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They understand, don't they?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I really think that the intelligence of cats is underrated. I think they do understand more of human language than most give them credit for - at least the ones who are with the same people for a long period of time. Examples:

We had an appointment for Ophelia at the vets, but we got a freak snowstorm and decided the night before that we should cancel the appointment rather than risking driving her in bad weather. (Yes, we are neurotic kitty parents!) All that day she had been rather skitterish and standoffish. As soon as we decided not to take her in, she was all loves!

When we first moved to the new apartment (this was about a year and a half ago, and some of you may remember this story...), Trent found other places to sleep besides on the bed with me. This went on for about a month, and I finally just told him that I really missed him sleeping with me. That night he started sleeping on the bed with me again.

Any stories you all would like to share of your cat's amazing intelligence and/or understanding????
post #2 of 27
Here is an article from Newsweek magazine.

Newsweek July 21, 2003, U.S. Edition

Copyright 2003 Newsweek

July 21, 2003, U.S. Edition


LENGTH: 1771 words

HEADLINE: Animal Emotions

BYLINE: By Mary Carmichael; With Jamie Reno and Hilary Shenfeld

Pet owners have long believed their companions loved the back. Scientists once scoffed, but now they're coming around

Everyone who's ever owned a pet has at least one story (usually many, actually) of an animal that seems just as emotional as any human. Take Ruth Osment, who says her two cats, Penny and Jo, feel sorry for her when she cries--running to her and drying her tears with their fur. Or Donna Westlund, whose roommate's parrot Koko shows all the classic signs of a teenage crush, calling out "Hey, come here," whenever she tries to leave the room. Then there's John Van Zante. Recently, he watched Max, a Labrador retriever mix, sit lovingly by a woman in a wheelchair in a convalescent home while she patted his head for several minutes. It wasn't until the elderly woman wheeled off down the hall that Van Zante realized she had been parked on Max's tail the entire time. Max hadn't complained at all. "He was in pain, clearly, but he seemed to know that she had special needs, so he just sat through it," says Van Zante, communications director for the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

Van Zante doesn't understand why some scientists argue that animals have no emotions, that they merely respond to incentives like so many automatons. "If we were purely a source for food, I'm certain that Max's reaction would have been different," he says. "Haven't these scientists noticed that their cats can't wait to rub up against their legs and reclaim ownership of their people after a day at work? Don't they take the time to greet their tail-wagging dogs when they get home?"

Well, yes. But they're not as starry-eyed about what they see. For decades, psychologists have discounted the idea that pets can love their humans back. They have argued that animals that appear to express emotions are merely reacting to hormonal rushes triggered--in cold, but typical, technical language--by "outside stimuli." But that view is changing, thanks to a loosely knit band of researchers working in fields as far-flung as neurobiology and behavioral observation. With new evidence gleaned from studies of dogs, chimps and sundry other creatures, science is starting to catch up to what pet owners have always suspected: animals experience surges of deep-seated fear, jealousy and grief--and, most important, love. Unlike the few researchers who came before them, the scientists leading the new movement actually have solid evidence. "Five years ago my colleagues would have thought I was off my rocker," says biologist Marc Bekoff. "But now scientists are finally starting to talk about animal emotions in public. It's like they're coming out of the closet."

And at an apt time, too--more and more pet owners now depend on their furry and feathered friends for emotional support. "People are delaying having children, but they still need that connection, that love," says Tamar Geller, owner of The Loved Dog Co. in Los Angeles. For many in that crowd, she says, pets are serving as surrogate kids. That may explain the sudden surge in interest; the push to find out what pets and other animals are thinking is being driven largely by those who love them. After all, if you're going to devote years of affection to an animal, isn't it nice to think it's not unrequited?

