The goat is not stupid! A lot of people think the goat is stupid but they are wrong. Some people believe that the cat is dumb. This short article has been written to simply reinforce modern thinking that animals are not “dumb creatures” as some people still believe them to be. I hope, therefore, it serves to encourage people to respect animals and particularly the domestic cat as this website is particularly concerned with the domestic cat.
A recent study has found that despite the fact that the goat is considered to be witless, it is actually pretty clever. The study was carried out at Queen Mary, University of London. A group of goats were presented with a problem-solving task. The task was to release a tasty morsel of dried pasta from a box. Goats are particularly fond of penne pasta so there was plenty of motivation to solve the problem!
Although 3 goats were excluded because 2 of them head-butted the box instead of trying to problem solve, the remaining 9 goats were able to complete the task after about 11 attempts. In order to retrieve the pasta the goats had to firstly pull on a string and then tug on a lever. [Note: one goat was excluded because he could not do the task.]
The scientists who carried out the study said that the goats solved the problem remarkably quickly and that primates can easily take as long to solve this sort of problem. They were surprised by the goats’ intelligence.
An important part of this test was that the circumstances were not immediately relevant to a goat’s environment so it could be argued that it was a pure test of intelligence or a test of a more generalised intelligence.
Let us, therefore, never presume that an animal is a dumb creature and let us celebrate and respect the domestic cat who has never been considered as stupid as a goat and is certainly more intelligent than many people believe.
Did you find this article useful and interesting? Can it be improved? Please tell me in a comment. I am always keen to improve the site for animal welfare and reader enjoyment.