Let’s admit it, a cat’s IQ is difficult to measure, even scientists said so. But there is no doubt that our feline companions are intelligent creatures, although it might not be in a way you expected it to be. They have a different level of smartness and that is what we are going to uncover.
What makes cats a different type of smart?
Unlike canines that are pack animals and are strongly propelled to follow and please their master, felines have long been solitary creatures that knew nothing about following orders. They are purely driven by their need to survive, which sharpened their ability to solve complex cognitive problems.
A cat’s cleverness and adaptability in different situations make up for its challenging trainability. Felines are highly resourceful and self-reliant, and these traits helped them become versatile in the ever-changing environment and living conditions they are exposed to.
It explains why cats only choose to do activities that are rewarding for them and not because they aim to please you. Their survival instincts are still strong as ever even a thousand years later. This makes them focus more on themselves than other living beings around them. That also explains why it took a long time for humans to domesticate cats.
What are the 3 abilities that a cat’s IQ has?
1. Electromagnetic Induction Capability
Have you ever wondered how some cats are still able to find their old homes? It is because they have the ability to use the position of the magnetic field of the Earth and the sun to create a comprehensive judgement.
According to Bonnie Beaver, executive director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviourists, some studies show that the ears of most mammals have iron. It cues them into the magnetic direction found in the ground. Although some cats travel great distances just to reach a certain area, they usually do it just to return to their territory.
2. Long-Term Cat Memory
It is a known fact that training cats tend to be difficult compared to dogs. You can repeat the commands all you want and they would just simply stare back at you after a few minutes. It makes you think that felines are quick to forget commands or happenings. But the truth is your feline friend does have an excellent long-term memory.
How does this ability work?
According to a well-accepted theory named neural combination theory, cats have numerous connections between the neurons in their brains. All neurons keep a part of the feline’s memory. Once the right combinations of neurons are activated, the cat will be able to recall a memory.
During one test that involves finding the food, it was discovered that a feline’s long-term memory can last for about sixteen hours. It is comparably higher than dogs that have a long-term memory of five minutes.
What are the instances wherein they recall memories?
Never underestimate a cat’s long-term memory. Even if they have only known a few people or been to a few places, they can remember them for many years. For instance, a study has shown that cats do recognise their owners even after they have been separated for a long period of time.
Another good example is the ability of domesticated cats to react well to familiar sounds such as the noise of their favourite toy or the rattling of their dry-food bags. Most felines also know the exact hour of their regular feeding time and waking up their owner if he or she tries to sleep in.
3. Detecting Ability
There are numerous myths surrounding felines and their ability to foretell future happenings is one of them. These ideas may prove to be true however it is not due to the cat’s ‘mysterious powers’ or any superstitious belief.
Felines have certain characteristics that make them easily perceptive to some situations that would usually go unnoticed by humans. Below is the list of some happenings that cats can detect:
A cat’s ability to predict when a person will die is one of the most speculated ideas for centuries. There have been many testimonies about cats never leaving their owners’ side before their last breath. It urged researchers to examine this phenomenon. Their studies gave results that proved felines can really predict death.
Living creatures secrete certain substances when they are about to die which is brought on by the physical changes their bodies are going through. With the help of their sharp sense of smell, cats are able to smell these odours and perceive that a person is at death’s door.
Related: ‘Til Death Do Us Part: Pets Laid to Rest Alongside Their Owners
Cats and earthquakes never go well together. Cats tend to be skittish when an earthquake is about to strike. Although there is no conclusive evidence on how felines and other animals sense an impending earthquake, experts have their own theories. They believe that felines are able to detect the small vibrations known as earthquake-related electromagnetic field variations or primary waves through the pads of their feet.
One of the most common signs that cats sense an earthquake coming is when they attempt to run away without any reason or hide under furniture for safety. These are fear-driven reactions and a part of a feline’s strong survival instincts.
Related: The Physics Behind Cats Falling and Landing Right on Their Feet
Cats are as indifferent as we know them to be because they have the ability to perceive what we are feeling. Research shows that felines are sensitive to human emotional gestures. The cats that participated in the experiment behaved differently when they see their human companions laughing compared when they were frowning. They tend to show more positive reactions like rubbing, purring or sitting on their owners’ lap when their owners are smiling. The cats also want to spend more time around them.
However, it does not mean that they feel empathy towards us. The researchers shared that our feline friends have learned to associate our smiles with rewards. Therefore, if your cat starts purring when you are smiling at her, she is more likely to be thinking that you are about to give her food or spoil her.
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Cats are Indeed Smarter Than We Think
Although our feline friends would rather do their own thing than listen to their owners, they are perceptive and smart creatures. Because they were domesticated much later than dogs, cats focus their attention on themselves. They use their impressive capabilities such as long-term memory, detecting ability, and electromagnetic induction capability to improve their chances of survival.
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