Aside from Charles Darwin, most students of animal behavior in the past believed that animals didn't have emotions--or that if they did, we'd never know. Over the years, the belief hardened into dogma. Then, in the mid-'60s, came Jane Goodall. Since she had little scientific training, she had never been indoctrinated with behaviorist theory. "But I'd had this amazing teacher my whole life," she says. That would be Rusty, a little black mongrel who lived at a hotel in her childhood neighborhood. "He went everywhere with me, and he didn't even belong to me," she says. "At the hotel he was disobedient, but he was beautifully behaved and sensitive with me. Of course, I thought animals had emotions, personalities, minds. How could I not?" Goodall un--knowingly rebelled against standard scientific practices in the wilds of Africa, giving her chimps names instead of impersonal numbers and describing their behavior with words like "joy," "depression" and "grief." The dons at Cambridge University rolled their eyes, but her studies were ultimately irrefutable. They might never have happened, Goodall notes, if she hadn't preferred Rusty to "the scientific treadmill."

Today, thanks to those studies, the treadmill is a rather different exercise. Researchers carrying on Goodall's legacy are finding that it extends far beyond chimps, to dogs, cats, birds, rats and even animals as "simple" as the lowly octopus. All of them experience fear--the most ancient of the emotions, mediated by the amygdala, an almond-shaped organ in the brain. Many animals may feel something akin to love as well. Chimpanzees sometimes adopt baby chimps unrelated to them; horses have been known to form bonds so intense they refuse to spend the night in different stalls; whales have been spotted (albeit rarely) performing a peculiar dance that may be the equivalent of a human's postcoital cuddling.

Not surprisingly, the animal that has shown researchers the most emotional complexity thus far is the dog. Bred as human companions for thousands of years, dogs have evolved into master communicators. Recent studies show they are even better than chimpanzees at reading human emotional cues, a trait that undoubtedly helped them in the quest for food and shelter in the caves of early man. They may be equally adept at expressing their own feelings and personalities. Samuel Gosling, a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin, says people can reliably "type" four dimensions of canine personality: sociability, affection, emotional stability and "competence," which combines obedience and intelligence. They're remarkably similar to the four basic categories of human personality found in standard psychological tests.

The increased use of psychoactive pet drugs like Prozac (sold in its dog form as Clomicalm) is another piece of evidence. If animals didn't have moods mediated by the same neurotransmitters as humans, why would they react to our mood lifters? The trend toward pet psychiatry even extends to seemingly effective alternative treatments like hydrotherapy and acupuncture. And last month New York saw its first "doga" class in Madison Square Park. Yes, it's what you think. Two books, "Doga: Yoga for Dogs" and "Yoga for Pets and the People Who Love Them," will be published this fall.

The evidence for pet mood modifiers may be firm. But yoga? It relaxes people, but that alone is little reason to think it would relax dogs. (The concept doesn't work the other way: would you enjoy an afternoon of catching Frisbees in your mouth?) Here's where the one real problem with the research pops up: enthusiasts, particularly laypeople, tend to go overboard. "There's still a lot of fluff out there, especially in terms of dog and cat behavior," says Harvard biologist Marc Hauser. Comparing human emotions to animals' may be like comparing color vision to black-and-white--they're the same concept, but the former is immensely more complex. Even Bekoff, who lays out the case for emotion in his recent "Minding Animals," isn't "claiming that dog joy and --human joy are the same thing." And as for love, pets adore their owners, to be sure--but not in the way that we love our own families. "They are scholars of the people they live with," says Jon Katz, author of the just-released "The New Work of Dogs." "What drives them to be affectionate is pretty primitive: food, shelter, attachment. They're not thinking, 'This guy's an interesting fellow, I'm going to be his friend'."

When pet lovers like Karla Swatek joke that animals are "far more human than some humans I know," Katz starts to get worried. As for the millions of people who are convinced that their pets are psychic--like Lisa Burgess of Escondido, Calif., who swears her Chihuahua, Diego, persuaded her to postpone a trip that would have coincided with her mother's otherwise unforeseen emergency bladder surgery--well, you can guess what Katz thinks of them. "Why do we have to make our animals into mystics?" he says. "Why can't they just be great animals?" Even Geller, the dog trainer, agrees. "I'm glad science is finally starting to realize that animals have real emotions--it makes my work so much easier," she says. "But we can't just treat them like humans."

