Most people know that cats are intelligent creatures, but how smart are they and why? There’s a lot we don’t know about cat intelligence. Here are Reasons Why Cats are Smarter than we think.
You probably know that dogs are famous for their intelligence. Scientists have done a lot of research on dog intelligence. Therefore, dogs are close friends of man because they can help people in many things, from the simplest such as looking after the house to complicated tasks such as search and rescue or detect cancer.
So are cats smart? The answer chosen by many people is yes. Cats are known to be quite stubborn and unpredictable friends – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t intelligent. Many people who have been with cats for a long time have affirmed that cats are as clever as dogs.
Reasons Why Cats are Smarter than we assume
1. Cats have an extremely complex brain
Cat brains are small with a weight that makes up 0.9% of a cat’s body weight, while that figure is 1.2% in dogs and 2% in humans. However, the small size doesn’t matter. In primitive times, Neanderthals may not have been as intelligent as Homo sapiens as they were unable to defeat Homo sapiens even though they had larger brains than their opponents. That proves that the size of the brain does not determine intelligence.
Instead, surface folding and brain structure are more important. The cat’s brain has a complex structure, almost 90% similar to the human brain structure with excellent surface folding, which dogs don’t have.
The cerebral cortex is a part of the brain responsible for processing cognitive information, impacting thinking and decision making. The cerebral cortex of cats is also much larger and more complex than that of dogs, with almost twice the number of neurons (dogs have only about 160 million neurons while cats have 300 million).
In the visual area, a part of the cerebral cortex, cats have even more neurons than humans and most other mammals. In addition, the cat brain has some similarities with the human brain. One of them is that the cat’s brain has specialized parts that connect to help cats understand, react, and control their surroundings.
The structure of the cat’s brain has shown that this cute animal is capable of making decisions and has rich emotional experiences.
2. Cats have an amazing memory capacity
If you ignore the memory ability of cats, it is indeed a big shortcoming. Cats possess superb visual skills, and at the same time, cats’ memory, both long-term and short-term, is excellent.
Scientists have conducted many experiments in different conditions and have shown that cats can retain or recall information for a total of up to 10 years. Besides, an experiment also showed that in up to 16 hours, cats could ultimately remember and find the place to hide the food bowl correctly. Meanwhile, dogs participated in this experiment with results within only 5 minutes.
A cat’s good memory may also explain why cats also tend to be more stubborn or even have negative emotions when they want something but can’t get it. Or you may also come across a case when your cat looks at you packing your luggage with a bad look; he might be remembering the time you left the house with that suitcase for a long time, which made him unhappy.
3. Cats can understand our thought and mood
As we all know, humans are distinguished from animals by many abilities. One of them is the ability to guess what others think and feel based on non-verbal cues such as gestures and facial expressions.
One exciting thing that surely cat owners will realize is that, like humans, cats also have the ability to understand the gestures and emotions expressed on the face of their owners.
Some studies support this. Cats can guess their owners’ feelings and react accordingly in different situations. This skill takes shape and develops over time. That’s why old cats are said to be quite adept at recognizing human emotions.
If you wonder “Can cats read emotions? Do cats understand you?” then the answer is yes. It is one of the undeniable proofs of the intelligence of cats.
4. Cats can imitate
The way cats learn is the same as humans- through observation, imitation, trial, and error. Many stories describe unexpected cases, such as cats turning door knobs to open doors, ringing doorbells, opening cabinets, turning off lights, and even using the toilet. It is all explained by the fact that cats have observed their owners perform these activities.
Through many experiments, many cat behaviorists and child psychologists seem to agree that an adult cat’s intelligence is equivalent to that of a 2- to 3-year-old child.
As we all know, at this age, children are very smart and have excellent learning ability. And we can completely imagine that cats also have such intelligence and ingenuity to do things that we did not expect.
In everyday life, it is easy to realize that cats are very smart animals. Just by observing them for a short time, you will spot the signs and Reasons Why Cats are Smarter than we imagine.
We know that giving an IQ test to compare intelligence across species is difficult. However, we can affirm that compared to dogs, cats are not inferior in intelligence. Cats are quick learners.
Through thousands of years of evolution, cats can observe, judge, feel and make intelligent decisions thanks to the fantastic structure of their brains. However, there is one more truth: the more you train your cat, the more intelligent it will become.
Once you know about cat intelligence, try to observe, understand how your cat thinks and teach him if possible. In that way, you will create a deep connection between you and your cat for a happy life together.