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Can you rename adult cats?

I'm adopting a pair of 12-year-old cats, and though I'm looking forward to having them live with me I'm not looking forward to having to call them by the names they've had since kittenhood (Braveheart and Fearless.) Braveheart in particular is a decent animal and I hate having to call him after a Mel Gibson movie. I've heard that it's okay to rename adult dogs, even better for them if they lived unhappy lives under their old names, but I'm wondering if this works with cats, since they're such creatures of habit. Having to get used to a totally new environment might be enough to cope with without having to get used to me calling them unfamiliar names.

by Anonymousreply 3404/19/2013

Don't worry, they'll be fine. Cats will quickly learn a new name and will respond to it. Cats that roam neighborhoods often know different names at the same time.

by Anonymousreply 104/18/2013

Good for you for adopting older cats. I also adopted a 12 year old, his name is Charley. Well, his name was Charlie, but that was also the name of my grandpop and uncle, and I have three cousins named Charlie, so I changed the spelling. My cat came from a happy home (owner went into a nursing home) so I didn't want to take his name from him, basically all he had was his dignity and his name. But if your new cats are coming from an unhappy home, it's probably ok to change their names. Try to come up with something with the same number of sylables, it might be easier for them to recognize. But if you've ever had cats before, you probably realize that they respond to (or ignore) the sound of your voice, not necessarily what you are saying.

by Anonymousreply 204/18/2013

Yes you can. Cats don't recognize their name as much as they recognize the sounds you make when you want their attention, as well as the emotion behind those sounds. But it does help to come up with a name that has the same number of syllables and basic intonation as their original names.

by Anonymousreply 304/18/2013

My adopted cats have had three names: those they were given originally; the names they were given at the shelter; and the names I gave them. (I wasn't about to call my cats Mieu-Mieu and Barbie.)

They had no problem adjusting to their new names. I agree with the poster above who said they respond to your voice rather than their names.

by Anonymousreply 404/18/2013

It's all about you, isn't it, OP?

by Anonymousreply 504/18/2013

Of course you can rename an older cat.

But realize that the cat will take time to recognize and (maybe) respond to the name. You are better off getting him to cooperate if you use his name whenever you want to feed him or give him treats, as he will connect that word with something tasty. (I had toyed with the idea of naming my cat "Food" ... since it was the first word he really reacted to! :)

by Anonymousreply 604/18/2013

Contact your lawyer to make sure you fill out all the proper name-change forms.

by Anonymousreply 704/18/2013

Sure you can. Cats never listen to what anyone says anyway.

by Anonymousreply 804/18/2013

Cat's don't understand language like dogs and other intelligent animals.

by Anonymousreply 904/18/2013

[quote] I agree with the poster above who said they respond to your voice rather than their names

My cats know their names and they know each others name. The last one adopted -- let's call her Betty Boop (not her real name - Ed.)-- hates the other cats and fights with them. They are afraid of her. All I need to do is say "Betty Boop" and they sit straight up and look around the room for her, ready to run away.

Betty Boop especially hates my cat Bindy (not her real name -- Ed.). I'll say, "Bindy's outside waiting for you," and Betty jumps down and races to find and harass Bindy.

by Anonymousreply 1004/18/2013

OP, wasn't that the whole intent behind the Ocean's Eleven remake?

by Anonymousreply 1104/18/2013

Yes, provided you are prepared to pay for therapy.

by Anonymousreply 1204/18/2013

I did not apply enough modifiers to my statement that I agreed with the poster above that cats repond to your voice instead of their names. I forgot the Internet rule that everyone likes to be the exception.

I should have said that initially your cats will respond to your voice rather than their names. Eventually, generally through a process of repetition and reward, some of them learn their names and will respond.

My cat Tallulah responds to "Come, Tallulah," "Tallulah, come," "Tallulah," and just plain "Come."

My other cat Etta James pays no attention and refuses to be summoned, maybe because she's too fat to care about such things.

by Anonymousreply 1304/18/2013

You should rename them William and Catniss.

by Anonymousreply 1404/18/2013







by Anonymousreply 1504/18/2013

You could just call them "hey" and get the same reaction from them.

by Anonymousreply 1604/18/2013

Most of the cats I've had over years have definitely known their names. We had one who loved to hear his name and another who would get pissy if you used his name too often.

Even our dumbest cat, Spot, knew his name well. We were singing this song with the radio one day

New York, London, Paris, Munich Everybody talk about pop musik Talk about, pop musik Talk about, pop musik Pop pop pop pop musik

and we changed the 'pop' to 'Spot' musik, and his head would jerk up and look every time we sang Spot musik.

He also responded like a dog to his name when called outside. But he was pretty dumb otherwise.

by Anonymousreply 1704/18/2013

I named each of my five cats, but usually refer to the males as "bubber" and the females as "sweetie" or "honey".

by Anonymousreply 1804/18/2013

I would think it wouldn't be a problem; adult dogs and cats are often given new homes by people who don't even know what they have been called by previous owners, and they seem to be fine.

by Anonymousreply 1904/18/2013

Cats don't know what their names mean, they hear it like a call with an emotion and song attached

by Anonymousreply 2004/18/2013

You can rename your cats if they got their names through civil processes, but if you had them baptized you cannot officially change the names. But you can call your preferred names "nicknames."

by Anonymousreply 2104/18/2013

My cat knows her god damned name. She knows it when I say it or when other people say it.

She knows other words too, based on the emotion of them when spoken by me.

She believes NO means try again, but two loud claps of my hands she understands means run away....try again later.

She fetches and winks and talks all day.

I only fuck my bf though.

I would not rename any 12 year old animal, but you can add a new "pet" name to the repertoire.

by Anonymousreply 2204/19/2013

Only if it's legal in your state.

by Anonymousreply 2304/19/2013

Oh for fuck's sake, cats and dogs do not understand the concept of names.

by Anonymousreply 2404/19/2013

Your name is but a sound that you answer to.

They certainly do.

They can not spell it or sign checks though.

by Anonymousreply 2504/19/2013

My cat responds to both his official name and his affectionate name.

by Anonymousreply 2604/19/2013

R24, wtf? Are you completely retarded?

by Anonymousreply 2704/19/2013

According to the Feline Registry Organization of the Universe (FROU), anyone who attemnps to rename an adult cat will be hunted down & eaten.

by Anonymousreply 2804/19/2013

My cat was named after a job in the Catholic Church. Recently they went to put someone new in that job, everytime he heard Pope he ran to the radio.

by Anonymousreply 2904/19/2013

One way to rename pets is to combine the old and new names. So if you want to rename Braveheart, Sweetie--you would use Braveheart Sweetie. Once it's clear they respond to combo, you can drop Braveheart.

by Anonymousreply 3004/19/2013

just be careful they don't take it out on you.

Here are the signs

by Anonymousreply 3104/19/2013

I hear that Cunt-Punt is trending.

by Anonymousreply 3204/19/2013

I had a cat for 17 years that didn't even have a name. You can do whatever you want.

by Anonymousreply 3304/19/2013

I am naming my next cat Octopussy.

by Anonymousreply 3404/19/2013
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