Cats Are as Smart as Dogs!
25 January, 2017
cats as smart as dogs

Watch out Fido!  Cats might be smarter than you think!  Cats, over the ages, have been given the bad rap of not being as good as pets as dogs. And some dog lovers have gone so far as to say that cats are not as intelligent as dogs.  Well, a new study shows that cats might actually be as smart as dogs and have episodic memory!

A new study shows that cats are just as smart as dogs

Saho Takagi, a psychologist at Kyoto University, said cats, as well as dogs, used memories of a single past experience, which could indicate they have episodic memory similar to that of humans. Cats are as good as dogs at certain memory tests, according to a new Japanese study published in the journal Behavioural Processes. The study findings suggest that cats are just as smart as dogs, researchers say.

The study was conducted with the help of 49 domestic cats

The study was conducted using 49 domestic cats and different bowls of food. The findings shows that cats can recall memories of positive experiences, such as eating a sumptuous snack. The experiment was sought to test episodic memory, or memory of past events and experiences that occur at a particular time and place. It was modeled off of a similar 2012 study conducted on dogs.

The cats knew which bowl they ate from and where the bowls were located

In one phase of the experiment, cats were led to four open containers of food and were allowed to eat from two of them. After fifteen minutes passed, the containers were replaced with empty ones, and the same cats returned to the room in search of food.  The research found that the cats spent more time exploring those containers from which they had already eaten.

That cats were able to remember what the food was and where the bowls were located which suggests they have episodic memory.  It is still unclear about the depth of the memory, but a good start!

The study shows that cats have episodic memory similar to dogs

Kyoto University psychologist Saho Takagi told BBC News that both cats and dogs may have episodic memory similar to that of humans. “Episodic memory is viewed as being related to introspective function of the mind,” Takagi said. “Our study may imply a type of consciousness in cats.”

Another researcher from the University of Toronto and Rotman Research Institute suggests that it really is difficult to know what our pets (both dogs and cats) are remembering.  However, the study still does have many practical inferences.  We now know that cats do have short term memories and the next step is to see how strong is their long term and episodic memory.

As a cat lover, I have no doubts that cats are smart.  Maybe they just are more fickle to show off their intelligent nature and would rather nap all day long!

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