It’s True! Cats Really Are Secret Geniuses, According to Science
If you have a cat, you’ll know that they’re likely no slouches in the intelligence department, especially compared to their canine counterparts. I mean, don’t get me wrong — I love my dog, but there’s no question that the cat rules our house’s animal kingdom with his sheer brilliance and cunning ways.
Now, a team of Japanese researchers have discovered that cats really are quite the brainiacs, particularly when it comes to the laws of physics and cause and effect.
A new study in scientific journal Animal Cognition found that cats can seemingly predict the location of hiding prey using their ears, as well as an innate understanding of how the world works.
For the study, researchers took video of 30 domestic cats reacting to container, which was shaken by a team member. Some of the containers rattled, while others did not. If a container was tipped over, some an object fell out and sometimes did not.
Now here comes the interesting part: when one of the “rattling” containers was tipped over and nothing fell out, the cats looked at the container for a longer period of time than the non-rattling containers.
Clearly, the cats made the logical leap that if the container rattles, there must be something inside and therefore, something should fall out of the container if it’s tipped over. And if nothing does come out, the cats are understandably like, “Huh?”.
Researchers hypothesize that cats’ unique hunting style may have developed by using their common sense abilities to infer where prey is hiding using their hearing.
This lines up with studies that have been done on human babies as well. When babies have their expectations disrupted, they react in much the same way that the cats did. According to psychologists, babies too expect the world to comply with the laws of cause and effect as early as two months old.
So, if you’ve ever sworn that is cat is crazy intelligent and secretly plotting behind your back to take over the world… you might not be too far off base. They are quite the intelligent little fuzzy beings after all.
[Source: Smithsonian Magazine]
Christina Peden is a lifelong animal lover and avid wordsmith. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Ryan where they are proud pet parents to puppy, Matilda and cat, Oscar. In her spare time, she can be found enjoying Toronto, Canada's all-too-short patio season, taking advantage of the city's numerous parks or curled up with a good book.
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