Animal psychology is still an emerging field, a home for zany ideas that will be whittled down later into more realistic theories. Neurobiology in particular needs more fine-tuning. Animals may have many of the same brain structures as humans, but in several cases, when animal behavior mimics that of humans, the underlying neural processes differ. Scientists might be able to distinguish between the two with active brain scans, but current neurobiological research on animals involves "mucking around in their brains," says Bekoff, in which case you're "not dealing with a normal animal." The noninvasive brain-scanning techniques that revolutionized the study of human behavior in the '90s haven't helped, either--despite their name, PET scans aren't appropriate for conscious animals that would panic if put into a claustrophobia-inducing chamber. Behavioral studies, too, are still limited, if only by time and money. And, of course, there are still scientists who refuse to accept the idea of any animal emotion at all, save fear. "I'm sure there's still a bunch of old curmudgeons thinking that everything is stimulus and response," says Lisa Parr, who studies chimpanzee empathy at Emory.

But, Parr adds, most of her colleagues think the rise of animal-emotion studies is "fantastic and long overdue." And it may proceed faster than the "curmudgeons" think. Technology will play a role--brain-scanning helmets that strap on to animals' heads may be available in just a few years. And, of course, unlike human subjects, animals can be cloned. "We can bring them up in different environments," says Gosling, rhapsodizing about future projects modeled on human identical-twin studies. Soon, he says, we'll have answers to questions that animal lovers have been asking for years. And we'll have some newer questions, too: is it fair to keep emotional beings cooped up in kennels, cages and small backyards? If rats and rabbits feel, how can we justify experimenting on them? Research on farm animals is just starting--what will it mean for our eating habits? And can our pets really love us back? The last of those, at least, is already solved. The answer, no matter whom you ask, is yes.
post #3 of 27
Originally posted by valanhb
I really think that the intelligence of cats is underrated. I think they do understand more of human language than most give them credit for - at least the ones who are with the same people for a long period of time. Examples:
I agree, and here's another example:

A year or two ago, Snowball and I were in the kitchen when Snowball had one of those bursts of energy that cats always have. During this energy burst, he kept wanting to jump to the top of the kitchen cupboards where he isn't allowed, and he consistently obeyed when I said "no" to him doing this. I finally told Snowball that if he wanted to run, he should go into the hall to do it, and he immediately went into the hall and started running.

EDIT: I thought of another example of Snowball's intelligence: Sometimes one of the small balls that he likes to play with rolls under or behind a piece of furniture where he can't reach it. I don't move the furniture everytime I clean, but when I do finally move that particular piece of furniture, he will obviously remember that a ball was lost there and will retrieve it.

thy451: Interesting article!
post #4 of 27
I think that animals understand more than they're given credit for. Rowdy will look us, right in the eye, and do something that she KNOWS that she isn't supposed to. She also knows that the only thing, that will happen, is that she'll get yelled at or squirted.

Whenever Rowdy and Buddy are into something, Opie jumps up in Bill's lap and meows, for all that he is worth. We KNOW that he is tattling.

Pearl is always bringing her toys, to show off. When my neighbor is in her yard, Pearl takes a toy, over to the fence to show off and she does it, when we have company, too.

I've had cats, who were sensitive to illness. When Russ had walking pneumonia, Feisty parked herself on the couch, with him. Except for quick trips to the food bowl and litter box, she didn't leave him, for three days. Peanut always knew when I had a migraine. He would curl up, next to my shoulder and purr in my ear. Purring is the only sound, that doesn't hurt, when I have one of those skull-busting headaches.

I believe that they have emotions. I've seen affection, anger, defiance and jealousy exhibited by pets.
post #5 of 27
Oh I believe they do!

2 nights ago, Peedoodle woke me up at 5am by playing with my feet and biting them. So last night I said to him, please let us sleep tonight, we are very tired and we need it. He left us alone all night and slept in the living room. Good boy!

And I sign to Kahu all the time because he is deaf. When I bring out the cat food, I used to just put it in the bowls and pick up Kahu and bring him to the food. Now I wake him up or whatever and I sign "food" to him and he comes running to the kitchen.

