Animal intelligence is a subject that fascinates and questions. Especially when it comes to our domestic felines.
Many have asked themselves the question when observing their cat: “Is my cat intelligent?” When these furballs reveal intriguing behaviors or surprising abilities, we can’t help but wonder about their level of intelligence. And, good news, researchers from the University of Helsinki looked into the question and made some remarkable discoveries!
The challenges of assessing feline intelligence
First, it is essential to understand that assessing the intelligence of cats is not an easy task. As the Daily Mail points out, there are no global and standard tests to gauge the intelligence of our feline friends. Samantha Watson, an expert at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, says it is “complex” to measure a cat’s intellectual abilities because “all varieties, all breeds have evolved to adapt to all environments”.
“A mental specificity that is useful for one race may not be beneficial for the survival of another. […] Each cat has a unique personality that is shaped by their genetics and their history,” she explains.
But these difficulties have not discouraged researchers. They implemented very specific criteria: ability to adapt, level of curiosity, need for stimulation, and intelligence. Additionally, the way these cats interact with humans and other pets was taken into account.
The podium of feline geniuses revealed
The Abyssinians rise to the top of this prestigious list. These cats, originally from Southeast Asia, surprise with their limitless curiosity. They have this tendency to explore every room, every corner, thus demonstrating a great capacity for discovery. But be careful, their intelligence requires constant mental stimulation. Abyssinians are not only independent but also very sociable with other animals and children, provided they are cat-friendly.
Next comes the Bengal breed. These cats also need regular stimulation to nourish their intellect. If not, they can get a little rowdy. But, surprise: “Paradoxically, Bengals are one of the easiest cat breeds to train,” as Demotivateur notes.
Finally, Burmese complete this top 3. With their gentle appearance, their long hair and their round eyes, they are very popular with families. Their inclusion in this list is due to their love for learning and playing various games. The icing on the cake is that they love “ ” with their owners, uttering cute meows.
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