Cats Aren't That Clever After All

As if that fingerprint thing wasn't enough, here's another earth-shattering study - for cat lovers anyhow: psychologist Britta Osthaus of Canterbury Christ Church University has proven that cats aren't as smart as their owners think!

[Osthaus] tested the thought processes of 15 of them by attaching fish and biscuit treats to one end of a piece of string, placing them under a plastic screen to make them unreachable and then seeing if the cats could work out that pulling on the other end of the string would pull the treat closer.

They were tested in three ways, using a single baited string, two parallel strings where only one was baited, and two crossed strings where only one was baited.

The single string test proved no problem, but unlike dogs (which Osthaus has previously tested) no cat consistently chose correctly between two parallel strings. With two crossed strings, one cat always made the wrong choice and others succeeded no more than might be expected by chance.


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I don't believe cats are stupid but I do think dogs are quite intelligent creatures. Cats and dogs are both smart in different ways. Many dogs guide the blind, and help other sickly people. They also are great companions. I wouldn't know much about cats because I've never had one but I do have a dog.

My dog is very stubborn and doesn't like to be told what to do but, he is very intelligent. He is a yellow lab and loves the water. We live on a marsh and we have a big gate up so he can't get down to the water because there is quick sand. He found a way to get down to the water by digging under the fence. When this happened we were out shopping and when we came home we were scared he could drown or something. So, we ran outside and got him out.

There used to be a dog who lived down the street who was an escape artist. Sometimes the dog would come to our front gate and communicate with our dog. Somehow our dog opened our gate when it was locked and ran away with the other dog. They only ran on the sidewalk. Fortunately, they never ran in the street. We eventually found our dog and the other dog and returned them both home.

Raccoons come out at night and they were eating our garbage so our dog marked his territory on the garbage cans to stop the raccoons from stealing our garbage. They never came back.

My opinion is that dogs are very intelligent but cats are very intelligent also. I've read many of your stories about how your cats used toilets and opened cabinets.
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This "expurrriment" only proves that the quality of fish & biscuit treat was inferior & failed to stimulate any interest by the discerning cat. Retest using Beluga caviar to elicit a response. And please remember, cats aren't coprophagics. Dogs are known to eat poop & would be virtually be tempted to eat anything. Cats have higher standards.
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I dont think cats are all to stupid. One of my cats could open a small locked window until I put a shim in there to kept the lock from opening, and another one of my cats would pee in the toliet although he couldnt flush.
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