But the surprising thing happened the other day. I was signing away to him about how much I loved him and that he was so special - he miaowed back at me - normally, he is so quiet, I have never seen him miaow! It excited me to no end!
post #6 of 27
I think I have said this before, but when Mia was recovering from panleuk, she escaped and got pregnant, I woke up one morning and she looked....smaller in her belly, but not back to normal. So I got real scared because I didn't know where to even begin to look for kittens, so I was getting very nervous and just thinking out loud saying "Mia, where are your babies?". So she starts walking through the living room,then into the kitchen, so I fallowed her and she ended up at the door to the garage. She sat there so I opened it and was real quiet, I heard rustling, and scratching on cardboard. She had hidden the two she gave birth to under an empty box!
One was a stillborn, the other was fine, yet she had to have a c-section to get the other two out.

So yes I truly believe they understand us!
post #7 of 27
I may have posted this one before, but its appropriate here as well.

I work in a store, and take Sam to work with me sometimes. He is very calm with people, and usually rolls on the floor until they notice and greet him. He seldom lets people get too close, though.

One day a customer came in, a fellow who was apparently suffering from some disability, like Tourettes, or some mental disease. He was very agitated, had lots of obvious tics and twitches, and could hardly speak because of a very pronounced stammer. But he had called to make an appointment to see me, and I was waiting patiently to see if he could get things under control enough for us to have our meeting.

Sam walked over to him, and very gently stood up with his front paws on this man's thigh. (He's a big cat). I was really surprised, that is the only time I have ever seen him do that, even with me.
Then he pushed his head under the man's hand. The man immediately calmed down, started stroking Sam's head, and said, in perfectly clear speech, oh, I love cats! Sam gently lowered to the floor, and lay beside us as we had our meeting. The man never showed any of the initial agitation for the rest of his visit.

That was the day I realized that Sam is not stupid and lazy, he's just selective with his intelligence.
post #8 of 27
Thy451, that article was very interesting - thanks for posting it. Having grown up with dogs, cats, and various other pets, I've always believed that animals have emotions and far more intelligence than we credit them with. The stories here are great. As far as cats understanding a lot of what we say, I have to agree. Just to give a recent example: The weather has been really horrible for the past few weeks. JC wants to go out for a walk as soon as I get home from work. Lately, I've asked him a couple of times: "It's really icky outside. Are you sure you want to go out right now?" His reaction has been to run upstairs and out onto his enclosed balcony, and then to come back down and either run to the drawer where I keep his harness, or to climb up his tree. He has to know what I'm saying, because he doesn't run out to check the weather when I don't ask, or if I say: "It's nice and sunny outside. Do you want to go out?"
My mother-in-law usually drops by Fridays for coffee and talk. If I'm waiting for her, and ask, "Where's Oma?", Jamie runs and jumps up in the kitchen window to see if she's coming.
And how many people have had dogs that learn how important words are spelled?
post #9 of 27
Our cats seem to understand us sometimes too... the cats won't sleep with us unless we ask them if they feel like cuddling tonight, then they will. Nothing as great as you guys' stories, but I know they understand.
post #10 of 27
I had a female tortie that was impossible to litter train. We tried every method we could (changed boxes, changed litters, enclosed in small room, stayed with her and put her in box, and on and on).

Just when my husband had enough and said he was going to put her outside permanently, she started using the toilet that night. I wake up at 3AM to hear some water falling in the toilet. I reach over and husband is next to me. I get up to see what was happening, and there she was, peeing in the toilet. She did that consistently after that, or used the litter box.

All my cats also understand the words: "beds are sleepy time, not play time".
post #11 of 27
Lotsa great stories, and I couldn't agree more -- they do understand, and they do respond, and they do very definitely have emotions. I believe it operates on a similar level to an intelligent child, i.e. observing, making connections, reasoning basic things out, responding, all happen, but without the sophistication of an adult human's thinking.

