7 Ways Cats Prove They're The Most Intelligent Pets
How smart are our cats? Do they really understand us when we’re trying to convey information to them, or have they simply evolved to the optimum cuteness, cleverly tricking us to care after them? They’re clearly the most intelligent pets out there, and they aren’t shy about proving it.
Whatever the conclusive answer, it will come as no surprise to most cat parents that their little furballs are smart - we watch them deviously navigate the house, play with toys, and generally exhibit a lot of behaviors that seem more human than we sometimes give them credit for. Of course, cats are still instinctual hunters, and while this does mean they’re smart, they sometimes also require a little extra care when adapting to a modern way of living.
Some experts in the subject of animal intelligence have managed to learn about cats and their behaviors, and they’ve generally found that cats are similar to many other mammals in their ability to solve problems, learn habits, and develop emotional relationships. These experts have also said that the average cat is about as smart as a two-year-old human, which is pretty impressive, all things considered! Cats also have the potential to hold onto a memory for over 10 years, which most of us probably feel we can barely do!
There are countless examples of how cats prove their intelligence, and if you’re a cat parent, you’ve probably even got a few of your own! Regardless, we decided to share a few on our end - here are 7 ways cats prove their intelligence to humans!
7 Ways Cats Prove Their Intelligence
1. Cats can use the toilet!
Some cats have been trained to use the toilet just like humans! This saves some owners the need to clean out the litter box, and it definitely isn’t something people don’t expect them to be able to accomplish. While the simple mechanism is something we may take for granted, it’s both convenient and impressive when cats use the toilet. This indicator of cats’ intelligence also shows us how self-sufficient they can learn to be, and provides us with a pretty hilarious sight.
2. Cats can skateboard!
GoPro released a video of skateboarding cat, Didga, who can do a few impressive tricks, and manage to look very cute while at it! The athletic abilities of cats can also sometimes prove their intelligence, as they use their size and agility to take the “road less traveled,” so to speak. In this case, the “road” just happens to be a skateboard.
3. Cats can get their own water! Sort of…
Beyond just using the potty, many cats know how to turn on faucets and drink from them! Some are even so smart as to use faucets for their primary drinking source, just like us. Another testament to their independence and self-sufficient nature, cats drinking from sinks is a classic kitchen counter cute-fest, and it shows us a lot about how smart they really are.
4. Cats can open drawers, doors, and use other house mechanisms.
While this one may be a sore subject for cat parents who have issues with this behavior, it’s pretty mind-blowing to watch cats open drawers or other supposedly-cat-proof entries around the house. Cats force us to work hard towards their containment and comfort, and we should celebrate them for it!
5. Cat brains are not so different from humans.
Although the brain of a feline is much smaller than that of a human, the actual structure and surface folding of a cat’s brain is actually 90% similar to that of a human, and the brain’s structure and surface folding is considered amongst the scientific community to be a much better predictor of overall intelligence than size. Additionally, cat brains have 300 million neurons constantly at work, where dog brains only have about 160 million. For reference, humans generally have between 21 and 26 billion neurons.
6. A cat has already been to space!
The first cat in space, Félicette, went to space in 1963 for about 15 minutes, and she was chosen based on her calm disposition. Cats have an incredible ability to remain calm and display signs of empathy and cognition. As a display of intelligence, a cat going to space is almost hard to believe - sure, many dogs and chimps have been to space over the years, but taking an animal as brilliant as a cat is quite the feat!
7. A cat was a long-standing mayor!
Mayor Stubbs, the cat in charge of Talkeetna, Alaska retained his title for almost 20 years! Any old cat couldn’t be mayor - Stubbs has special traits that made him purr-fect for political candidacy. His time as mayor of the 900-resident community is a major testament to the achievements and intelligence of cats, and ultimately shows how great the world can be when humans and cats cooperate. If not, better watch out, humans!
How Smart Are Cats?
Whether you’re a cat owner or just a cat enthusiast, it’s hard to deny how smart cats can be! The field of cat intelligence research is growing, but even without the research, many of us who own cats see them prove their intelligence each and every day in our own homes. Even as they cleverly scheme about the house, sneaking into trash bins, surfing on counters, or generally being devious, we still can take a moment to appreciate the brilliance it takes for cats to pull some of these feats off! Now if we could just get them to stop acting out...
In short, cats are really smart pets! It’s important to note that most animals are not well-researched enough for us to make a case as to ‘if they’re smart or not,’ let alone the difficulties and challenges we face even when trying to understand the human brain and the discussion surrounding human intelligence. Intelligence is somewhat subjective, too, and animals may look more or less smart depending upon the criteria we base this claim off of.
At any rate, the few who have tried have found cats to be brilliant animals, and our expert opinion here at Meowtel is that they’re actually the most intelligent pets out there!
Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash