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Can Savannah's Understand English???

John Campbell

Site Supporter
Staff member
I swear Savannah's can understand the English Language... Or at least Elsa seems too...

If I tell her NO, then she knows what I am saying and stops what she is doing, sometimes she does not listen and goes right back to it... You know cats.

Yesterday Morning at 6:30 AM (Uggh!!!) Elsa woke me up by liking my hand... I looked up at her and said: "Elsa, I am not ready to get up yet.. Go back to bed", and she did without question...

This morning she did the same thing, and again I told her I was not ready to get up... and she went to the foot of the bed and laid down, about an hour later she woke me up again, and I said ok, and looked over and Jake was still sleeping, I told her: "We are not getting up until Jake wakes up", and what does she do... She jumps down and starts licking him on the nose... So at that point, not really being ready, we all got up and had breakfast.

I mean really, not exactly what I expected, Has anyone else noticed this before? I know our pets can understand us, but there are limits, so I thought.

SV Dad

Savannah Super Cat
My cats have a repertoire of words. Mostly nouns. Bird, chipmunk, squirrel, dog, raccoon, catfood, ham, bacon, dinner, no, yes, stop, come here, danger, cookies, in addition to their names.


Animal Communicator
Animals absolutely understand intention, more than words. Take parrots for instance, if you hold an apple in front of them and give it to them, they understand the word apple with the item. Their ability to speak gives them an edge as far as "intelligence" goes. Obviously Elsa didn't "learn" what your words meant in the traditional sense, you didn't "teach" her what you wanted.

Some people believe it is tone of voice, I believe they understand what we our intentions are, and choose to listen or not.

An example with my dogs: I took my dog sitting kids on a hike off leash in an area that was supposed to be on leash. All of them were very well behaved but I was a little bit nervous about coming into contact with leashed dogs. I think there were 4 with me, and my cousin was along to help me out. A couple was coming towards us and I thought "Oh, I hope these guys just walk by without barking..." sure enough, all 4 dogs, which were running around stopped what they were doing, and walked SINGLE FILE past the couple, giving them room to pass us. The couple looked at us as we passed, and said "wow!! Really well behaved dogs!" I was standing there with my mouth wide open, just as shocked as they were! haha

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
I think they understand the sound of certain words, the tone of voice we use and then as Kristin said our intentions too... they are smart kitties and I think put together clues.


Animal Communicator
An example of them NOT understanding words and intention instead is some training. When Zeddie was a kitten I taught her sit and speak for a treat. I didn't keep up on speak so she forgot it. I also use treats to try and prod Zeddie along on walks. Today I took her out and was calling her to follow me with a treat, and she sat! She misunderstood and thought that whenever treats are offered she needs to sit :roflmao:


Site Supporter
Jarvis and D both have a vocabulary.

They understand what their names are, come, 4 paws on the ground, leave it, chicken, bed, up, stay, and no among other things. When I am looking for them, and I say, "where's my boy", if they can hear me, they immediately come running. I also think they get a lot from context and intonation. They both then do vocalize when I ask them how they are, which is very cute.

Mickey on the other hand has a vocabulary of "Diablo come" and "chicken".