Episode #9 of the course “The Smartest Animals on Earth“
An average housecat may have a brain less than 1/100th the size of an adult human, but people have been witnessing the power of feline brains for centuries. A cat’s cerebral cortex – the area of the brain responsible for decision-making—is nearly as complex as a human’s. Quick thinkers, problem-solvers, and excellent communicators, cats are some of the most intelligent animals in the world.
As skilled hunters, they stalk their prey and strategize their attack. Although there is no specific data on which type of cat is smarter, and researchers debate whether cats or dogs are smarter than one another, there is agreement that cats learn by observation, mimic behaviors in order to get them right, and remember people, tricks, and events for many years. In addition, cats will manipulate their environment to get what they want, which often makes them known to be mischievous pranksters.
Kittens learn to hunt, groom themselves, and remain safe by watching their mothers and then repeating their actions until perfected. Cats will demonstrate to one another how to solve a problem and can be seen cooperatively assisting each other.
They communicate not only with other cats but with humans and other animals through body language and a series of verbal noises that are sometimes repeated in patterns. Cats have sharp memories and have excelled in tests of both short- and long-term memory. As a cat ages, its memory declines, and like humans, older cats can suffer from disorientation and memory loss.
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