Categories: brain

Depending upon the task, the cat’s brain has different processing powers

The domestic cat’s brain is very similar to ours and they are more intelligent than many people thought. We are learning about the emotions that domestic cats can experience. However, I would like to write a short note on brain processing power based upon my observations over the years.

Cat brain processing power variations

With respect to senses, alertness and awareness of activities around them, the domestic cat is superior to humans. Their brain is constantly switched to the ‘On’ setting even when snoozing. Domestic cats will respond rapidly to sounds which humans either don’t hear or choose to ignore. Their sense of smell is much superior to human’s and they are very quick in movement. It seems to me that the development of their brain is based upon how to improve hunting skills. That’s the evolution of the feline brain.

In short, the processing power of the feline brain is very high in respect of the skills needed to hunt successfully. However, in respect of some day-to-day activities which humans engage in and in their interactions with their cat, the processing power of the domestic cat’s brain is quite slow in comparison to that of most humans. This is why, in my opinion, cats do not respond quickly to requests to come even if they are trained to do so. We should give cats time to respond and accept their differences in this regard.

I’ll give you an example. My cat is trained to come onto my lap or to lie on me when I’m in bed. I tap on the bed or on my lap and he recognises this as a signal to come. He does come but there is usually a pause, perhaps of 30 seconds to two minutes, before he decides to move. He is not deciding whether he wants to come onto my lap or not because I know that wants to do it. He needs that minute to process the request to make the move to jump up. It does seem like an eternity. Perhaps his mind is wandering a bit and is unfocused but I sense that part of the issue (and this is not a problem) is that the cat’s brain with respect to processing power on rational thoughts is considerably slower than the human’s.

Because we interact with our cat as if they are mini-humans we sometimes expect them to behave like humans and can become frustrated at the slowness of their response believing it to be aloofness. This is why you will see articles on the internet about domestic cats deliberately deciding to not respond to their owner’s demands. They criticise the cat by comparing them to dogs because dogs can be trained more effectively and respond more quickly. I don’t think that the dog’s quicker responses is due to better processing power of their brains. It is simply that they are inherently more sociable animals and therefore more attuned to the need to respond quickly within a group.

This may also be part of the response differences of the domestic cat. Although they are sociable nowadays they are inherently solitary animals and therefore not attuned to taking orders from others. This may present itself as a barrier to the brain in processing commands. As I’ve mentioned, these are just observations and I’m not referring to any studies.


Will this cat remember her owner when he is released from jail in 2 months?

The question in full: 'We are holding onto a cat for a friend who is in jail for a ...
Read More

Cat visited previous home 0.75 miles away when current owners were away for weekend (video)

This was a finding by a study in which cats were fitted with video cameras to see what animals they ...
Read More

Do these weird Snapchat cat filter videos show that domestic cats pass the mirror test?

The mirror test is when you look in the mirror and recognise yourself. You are self-aware. Cats can't do it ...
Read More

Do cats have more neurons than dogs?

Do cats have more neurons than dogs? I'll assume that the question refers to the number of neurons in the ...
Read More

4 reasons why your cat is pacing

I briefly discuss four medical reasons for a cat pacing. A fifth might be if the cat is tightly confined ...
Read More

It’s more likely that domestic cats can detect the Earth’s magnetic field

Research into humans on sensitivity to the planet's magnetic field supports the theory that cats have this ability and use ...
Read More

What types of things confuse cats?

What types of things confuse cats? I am referring to domestic cats. I am sure that you can think of ...
Read More
Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

Do domestic cats prefer mice or birds?

Domestic cats much prefer mice to birds no matter what source of information you refer…

4 mins ago

Are purebred cats inbred?

My belief is that the whole purpose of cat breeding is to selectively breed cats…

5 hours ago

Joe Exotic gives his zoo to Carole Baskin

It is the ultimate humiliation for Mr Joe Exotic. His zoo has been given to…

7 hours ago

Do cats have a sense of time passing?

The question is specific, do cats feel time passing? Do they reflect on it? We…

9 hours ago

New South Wales: two lions maul female zookeeper. Fate of lions to be decided.

This is another story of a zookeeper being attacked by a lion or lions and…

11 hours ago

Are winged cats real?

Domestic cats with appendages that look like wings are real but domestic cats with genuine…

1 day ago