February 2012 Issue

How Smart Is Your Cat?

The structure of the feline brain is much like our own. But can we really measure feline intelligence?

Many people regard cats as being resourceful and self-reliant. After all, the species has survived thousands of years in radically different environments and living conditions. But how smart are our domestic cats? We humans tend to be very biased in assessing the intelligence of our cats (and dogs). That’s because we usually choose to judge them according to traits that we can relate to as human beings. When cats do something entertaining or display their independence, we generally think of them as intelligent.

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