Cindy's the baby who knows when Mum is feeling blue, or a little off-colour, or whatever, and comes for a cuddle. Also, when I get up from the computer at bedtime and ask her if it's time for bed, she gets up from the hide-a-bed or down from the windowsill, and usually demands a "ride" (in my arms) upstairs. Even if she doesn't ride, she's upstairs within a few minutes, and if I'm taking too long saying goodnight to Daddy, in the study, she comes along there and herds me off to the bedroom, where she waits on the bed while I do my bedtime routine.

Anybody who's ever been met by a pet at the door, or the gate or whatever, has got to know that this creature does give a hoot about whether the human is there or not, and is glad to see them -- AND feels a need to say so.

And then there's the event I call "The Counter Confrontation". It isn't necessary for all cats to have this particular bit of instruction from the human, but I've had a couple. Samantha was one. I was making hamburger patties at the kitchen counter, a U-shaped counter. My work space was the base of the U, and Sam blithely jumped up on the arm to my left, and proceeded to march toward the meat, whereupon I turned to her, scowled, and in my sternest voice, said, "Down! Now!" She jumped down to the floor away from the work area, and I went over and continued,"Now you listen to me, Miss! I don't EVER want to see you on a counter again. Do you hear me?" She maintained eye contact throughout, even seemed to take it in thoughtfully (wishful thinking? I dunno!) But she left the kitchen at that point, and I swear she went to tell her sister (Suzy) because she went with obvious purpose. She was back in a couple of minutes and I picked her up then, and we had a nice cuddle and I said to her, "You know, sweetie, Mum loves you whole bunches, but you really mustn't do that. OK?" Then she sat just behind me while I finished my task, and not once did she get up on a counter after that (at least, not while I was around ).

There are so many proofs of their intelligence!
post #12 of 27
DH and I have been saying for awhile that we think Lily understands what we say. Just like rapunzel 47 said, it's like she's operating on the same brain level as a child.

A few weeks ago, we were leaving for the weekend, and the day before I talked to her all day, telling her that we would be leaving but that we would miss her and that she would be safe and that her "uncle" was going to feed her and we'd be back soon and all that. When DH got home, he said, "She's acting weird. She knows we're leaving."

I think that pets definitely have emotions, while they might not be as complex as human's, they are real.
post #13 of 27
I know when I'm going somewhere or coming back, my kitties 'jabber' up a storm. Also sometimes they will just sit and look at me when I'm talking to them then when I ask them if they understand, they meow!
I firmly believe that cats not only understand us, but they talk to us in their own language, that they most assuredly wonder why WE sound so funny! As most Siamese and Persian owners know(along with various other breeds of felines) they actually do talk! It's more of a throaty sound, but nevertheless, they do speak words of our language. Perky is a Siamese/Persian mix and she won't shut-up! It's almost like a small child learning to speak. Even the vet and books say that some cats are 'mouthy'! So looks to me like if they talk, they surely are able to understand!--persia
post #14 of 27
Neko can actually say words! He can say hello and mama (only when he feels like, and definately not when we ask him to!)
post #15 of 27
Our furbaby will be with is one year on Monday. She is definitely her daddy's girl. Mommy is just a useful human servant, after all. We'll just gloss over that it was mommy's idea to rescue her from the shelter in the first place.

It was getting on toward time for daddy to get home from work. Boo was wandering airmlessly in the living room. I suggested to her that she go watch for daddy, that daddy should be home soon, and let me know when she sees him. It amazed me that she seemed to consider my suggestion, jumped up into the front picture window and proceeded to meow like a banshee about five minutes later. She was letting me know daddy was home.

As Shakespeare once wrote, 'canst thou understand thus much English?'
post #16 of 27
It amazes me when scientists come up with "breakthroughs" that everyone already knows!

My cats definitely understand words. I ask them "who wants to be combed?" and they run in the kitchen and wait. If I as much as say the word "kibble" they get excited.

Plus, Simon is one of those cats that when I'm sick he never leaves my side.

