For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard that dogs are a lot smarter than cats.
However, I feel that just because a dog does tricks and most cats don’t, that’s no reason to say cats aren’t smart.
My theory has always been that cats are so smart that they don’t learn tricks if they don’t want to.
It’s not something they have to do.
Dogs are social animals by nature and their main goal in life besides food is to please their humans.
Cats, on the other hand, lack the “gene” that makes it important to please anyone but themselves.
Why did I raise this topic?
Well, I read an article that talked about feline intelligence cat clock, a journal published by Cornell’s School of Veterinary Medicine.
Researchers at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine found that the structure of a cat’s brain and that of a human brain are very similar.
To quote the article: “The physical structure of our brains and that of cats are very similar: They have the same lobes in the cerebral cortex (the seat of intelligence) as we do. Our brain works in the same way and transmits data via identical neurotransmitters.”
That means our cats take in data from the 5 senses and process it just like we do.
Hmmmm, thinking cats. Who would ever believe that?
But it’s true, cats process things in a similar way to our way of thinking. You actually make decisions.
Animal Discovery.com says that cats: “Incredibly resourceful and independent, the species has survived thousands of years in radically different environments and living conditions. Even domestic cats show a smart, strong-willed, and versatile nature.”
There is so much about cats that we take for granted or, if the truth is known, we don’t even think about.
When we see a cat sitting in a doorway or staring into space, we just laugh at it, not realizing that the cat is actually thinking about what it’s going to do next.
The cat surveys the situation and uses its 5 senses to determine whether or not it is safe to proceed.
We consider cats to be somewhat anti-social animals because they are solitary by nature, but cats can adapt to conditions just like us.
“The fact that a cat can adapt to different situations is a sign of intelligence that goes beyond conditioning or instinct,” says Dr. Julia Albright of Cornell’s Veterinary School.
Cats socialize when the situation warrants it: for example, they meet at a place to eat or drink (barn, fishing pier, or where someone is feeding stray cats).
Did you know that domestic cats and lions are the only two species of cats that will raise their young in a group with other mothers when necessary?
Cats also learn through observation.
Just because the cat is sitting there staring into space doesn’t mean it’s daydreaming. Maybe it’s learning by watching you open the closet door.
Kittens that are raised without their mother or other cats watching them do not do many of the things that we consider normal cat behavior.
Cats also retain memory, they are smart enough to know when they are being scolded not to do that behavior again in front of you. They will wait until you turn around.
Dogs, on the other hand, will repeat a bad behavior several times before finally realizing that they shouldn’t behave that way.
We’ll all agree that dogs are easier to train to do tricks than cats, but dogs have a disposition to please, and learning tricks is one way to please.
Cats can learn tricks, but it’s harder to get them to do something unless you offer a really appealing treat.
There’s also the thought that dogs were selectively bred for certain behaviors, cats have always been cats.
There has never been a time when a cat was selectively bred to hunt, catch birds, or just play with blue balls of yarn.
I agree that each breed of cat was kept as pure as possible, but have you ever heard of a species of cat that was bred to do a chore like “round up mice”?
In truth, I think it’s impossible to say which species is smarter, dogs or cats, but I’ll leave you with this thought: “Dogs have masters, cats have associates.”
need i say more
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