpful Vancouver Vet, demonstrates in his latest video (via LaughingSquid).

Burstyn starts by introducing Lancelot, and immediately pointing out that the cat doesn't have a great name. Sure, the cat is noble and the story behind how it earned its name would make you think that it's a solid moniker, but functionally, the name is lacking, and it has to do with how cats hear.

"A cat’s ears are tuned to hear high-pitched sounds. They’re placed fairly close together in the head and cats have evolved to hear high-pitched sounds much better than low-pitched sounds because most of their prey animals -- Rodents, birds -- all communicate in a very high frequency; stuff that humans can't hear. So cats hear high frequency sounds much better than low-frequency sounds...For example, "Lancelot" ends on a low sound; he’s much less likely to respond to that than if we call him 'Lancie.'"

Burstyn uses that last sentence as an example, and sure enough, Lancelot turns his head towards Burstyn when his higher-pitched nickname is used. In fact, Lancelot even responds better to "Fluffy" than he does to his own name, because the high pitch is all powerful when it comes to getting a cat's focus. It seems like this is something most of us already knew, since I'm willing to bet that a lot of you instinctively use a higher pitch when talking to your pets because it just works.

Have you found these observations to be accurate with your own cats? Let us know what you think down in the comments!

Featured image: Susanne Nilsson/Flickr