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Are cats smart? Ever wonder how smart your cat really is? Answering the question “are cats smart” isn’t tricky, you just have to look at their family trees.
In the classic argument of cats versus dogs, dogs almost always come out on top in terms of intelligence. Dogs are members of the police force, they can be trained to help the disabled with all kinds of tasks, and cats — well cats rarely, if at all, take part in any of these tasks.
But just because cats aren’t out serving the community doesn’t mean they aren’t intelligent. Believe it or not, cat’s brains are actually on a higher level than dogs. With 300 million neurons compared to 160 million, and a larger amount of surface folding in their brains (more surface folding matters more than size when it comes to intelligence), cat brains function at a higher level than dog brains. The structure of a cat’s brain is actually 90% similar to ours.
Yet if cats are capable of so much more, why aren’t they doing things like dogs are? The answer — we never trained them to. Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, whereas cats have always had an independent streak even after they came into our society centuries ago. They chose to come into our lives on their own terms, and that’s been the foundation of our relationship with felines ever since.
That’s not to say that cats couldn’t perform in a job like dogs do, rather, cats just choose not to. Perhaps because of their higher intelligence, cat’s prefer to keep to themselves rather than helping you out with a task. Think about your cat’s personality and try to picture her sniffing out bombs in an airport. While she may be capable, she might just prefer to lay in the sun all day instead.
On top of their higher intelligence levels, cats also have a stronger memory. Cats learn by carrying out a task, rather than seeing a command like a dog. They can also remember things for up to 16 hours, and it’s thought that their memories are 200 times better than dogs’ memories.
Cats are quiet and, yes, intelligent, and even capable of more than dogs. But the truth to unlocking your cat’s potential lies in how much activity she’s getting throughout the day.
Are Cats Smart? Yes, but You’ve Got to Keep Their Minds Sharp
Cats are smart, and they’re probably a lot smarter than you think. If you have a feline friend at home, keeping her mind sharp is key to helping her have a happy and healthy life.
Cats are living longer than ever before in recent years, so keeping them at their brightest is more important than ever. As your cat grows older, making sure she can still function at a high level is important, and exercising her mind can help her do just that.
Giving your cat exposure to new environments is a great way to challenge your kitty’s mind and keep her on her toes. A good way to do this is by taking her on a walk outdoors. Not only will she be stimulated by new and unfamiliar things, but you’ll also be able to do it at almost no cost to you.
If you’re in the right area, use bird feeders to attract birds close to your house so they can put on a show for your cat. The visual stimulation is just what your cat needs, and it can provide hours of simple entertainment. Don’t have a way to bring birds to you? There are YouTube channels that post videos of nature that your cat will love to stare at all day long.
Toys and puzzles are an obvious way to keep your cat’s mind sharp, and the earlier you start giving them to your cat, the better off she’ll be. Food puzzles are a fun way to keep her gears turning while also chasing down a snack. There’s plenty of options to choose from, and if you cant find anything in your price range, you can build an obstacle course for your feline friend within your own home to give her some challenges to work through.
Playing with your cat daily can also keep her mind sharp, and you can expect to get in some good bonding time if you always make room for it in your daily schedule. No matter what, putting in effort to keeping your cat’s mind healthy will allow the two of you to build a strong relationship.
As your cat grows older, it’s important to make sure she can continue to live her best life, and by implementing some of these best practices, your cat can truly live up to her full potential.