My former roommate Anne had a cat Lucy (RIP) who knew what time Anne was supposed to get home. Miss Lucy would give Anne a little leeway, but if she was not home by 8:00pm Lucy would march into my bedroom and demand to be told why Anne wasn't home. I would say "Lucy, I don't know why she's not home. You'll have to wait for her." Lucy would then go lay in the hallway and wait.
post #17 of 27
Ivo knows when I'm sick and will cuddle with me. But more interesting, when I have a migraine she doesn't come near me, which I'm thankful for (when I have a migraine, I don't want to be touched). I don't know if I smell different or what, but I'm amazed she knows the difference between a sinus headache and a migraine.
post #18 of 27
Originally posted by cla517
...Miss Lucy would give Anne a little leeway, but if she was not home by 8:00pm Lucy would march into my bedroom and demand to be told why Anne wasn't home. I would say "Lucy, I don't know why she's not home. You'll have to wait for her." Lucy would then go lay in the hallway and wait.
Hmm, yes, time. There are those who would say that cats have no concept of time. Well, there's the proof that they're wrong! And I'm reminded, too, of Shasta (RB), who before we had a cat door, could be a right pest about in-and-outing (Gryphon, too, for that matter) and after too many trips in too short succession, back and forth, I'd say to her on her way out for the umpteenth time, "OK, Miss, this is it. I don't want to see you at this door for x minutes (x being whatever number came into my head)!" -- and darned if you couldn't set your watch by her return, despite the fact that the number varied!

To be sure, they don't have the SAME concept of time as humans, but they certainly have some concept of time, of its passage, and of measuring it. And they're bright enough to learn how to fit our actions and words into that concept.
post #19 of 27
Our cats have very human emotions. Twig is a daddy's boy and seems to know who is at the door, me or Brad. I come in all the other cats are there with tails high in the air all excited that moms home, Twig, he just sits on the cat condo and will NOT move even if I call to him. But if Brad comes home, He is right at the door tail held high and exctied as the others. It's strange.
They also know when I'm about to open the door to the porch. They will all go running to the door, even before I say, want to be outside?
post #20 of 27
I agree that cats intelligence is underrated. ALL animals experience human emotions. I would call their feelings of "love" "affections" but that is just me. Otherwise they DO experience fear, jealousy, depression, etc. A little story to add to the intelligence theory,

My cat Blondie was sleeping upstairs on the bed. I was downstairs and put some tuna in her bowl. I took it straight out of the fridge and put it directly in her bowl. I didn't use a can opener and didn't clink the dish. I walked upstairs after about 10 minutes and went into my mother's room. Blondie was lying half-asleep on the bed. I said to her, "Blondie, I fixed you some nice tuna, why don't you go downstairs and eat it?" Immediately after I said that, she got up, went right down to the kitchen and went over to her bowl and started to eat. Previous to my comment, she had no plans to go downstairs!
post #21 of 27
A couple of months ago I had to take my foster cat for his yearly physical. This is/was a cat that was terrified of people and a year later he has really come around. I got up that morning and did my usual stuff. I went back upstairs to take a shower and he was laying on my bed. I thought great, I know where to get him when I get out. After I got all through I went to go into the bedroom but he wasn't there. I went downstairs, turned the corner and saw him staring at me from the kitchen. I started walking towards him and he ran to the countertop and went through the opening into the dining room/living room. He was keeping as much room between us as possible. He then ran full speed up the stairs and hid under the bed.

Now I know I've heard that animals can read body language, but not in this instance. He didn't get but a second to see me when he ran. He was terrified! I closed the bedroom door and he started to wail, a sound I've never heard before coming from him (or any animal). I have closed that bedroom door before with him in it and never a peep. He ABSOLUTELY KNEW I was there to grab him. This is a cat that does not like to be picked up - he freaks out. Once I blocked his entrance back under the bed his only recourse was on top of the armoire. I finally managed to grab him and place him in a carrier. Luckily, he has a passive fear response.

It took a full 3 weeks for him to recover from the ordeal. We were only gone from the house a maximum of 45 minutes.

The only way I can figure he knew was because I was thinking it. Nothing else was different. I had left the carrier in the living room for about a month and I never moved it.
post #22 of 27
Cats absolutely do understand a certain amount of human speech, IMO. I talk to my cats all the time- people think I'm nuts, but I know they understand at least most of what I say.

