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Stupid Questions about Cat Intelligence

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am relatively new to the cat world. Miya has been with me since October 2004. I have never had a problem with her...and I think this is my problem. For example...

-Miya knows where she can scratch and where she can't after I "taught" her where was okay (she will only scratch the rug in my bedroom or a suitcase if it's out).
-Miya seems to identify which packet contains her favorite food, before I open it.
-She knows her name--and responds to it.
-She tells me when she wants to be picked up by standing on the edge of a chair and reaching out her paw.
-She can comunicate, "play time" by dragging her favorite toy over to me or the person she wants to play with and drop it on the floor where they are sitting.
-She can play "hide and seek".

I am sure this is not unusual behavior, but I was just wondering...how much a cat actually understands or is capable of understanding. Are there any layman's articles out there that have been written?
post #2 of 18
I really don't know of any articles (I'll bet someone comes along and posts a few though), but I DO know that my girl Lexus is ~very~ smart, but it is selective. 8-) She likes to be up on high, the highest places in the house if she can get away with it, but let me get up to walk over to get her down and guess what ... that's right - she jumps down BEFORE I can get her down. So, tell me - you think she knows what's right and wrong???

~gf~
post #3 of 18
Our last cat understood at least 40 different voice commands and phrases. And about 15 different hand and body signals. She also taught us to understand her vocalizations so she could get what she wanted, and she used about 9 different meows, each applied to a different object or action. She also learned how to unlock our wooden and screen door, and new how to open the doors, though she wasn't strong enough to do so.

I've never met a cat like her before or since. I know my current three don't hold a candle to her at all.

Cats are at least as intelligent as dogs, if not moreso. I think they should be classified with Green Parrots in the intelligence scale of animals.

But, I haven't read any articles on the intelligence of felines, sorry.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
I think Lexus most certainly does know right from wrong. (My cat does the same thing--she likes to climb on the stove when I'm not looking).

Wodesorel, how did you bring out the best in your last cat?

I guess I see cats like children...especially since many of them behave very similar, I want to make sure Miya isn't bored or unhappy because I didn't understand what she was trying to tell me.

Which also reminds me...Miya knows when I am supposed to wake up and be ready for something, so if I haven't gotten up when my alarm has sounded, she will pounce on me and lick my face. One day, I picked her up and asked her if she was a dog.
post #5 of 18
i have always thought sara was super smart(compared to any cat i ever had growing up), she responds questions, her name, and whatnot... she knows she is not allowed on the counters or on the bookshelves in the living room and not on the entertainments center(except for the first shelf on the side of it, which is specially cleared off for her)
she responds to 'no', 'stop', and 'dont' without second thought
she fetches... i can actually throw the ball and she runs after it, bats it around, then picks it up and carries back and drops it right in front of me
when she wants to be picked up or loved on, she stands on her back legs and leans her back up against your legs and pushes and if you dont pick her up, she falls over and meows like she is in the most excruciating pain and must be tended to immediatley(brat!)
maybe i am letting my imagination get the best of me, but i think she is really smart(but then again, i also think she thinks she is a dog-she chases her tail)
i have never seen anything, not even a column on cat intelligence! i think us here at TCS should write one ourselves!
post #6 of 18
I have to agree I think cats are certainly intelligent enough to communicate very thouroughly with us.

Tenchi knows if I even am remotely close to the kitchen he can go in there and meow his own "fooooooood!" type meow when he wants his wet food..

Jasmine can look at me and go stand by what she wants with this certain look- usually her water bowl or the bathroom sink faucet.. And when i bring a bowl of water near she is like "omgwaterimsopatheticigetsohappyoverwaterallthetime" and leads me to where she wants or expects me to put her bowl.

My cats will also fetch too.

There is another behavior i'd like to make a specific thread for its a little different.. but yes.. I'd say cats have dogs owned hands down- plus they smell good when dogs can be a little malodorus
post #7 of 18
We should create a cat iq test.. but how to gets the cats to cooperate is the ??
post #8 of 18
Because of that I'd argue they are smarter than us
post #9 of 18
Cats vary in intelligence just as we, or other animals do. Of my three, Ellie is definitely the least intelligent, though she is also Alpha cat, which I find strange, though I think maybe her total inability to stop whatever she wants to do and her lack of caution have led the others to let her be Alpha. Dushka is very intelligent but prudent and quiet with it, and I think Persil will turn out quite bright. They all play 'fetch' and know their own names and a range of commands, though Ellie simply refuses to act on them. And they all tell me in different ways what they want, either by body language or vocally. Someone once asked me how intelligent horses are - I said that horses are absolutely brilliant at being horses and nothing else could do it so well - I think the same goes for cats!
post #10 of 18
Miyas_mom, the only thing we could think of was that it was a fluke of genetics. My family has never believed in neutering pets, especially my aunt. My uncle brought home the two kittens their cat at work gave birth to. Needless to say, if brother and sister aren't fixed when they come of age...... That's how Eby and Stinky (my cousin was three at the time) were born. Stinky was as dumb as a hoe handle. Definately a "slow" cat. Eby must have inherited his share of intelligence.
post #11 of 18
they had a program on a few months back called something like test the nations pets.

