Intelligence in house tigers: how smart are cats?

Generally it is assumed that cats have a high level of intelligence - but is that true at all? And how can you tell how smart velvet paws really are? Find out more about cat brains here. Cats are extremely smart, but don't score in terms of empathy - Shutterstock / Lucy Jovanovic

Finding out something about the intelligence of cats is not the easiest task. This is mainly because cats are simply not interested in having their sly examined. Unlike monkeys, cats simply lack the will to participate in experiments. However, every now and then a study succeeds. A lot can also be seen in the behavior of house tigers.

Cats have a good memory and a high ability to learn

The impressive memory performance of cats shows that the velvet paws are very intelligent. Regardless of whether it is about finding the litter box quickly, remembering feeding times or assessing the area - cats will remember things that other animals would quickly forget. Cats are also rightly considered to be extremely learnable, which can often be recognized from the fact that they know exactly how to ensure that their needs are met. A velvet paw often knows exactly which sounds it can use to encourage its owner to feed, stroke or play.

In addition, a kitty understands many things in its environment - even if people may not want to admit it. For example, cats quickly recognize that the red dot on a laser pointer does not come from the wall, but comes from the device in the owner's hand. She knows: The owner takes the device in hand, so the game is about to begin. All of this suggests that cats understand complex relationships.

Curious and ready to imitate things

The property curiosity also speaks for a high level of intelligence. Cats love to explore, rummage and discover - activities that less intelligent animals tend to refrain from and prefer to limit themselves to eating and sleeping.

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Another argument for the high level of cat intelligence: domestic tigers imitate actions impressively well, which falls within the range of the learning ability described above. For example, cats can open doors because they have previously observed how people operate doorknobs.

Shortcoming emotional intelligence - are cats less empathetic?

Empathy is also related to intelligence to some extent. There are exceptions, but cats are usually worse off than dogs when it comes to understanding people's emotions. In fact, cats lack a bit of empathy. However, it is unclear whether this could simply be due to the fact that cats have little or no interest in people's feelings and often consciously ignore them.

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