Why are cats so intelligent?
In a recent article, a team of researchers in the UK, the US, and Japan have concluded that cats can indeed be intelligent.
The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, was conducted using a combination of cognitive tasks and artificial intelligence (AI) tools.
A cat’s ability to solve problems with their understanding of how the world works is the main reason they are intelligent, they write.
But, as the article notes, their intelligence comes at a price.
“A cat’s intelligence is not an end in itself.
For example, cats are not born with intelligence, but rather learn to adapt and solve problems,” says the article.
In a study by the UK’s Royal Society, researchers found that “all three groups of cats had higher intelligence than the average household cat, with the most common group outperforming other households by a factor of more than 2.”
That means that the average cat is capable of learning something new, even if they don’t know it yet.
“Cats are highly intelligent animals,” says Simon Cox, an animal behaviour expert at the University of Sussex, UK.
“It is difficult to imagine any other animal in the world having as much cognitive ability as they do.”
This means that while cats are intelligent in their own right, the study found that they are not the best at adapting to a world where humans are more dominant.
They are, in fact, far more likely to adapt to being under the dominance of humans.
Cats have to learn to cope with the world, as humans do.
“They have to be aware of the environment around them and adapt to the way the world is,” says Cox.
That is why they have evolved a complex social hierarchy that is far more complex than we realise.
“As we learn to understand their environment, we also learn to make social connections and learn to form strong, strong bonds with other animals,” he says.
“In doing so, we are not only learning about ourselves but also about the world around us.”
It’s important to note that the authors of the study did not find any evidence that cats are less intelligent than other animals.
In fact, they found that, even though they had higher scores on intelligence tests, their average scores on social interaction tests, which measure social skills, were lower than other cats.
And while this study may seem to suggest that cats have less intelligence, that’s not the case.
“The reason cats have higher intelligence is because their intelligence is in part adaptive,” says Andrew Marder, an AI expert at MIT.
“All animals have the ability to make decisions.
They have the choice to become social, or not.”
Cats, he explains, don’t have the same ability to learn.
“If a cat doesn’t have a choice, it will go into a behaviour that is more likely for it to be successful, rather than for it not to be effective,” he said.
“And that’s what the difference between the average and the ‘average’ is about.”
This is the part of the story you need to know Read more When it comes to learning, cats have a special capacity for making connections.
They can “talk to each other,” Marders says.
And when they do, it’s usually about something they’re interested in.
But how does a cat do this?
Cats are able to “interact” by using their ears, which are located at the back of their head.
“This is very much like a dog,” says Mardes.
“Its ears are at the front, so it’s able to see and hear.”
This allows the cat to “look around and pick up information” and make decisions, says Cox, who notes that this ability is similar to what dogs have.
“You can see that their ears have ears on them, but they are more connected than the dog’s are.”
Mardars and Cox agree that this is the reason that cats use their ears to “talk” to each the other.
“When they’re doing that, the brain interprets the sound of their voice as a signal to their partner,” Cox explains.
“So their partner understands what their partner is saying and responds accordingly.”
So how does the cat make connections with people?
“We do know that cats really do communicate through their socialisation,” says Pavan Jain, an assistant professor of psychology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), who studies the behaviour of humans and cats.
“Our data shows that cats communicate with people by looking at their face and paw, as well as their body language.”
In addition, cats communicate by rubbing their bodies together.
“I’m really interested in the role that this tactile communication plays,” Jain says.
He says that while it may not be the most efficient communication mechanism, it does work.
“One of the best ways cats communicate is through touch,” he adds.
“That’s where their ears are.”
But how do you make it through the night without making contact with other cats?
“If you don’t touch them, they