According to some statistics, the number of cats living with families can reach 700 million. This puts cats on a par with dogs among the most popular pet types of all time. You choose cats because they are cute, they care about you, and a thousand similar reasons. But have you ever chosen to buy a cat because of its intelligence? I’m sure not many of us value that as a criterion for choosing our pet. And indeed, the amount of real scientific research to learn about cat intelligence is also not much. That prompts the question “Is Your Cat Smart?” There is still a rather interesting mystery regarding these adorable four-legged friends.
“Is Your Cat Smart?”
It is a rather funny fact that many people often bring cats and dogs to the table to compare intelligence levels. I find this ridiculous. Dogs are trained to do a lot of work such as rescue, assist the police or sniff, guide the elderly… You can see dogs do such complex tasks and think they are smart. than cats. Are not! We don’t work with cats that way. I have a different perspective on this. Do you know why people often rate cats as “cool” animals? Because they have no interest in the usual trick games and don’t crave mental rewards like claps and dog-like pats on the head. Cats are more interested in cat biscuits or small fish. That shows a very clear purpose in their behavior.
Besides, cats also have very high independence. An experiment was conducted when scientists released dogs and cats together into an unfamiliar environment and left them to fend for themselves. Experimental results show that cats will be able to find food sources for themselves while dogs live off food given by strangers. That also partly shows the intelligence of cats, right?
And through very common expressions, you can also test your furry friends to see if they are as smart as I said.
How to check if your cat is smart
The following exercises are based on scientific research by zoologists as well as real-life experiences of cat owners. Hope you will find the right exercise.
Exercise 1: Finding objects
This exercise tests your cat’s perception of the permanence of objects. You can take your cat out to an open area like your backyard or a large open space in your living room. Its purpose is to get the cat’s complete attention. Pick out an item your cat loves, like a catnip biting toy or a spool of wool.
Let our little friend focus on the object, even let him have a little fun with it. Then all you need to do is simply take a card and cover it. Instead of sitting still and believing that his favorite toy is gone, your cat will get up and try to find it. If this happens, congratulations to your furry friend for having the brains of an 18-month-old baby.
You can also increase the difficulty of the exercise by using a cardboard box and see if s/he knows how to open the box and find the item. This exercise will also help you assess your cat’s problem-solving skills.
Exercise 2: Hunting and predicting the situation
This exercise will take advantage of your cat’s ability to interact with moving toys like a robotic cat. However, you should also note that not all cats are interested in this exercise because basically, moving toys need time for cats to get used to.
You place the moving mouse in the cat’s field of view and then direct it to run into closed areas such as under cabinets or corners behind sofas. If your cat comes close to the above areas and acts to watch for the appearance of “prey”, then you can be completely confident she/he has the intelligence of a 2-year-old baby.
Exercise 3: Interacting with the owner
This exercise will both show your cat’s quickness and help you test to see if you’ve fully won the cat’s affection and trust. You can proceed simply by checking the cat’s reaction when you call or command something. If you invest more time, you can try to get her/him to shake hands, lie on the floor, or practice standing on two legs. A cat’s ability to absorb and remember will be very evident at such moments.
I’ll take an example from my case: that time, I bought steamed fish that Alesha (she is my British shorthair) liked. But I didn’t open the lid of the box and pour it into her bowl as usual but left it beside me. She immediately stared at the food box and then gave me a pleading look. I call it interaction.
Exercise 4: Recognizing shapes
You show your cat two cards: a square and a circle (or two of any different shape). You can help your cat get used to touching blocks by rewarding them when she/he touches them. Then increase the difficulty of the exercise by only rewarding your little friend when he/she touches a square (or circle, but only one of them). And finally, change the position of the blocks to each other and see if she/he gets it right. This exercise is geared towards challenging your cat’s memory and reflexes.
In addition to the above exercises, you can challenge the cat with many other games such as watching her/his reaction when watching a program involving birds or fish, checking her/his reaction when you have a sudden mood swing… These tests are very easy to do and you can apply immediately after reading this article.
I think with the above exercises you will be able to answer the question “Is your cat smart?”. I tried it with my Alesha and it turned out quite unexpectedly. It’s your turn! We look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for reading!