The ultimate test for your cat from our team at Towcester Veterinary Centre
August 21, 2023
Cats are incredibly intelligent – fact. They may not always follow commands like their canine counterparts, but they have a unique way of demonstrating their cognitive capabilities.
Take a look at the five cognitive tests below from the team at Towcester Veterinary Centre to see how clever your own cat is and share videos of how your cat gets on, on our Facebook page.
1. Social intelligence
Cats who are able to communicate with other cats and humans using appropriate behaviour, demonstrate strong social intelligence. Observe your cat and see if they excel in this skill.
Toys can help you figure out just how intelligent your cat may be. Feather wands require cats to develop a strategy to catch them, and laser pointers encourage your cat to anticipate movements. Both of these can help your cat develop good spatial awareness and agility.
3. Puzzle toys
Puzzle solving toys help your cat to develop their problem-solving skills. Use toys that require your cat’s interaction to release treats or access their favourite toy – Towcester Veterinary Centre would love to know how quickly your cat can solve your puzzles!
4. Novelty responses
Cats who are curious when it comes to new experiences demonstrate strong cognitive flexibility. If they are confident when introduced to new sounds, environments, or objects, it is highly likely your cat is intelligent and adaptable.
5. Try training your cat
Attempt to teach your cat simple tricks, such as high-five or to come when they called. While cats may not respond to obedience commands like dogs, they can still learn simple commands and demonstrate their ability to understand and execute them. Examples to teach them are:
- High-five: Hold a treat above your cat’s head, and when they raise their paw to reach for it, say “high-five” and give them the treat. Repeat this until your cat raises their paw on their own when you say “high-five”.
- Come when called: Use your cat’s name and a specific call (such as shaking a treat bag) to signal to your cat that it’s time to come to you. Reward them with a treat or playtime when they come to you. Towcester Veterinary Centre think this trick is particularly useful, especially when it comes to catching your cat to put them in the carrier to come and see our vets!
- Spin: Hold a treat in front of your cat’s nose, and slowly move it in a circle. Your cat should follow the treat with their head and eventually turn their body in a circle. When they complete the circle, give them the treat.
- Fetch: Choose a small toy that your cat likes to play with and throw it a short distance away, whilst you say “Fetch”. When your cat brings the toy back to you, reward them with a treat or playtime.
- Sit: Hold a treat above your cat’s head, and slowly move it towards their back whilst saying “sit”. Your cat will naturally lower their head and sit down. When they sit, give them the treat. Repeat this until your cat sits on their own when you say “sit”.
Remember, patience and consistency are key when teaching your cat new tricks or testing their intelligence. Use lots of positive reinforcement and rewards to encourage your cat. Our team at Towcester Veterinary Centre always recommend ending your training sessions on a positive note.