Get dog and cat owners in the same room and a debate is likely to break out over which is smarter, dogs or cats.
While dog owners like to brag that dogs are clearly more intelligent because they do tricks, the savvy cat owner knows that you can certainly evaluate the superior intelligence of cats just by watching their behavior:
1. When a cat chases a ball across the floor and it goes under the TV cabinet... does the cat hunch down and try and get it from the front or does it IMMEDIATELY go around back or side, knowing where the ball is in relation to the center of the cabinet?
2. When you are staying in a hotel with a king-sized bed, does the cat know EXACTLY how close to the edge she can get without you being able to touch her?
3. Does your cat fetch -- that is, does the cat find the toy to begin with, and then bring it to you and drop it into your hand? Does it then continually chase the thrown toy and bring it back the same way, until you have to stuff the toy into the side of your chair to get some relief?
4. Does the cat deliberately employ one of your shoes to create a hiding place for a sparkle ball?
5. Have you ever had a cat who normally hides at the sight of the cat carrier, but if it is sick, it not only stands by the carrier but waits until you open the door and walks in, so you could take her to the vet?
6. Have you had a queen bring you a sick kitten and drop it in front of you, so you will take care of it?
7. Have you ever had a cat bring a toy for fetching so that the kitten curled up on your lap will chase the toy, clearing your lap for the first cat to settle in for a nap?
I live with Korats, and they all do this sort of thing.
I have a Korat boy who never liked being held or cuddled. One night he jumped onto my bed with his head held at a funny angle. On close inspection I realized he had somehow half crawled through the metal ring of a hanging food dish and was now totally trapped by it. The ring had him in a hammer-lock with his head and one foreleg on one side of the ring and the rest of him on the other!! I was certain he would freak out, but, instead, he came to me and stood quietly while I pulled first one leg and finally his head out of the hanger/loop. Never before, and never since, has this Korat (now 15 years old) tolerated being held.
And why would a mother cat, who had weaned her kittens six weeks earlier, suddenly give her kitten an all over bath, as he was sitting next to the carrier that will take him to his new home? This was her first litter and the first kitten to leave.
So, you see... I don't need to measure my cat's specific IQ. They demonstrate how smart they are in their behavior on a daily basis. In fact, my Korats are so smart, I sometimes have to refuse to let a person have one of my kittens...
I want the human to be at least a little bit smarter than the cat :-).
About The Author:
Ann Segrest has been breeding Korats in CFA's Region 2 since 1990.
Her cattery name, Kiriki, is a Native American word that means "bright eyes".
She has bred and shown 2 DM Korat females, 2 National BOB Korats and numerous Regional Winners in Championship and Premiership.