Japanese scientists have found that cats living with their relatives are able to recognize not only their own name, but also the nicknames of other cats, the Daily Mail reported.

Experts came to this conclusion based on the results of observations of 48 cats who lived with at least two other pets, either in the family home or in a cat cafe. Each animal heard their owner calling the cat they lived with.

One possible explanation has to do with competition. A cat can get food when the owner calls her name, but not when he calls another cat, experts say.

The fact that animals recognize the names of their friends and not strangers cats was confirmed by the experiment. Scientists showed experimental animals photographs of various cats: 19 of them looked at the picture for a longer time when it did not have a cat whose name was given. It is assumed that at this moment they were looking for their familiar cat in the picture.

In another experiment, cats were shown either a picture of their owner or themselves and called by name: 26 cats looked longer when the picture and name didn't match.

The authors from Kyoto University said the results show that cats know each other's names and possibly their owners' names. But because they never compete with people of their own food bowl, they don't need to recognize host names.