03/07/2018 | tips and tricks
Humankind has long been attempting to measure the intelligence of different species of animals, often with the aim of proving that the human species is superior in this area. Dogs and monkeys have thus been the subject of many studies, but cats have for the most part been ignored. According to this article, the reason is simple: when it comes to research studies, cats make far less cooperative subjects! Scientists need to show a great deal more patience when trying to get cats interested in the exercises they have designed for them; otherwise they will simply ignore them and move on to something else – a trait any cat owner knows only too well! In short, it’s not easy to measure feline intelligence, but there are a few clear indications.
What make a cat intelligent?
When it comes to intelligence, cats are often compared to dogs. And, thus far, scientists have not really been able to say which species is cleverer. Last year, for example, a group of Japanese researchers demonstrated that, just like dogs, cats have an episodic memory (the ability to recall events experienced in their context). But, a few months later, another study revealed that cats had far less neurons than their four-legged friends: they were found to have just 250 million neurons, compared to 530 million for dogs.
So, is your cat intelligent?
Cats develop their intelligence while they are still very young. During the first seven weeks in particular, kittens develop their intellectual abilities through contact with their mother and the other kittens in the litter. It is this initial phase of education (and not the breed of your cat) that will determine their future "intelligence". But there is also the question of personality: within the same litter, some cats will be more "alert" that their brothers and sisters.
How can you improve your cat’s intelligence?
If you get the impression your cat isn’t really a bright spark, don’t fret! Just like with humans, you can stimulate your cat’s intelligence. First of all, it’s important to note that a smart cat, is a healthy cat. If your cat is fed a poorly-balanced diet or if they suffer from certain psychological disorders (such as anxiety or depression), it can affect their intellectual abilities. To boost your cat’s intelligence, you can take a number of different measures. First, you can rearrange their environment, so that they are stimulated by their surroundings.