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Many cat mums and dads are always scrambling to learn more about how their babies’ minds work. Dogs were domesticated anytime between 18,800 – 32,100 years ago with cats being domesticated about 10,000 years ago. We share a lot more of our history with dogs rather than cats and so it is understandable that we know more about dogs than we do cats, but this doesn’t mean we’re clueless about cats.Let us look at five facts about cats to better understand how they interpret the world.
- Cats are great body language readers – Cats don’t do too well when it comes to understanding the words you and your friends use to communicate with each other. However, they are much better at understanding your body language. Researchers have shown that cats can understand human pointing gestures and will actually use said pointing gestures to find food.
- Cats understand “object permanence” – When an object goes out of sight, i.e. is placed behind something else or put away, human beings know that it has just been hidden and still exists. This is called object permanence.It seems like a basic concept, but you’d be surprised by how many other animals fail to understand it. Cats are also known to demonstrate object permanence. This is very easy to see for yourself. If you’ve ever seen your cat chase a mouse or toy underneath a piece of furniture and wait for the mouse or toy to reemerge, the cat is displaying object permanence. The cat would not wait for the mouse or toy if it believed that the mouse or toy had stopped existing.
- Cats can learn and remember – This is a point which has been debated long and hard by many people. Dr. Jill Sackman, head of behavior medicine service at BluePearl Veterinary Partners has said that cats have a working memory of about 30 seconds. They also have displayed long-term memory which is why many cat mums and dads are greeted by their cats after a week long vacation.
- Cats can be trained – Many people have a misconception that only dogs can be trained whereas cats cannot be trained. This is false, cats can be trained. Sackman has said that the key is to understand what motivates your cat and to go from there.
- Cats smoke iPads’ in terms of processing and storage – An iPad has about 60 GB of storage and can do about 170 million operations per second. This is painfully slow when compared to a cat which has 91,000 GB of space and can process 6.1 trillion calculations per second.
More research needs to be done on our feline friends to help us understand them better. Like it or not, they are here to stay.