Infographic on 5 cat abilities reflecting intelligence

Domestic cat intelligence is a tricky topic. How do we measure it? In general humans are all at sea in assessing it. Dr Bruce Fogle DVM has a handle on it. I have created an infographic around his advice.

Cat abilities which express intelligence
Cat abilities which express intelligence. Infographic prepared by MikeB. Credits are within the infographic.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

You’ll find some news media websites such as The Scotsman confidently talking about the intelligence differences between the cat breeds with headlines such as “The smartest cat breeds you can buy” (this is not an actual headline). It is all codswallop.

Well not quite all because there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that the Sphynx for example is a litter smarter than the other breeds. And the Siamese comes out high but these test are vague nowhere near as sensible as that provided by Fogle.

At least Fogle is focusing very much on feline abilities to problem solved albeit instinctively.

As for the breeds, it is much more about individual cats and how inbred they are. In my experience, highly inbred cats of any cat breed can lose intelligence as a consequence. Although it is general considered to be true that wild cat hybrids are a little smarter than average because wild cats are smarter than domestic cats as they have to exercise their brain more in order to survive.

This innate intelligence is brought to the F1 Savannah and F1 Bengal cats for example through genetic inheritance. That’s my theory.

Having given this topic a little more thought, it might be worthwhile briefly touching on full-time indoor cats. And the fact that the domestic cat is kept, through their domestication, in a permanent state of kitten mentality. They are provided for all their adult life as if a mother is providing for their kitten in the natal den.

It might be a bit confusing for an adult cat to be provided for by their “surrogate mother” all their lives. We don’t know what effect this has on their mentality and emotions and perhaps their intelligence.

I mentioned that the smarter domestic cats are the wild cat hybrids. And the more a domestic cat is challenged, the more exercised their brain is, which helps to develop intelligence. If a cat is pampered and provided for all their lives, might it not decrease their intelligence or hamper its development?

The Infographic, therefore, is somewhat theoretical but of value because it is looking objectively at cat intelligence rather then subjectively which is the normal route.

Below are some more pages on cat intelligence.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

2 thoughts on “Infographic on 5 cat abilities reflecting intelligence”

  1. Mike while watching video’s at Love Meow I saw a video of a little of kittens with polydactyl and Radial Hypoplasia it was the saddest thing I ever saw. Could this have been caused by inbreeding? Momma was a rescue cat. Is there nothing that can be done for Radial Hypoplasia just a topic thought. Also saw another video of a kitten born with polydactyl feet with deformed ears, notice the last picture posted how the ears are on top of the cats head, weird. Is it being polydactyl that causes the other deformities in kittens?

    • Polydactylism does not need inbreeding for it to became apparent as it is caused by a dominant gene and to the best of my knowledge the same applies to radial hypoplasia as that is also caused by a dominant gene. If I haven’t already done so: Happy New Year. Let’s hope it is a good one. Or a better one. Not difficult.


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