How Talented Is YOUR Cat?

By Elisa Black-Taylor

How talented is YOUR cat? This story is going to be a lot of fun, because it’s written totally from personal experience. At the end of this article, I hope the readers here will share stories of their own cats and the unique talents you’ve discovered they have.

How talented is your cat?

How talented is your cat? Collage by Elisa.

Lola The Survivalist

Lola was an orphaned kitten who had the good sense to go in search of a new mother. The day Laura and I went looking for the first kitten we’d had in several years back in the early summer of 2009, we learned Lola had wandered into the litter of their own cat, who lived outdoors in a country setting. Lola later repaid the favor by taking Furby into her heart after we rescued him in November that same year as an abandoned kitten.

Lola has a definite talent for breaking into dry cat food bags. Here’s a short video of her in action.

Lola has decided she won’t allow any of the cats to go hungry if she has her way. Not only can Lola break into bags of dry cat food, she also enjoys any kind of bread that comes in a bag. We’ve had to learn the hard way to go ahead and fill the large dry food dispensers as soon as I bring in a new bag or Lola will have it scattered everywhere. We also have to put the bread out of her reach.

Sammy Has The Nose Of A Bloodhound

Sammy is from our very first rescue back in November 2010. He loves to sniff our the packs of food Sealy is hooked on called Whiskas Purrfectly Fish. We first learned of his behavior when we’d get up and find empty packets scattered about the house.

Sammy has developed this talent beyond belief. He can now sniff out the box of Whiskas and knows which bag it’s in as soon as I bring it in from the supermarket. We began putting the box of food in the cabinet above the kitchen sink. It was a shock to look over one night and find Sammy standing on his hind legs, breaking into the kitchen cabinet. Up until then, we didn’t know which cat was the thief. We then tried taping the kitchen cabinet shut. He still managed to break in. Now the food has been moved from the kitchen into an old clothes dryer that no longer works. Let’s just say Sammy now spends a lot of time near the dryer. It’s obvious he’s trying to solve this new dilemma.

Dreyfuss Could Feed Himself

Although he was a dog, this story wouldn’t be complete without telling the story of how I first learned my dear sweet dog (who’s now gone to the bridge) could understand English! It happened one day in the midst of an argument between my ex and myself during the time we were still together.

My ex said something to the effect of “you need to feed your dog, because he sure can’t feed himself.” It was with disbelief as we both watched what Dreyfuss did next. We kept a plastic cup on top of the dog food bag to control the portion size. Dreyfuss look at each of us, then went over and picked up the cup in his mouth. He then dipped it into the bag of food and brought out an entire cup of dry dog kibble. Then he lay down, cup between his paws, and proceeded to eat his meal. Like I said, Dreyfuss could understand English.

This was a turning point in my relationship with my dog. From this point forward, I spoke to him with the conviction he understood everything I ever said to him.

Why Do They Do This?

Is this behavior based more on a survival instinct and the need to find food when the animal is hungry, or simply curiosity and the desire to get into things? Furby is very curious. We’re not sure whether he likes to push things off of counters to watch them fall or to hear them land. Or break… Any thoughts on this by the readers will be appreciated.

In Conclusion

These are the only talented cats (and dog) I have. My cats don’t do tricks and Cujo’s only talent is he’s a fast study at learning to be a cat-dog. His training is going well since he’s under the guidance of some very spoiled cats.

Sealy does go to his cage whenever he wants a pack of his food. This isn’t as much talent as wishful thinking, as he’d be fed at least ten packs of food if he got his own way based on how often he visits his feeding cage.

How Talented Is Your Cat?

I hope the readers here will share stories of your talented cats in the comment section. Our cats can’t open doors on their own or perform any tricks. They’d much rather teach us human servants to perform tricks for them instead of the other way around.

Elisa

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How Talented Is YOUR Cat? — 14 Comments

  1. Charlie is quite smart. His talent, which is inline with all cats, really, is that he has adapted well to having three legs. I am particularly impressed with the way he jumps down from things. He twists his body as he jumps down and lands on this hind legs first and he also puts the stump (actually the leg is entirely removed leaving a round smooth area) of his right leg on the ground to break the fall.

    He is also has a talent for shouting 😉 This must be the Siamese in him. He can vocalise very loudly which gets his point across. You can’t ignore him.

    He has a long nose and a blood-hound sense of smell. When he sniffs things you can hear it about 15 yards away.

    Lastly he has an amazing capacity to do serial sneezing at a volume that far exceeds that of a human being. It is quite shocking to behold.

    • Lilly does serial sneezing! I am so glad you said that because I was worried. She can do like 10 or 20 sneezes really fast and really loud. It is shocking!

      Lilly can also jump incredibly high and is generally very agile and acrobatic. I had a system for the cats to climb back to my balcony and then one day red was at the top of the climbing pole, in the way, so Lilly just jumped most the way up and then sort of ran up the wall for the last tiny bit. She got up without any help. Unbelievable. If you saw it you would be shocked. It’s a good 2.25 to 2.5 meters. She can also jump up onto shelves and furniture that you would never expect possible.

      • Our white angora Pippa was our sneezer. Her record was 26 non-stop. She’s one of the kitties with constant URI’s and we let her go for adoption. Sometimes they get better without so many cats around.

        • Charlie gets a bit of hair in his nose and he makes an awful noise sneezing it out. You would almost think he is having a fit of some sort. Although, it is very effective at removing stuff from his nose and depositing it on my 17″ Apple MacBook Pro that cost the earth 😉

  2. The most talented cat I had was my Missie, a small semi-longhaired Norwegian Forest Cat mix with a plume tail. She had a cute face and a small voice.

    She could jump for England. If there was a cat Olympics she would win the female high jump and tree climbing competition. You may remember her. She could jump vertically from a sitting position to about 8 feet. She had to claw up the last 18 inches but it was awesome to see her do this. She was absolutely fearless.

    Here is an old copy of a print of her when I lived in Notting Hill Gate:

    Norwegian Forest Cat Mix

    • Oh wow you lived in Notting Hill Gate. I spent alot of time in that area in the early to mid 1990’s. It’s changed so much now but I loved it back then. We even had stalls and sold things in the Portobello market. What a shame it changed so much. ‘gentrification’ they call it. I worked there every day for a photographer right after I left school. Spent alot of time there and had alot of friends living around there.

  3. Both my Traditional Persian cats Matahari and Matata have a talent for living life dangerously in the house. They love sitting on high places, especially the balcony gallery ledge and previously the kitchen window-sill. A slight slip means a fall five floors below to Earth.I have managed to film a few videos of this odd behaviour and they are on ‘YouTube”. This behaviour is very strange for a Persian cat breed as this breed normally loves sleeping or lazying, never much of a climber.

  4. My cat Ozzie talks and talks and talks and sometimes never stops! If I talk to him he will answer back we actually have conversations as he has a very extensive vocabulary which I am given to understand is a characteristic of his breed.

    I often say ‘Ozzie love you!’ he will look at me and say ‘mmmmm’ I think thats cat for ‘I know you do’

    • Love this collage Amy. Really clever. Never seen something like this before. Bailey is a very interesting looking cat too. Fantastic Van-type (in the US cat fancy sense) markings.

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