they said that cats are far more intellegent than anyone gives them credit for but they are hard to test as they do not have the same desire to please as horses, dogs and parrots!

a couple of tests you could do from there was make a table out of three books or use a stool. get a cat treat and throw it to your pet. do this several times then drop the treat on the table. score 3 points if your cat finds it straight away. 2 points if she looks on the floor then finds it on the table, 1 point if she looks confused and cant find the treat at all.

another one was put a treat under one of three identical cups then switch them around. 3 points if the treats found straight away. 2 points if it takes a while. 1 point if the cat is still pawing the spot the treat was originally
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick_kitten
they had a program on a few months back called something like test the nations pets.

they said that cats are far more intellegent than anyone gives them credit for but they are hard to test as they do not have the same desire to please as horses, dogs and parrots!

a couple of tests you could do from there was make a table out of three books or use a stool. get a cat treat and throw it to your pet. do this several times then drop the treat on the table. score 3 points if your cat finds it straight away. 2 points if she looks on the floor then finds it on the table, 1 point if she looks confused and cant find the treat at all.

another one was put a treat under one of three identical cups then switch them around. 3 points if the treats found straight away. 2 points if it takes a while. 1 point if the cat is still pawing the spot the treat was originally

I belive that .. see i dont find border collies to be brillant there just to eager to please my yorkie is brillant just like my cats she trained me...lol.. maybe i am the dumb one.. my Zoey got 3 pts my Kandie got 3 also
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
I belive that .. see i dont find border collies to be brillant there just to eager to please my yorkie is brillant just like my cats she trained me...lol.. maybe i am the dumb one.. my Zoey got 3 pts my Kandie got 3 also
Sorry off topic but,

I have to disagree with that about Border Collies My family are ranchers and Clancy (border collie) was meant to be only a pet. He is beyond brilliant with the cattle, with no training at first. LOL actually his only training has been "Get the cows"! Since he was a puppy he knew what to do, rounding the cattle and biting at the strays. May not be intelligance per se but it is instinct, which I think is very smart! At that he DOES NOT aim to please, he does what he wants and when and no amount of training he has been through has broken that spirit.
As well as he takes the cats under his wing (should I say hind-leg? )
Clancy is VERY smart and NONE of it is to please, it is what he knows deep-down. The reason I love him so very much! LOL I moved out 6 months later than I wanted to because I knew I would miss him so! And I do!
post #14 of 18
A former boyfriend had a border collie. The dog was by far and away the most intelligent dog I have ever known. Yes, he had a desire to please, but it was definitely distinct from his 'herding' instinct. The dog was never trained to herd, but even when the kids were playing in the yard, the dog kept trying to 'herd' them into one central area. This dog had one great personality and so much energy that it was almost impossible to wear him out even with 5 mile runs:-). No wonder they are so invaluable working with sheep and cattle

Kathryn
post #15 of 18
well you ladies have the smart ones the ones around here that I have met well maybe therre inbreed....
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ash_bct
Sorry off topic but,

I have to disagree with that about Border Collies My family are ranchers and Clancy (border collie) was meant to be only a pet. He is beyond brilliant with the cattle, with no training at first. LOL actually his only training has been "Get the cows"! Since he was a puppy he knew what to do, rounding the cattle and biting at the strays. May not be intelligance per se but it is instinct, which I think is very smart! At that he DOES NOT aim to please, he does what he wants and when and no amount of training he has been through has broken that spirit.
As well as he takes the cats under his wing (should I say hind-leg? )
Clancy is VERY smart and NONE of it is to please, it is what he knows deep-down. The reason I love him so very much! LOL I moved out 6 months later than I wanted to because I knew I would miss him so! And I do!
Hope you get to visit often
post #17 of 18
I think cats are very smart. All of mine know their names. They definitely know when it's time eat and they know where to go when it's time to eat, each having their own "station." One of my kitties, no matter how quiet I open it will come running from anywhere in the house when I open the toy drawer. One of my kitties in particular knows when I am sad and will comfort me. I swear by that as he's not a particularly affectionate animal but when I am sad, he is there, gently putting his paws on my face as if to be say, "It'll be alright." I think that is amazingly smart, my dog definitely doesn't read those types of cues. Perhaps it's just a different kind of intelligence. Dogs do learn commands well and mine is very smart in that area, anything for food is his motto, but I don't see him as having the nuances of smartness that my cats do.
post #18 of 18
treat s yes they work I found with dog and cat who is bengal mix .... other cat demands treats at dessert time ...
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