Onyx is a prime example. He has problems that stem from his life as an abused kitten before he came to live with us. In the first week that we had him, he was very ill and needed a lot of different types of meds for various problems he had, worms, mites, etc. He developed a real phobia of people putting things in his mouth after that, and would froth at the mouth and go ballistic whenever I had to give him any kind of medication. Last time I had to deworm him ( I do it every year as a precaution) I decided to have a talk with him about it. I told him what I was going to do, and why it would help him. I showed him the pill and asked him if it was ok to put it in his mouth. He sat very still and let me put it in his mouth and simply swallowed it. No agitation, no drooling. I thanked him and promised him I'd always explain to him what I was doing and show him the pill before I did anything in the future, and he purred and purred

Onnie also has a phobia of things on his neck. The people who 'owned' him before put a flea collar on him (he was about 6 weeks old) and when they decided they didn't want him anymore they threw him in a deep ditch that he couldn't climb out of. On the way down, his collar got caught on a branch and he hung there for a while until someone heard his mews and found him. Now, since he goes outside in my yard when I'm home to keep an eye on him, I thought it wise to get him a breakaway collar with his name and my phone number on an ID tag in case he strayed too far and got lost. I explained what the purpose of the collar was to him, and for the first time in his life he let me put it on him with no struggle.

Cats are amazing creatures, and understand WAY more than people give them credit for. My cats aren't just my pets to me- they're my friends too. They never judge me, they just listen and purr
post #23 of 27
9 times out of ten, Rosie is always lying asleep on my lap when it's time for bed. I just have to say 'Bedtime!', and she jumps off and makes her way up the stairs.
post #24 of 27
My RB Shalimar was extremely in tune with me. At night I would tell her it was time for bed, and she would walk into the bedroom and jump up on the bed. Whenever I was sick, she would lay against me and purr. But if I was hurting, she would stay away from that part of the body. When I had an asthma attack, she would lay next to me, and stare into my eyes while purring a very rythmic purr. If I turned away, she would paw me till I looked back into her eyes. It usually slowed my breathing quickly.

Pipsqueek knows I need to wake up around 7AM for work...if I'm not out of bed by 7:15, he comes and stands on my bladder. Sure fire wakeup call!!
post #25 of 27
i guess my best cat intelligence story would have to be about CC. Before we officially adopted her, she lived on a farm down the street from us. she stayed there for about a year and didn't come to visit us at all. she was having fun hunting and she had many "gentlemen callers". anyways, my mom was telling me how she had heard from another neighbour that the farm had too many cats so they were going to start drowning the new litters!! i remember the same night my mom told me that, our CC showed up at the door with her 2 kittens and she DID NOT want to leave! i think she instinctively knew something was wrong!!
post #26 of 27
I've enjoyed reading this thread and the proof of cat intelligance but not until today have I had something to share of my own. Some of you know I have four kittens at present(all exotics) and all 14 weeks old, Acorn,High-Way,Poem & Sapan, well at night they get caged and in the mornings when I go to change their water and food they will all rush out and run down the hall , so I have to chase after them well this morning before opening the cage door I sat down and said to them in a stern voice "Look, it's stressful me having to run after you each morning if you just let me change and clean your cage then you can come out for an extra long run(with the kitten room door closed) and they did just that they sat there for five minutes while I cleaned the cage and then after that I said right, you can come and play.. they jumped out and are chasing toy mice as we speak. I was shocked.
post #27 of 27
Well, ya know, I have a theory...

"Ahem! Ahem! This is my theory. Ahem! Ahem!"

I really do believe it's a mistake to oversimplify our communication with cats (dogs, too). I think that when we do that, we communicate in a stilted fashion. When, instead, we use our normal forms of expression, there are elements of that expression that are unconscious, and whatever the critter does not pick up from the actual words, he gets from tone of voice and body language -- and in the bargain, he's learning vocabulary, so that in time he's actually understanding more of the words, too.

This thread is as much proof as I need of that. And I find it quite uncanny how often you can tell the style of communication a critter is used to by how/to what extent they engage with you when you speak to them.

OOPS! There's a soap box under my feet! Guess I'll get down now.
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