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Cat owners love to boast about how intelligent their cats are. Cat and dog owners love to have endless debates on which animal is smarter. Dog owners claim that their dog can perform complicated tricks while cat owners maintain that they are too intelligent and self-sufficient to perform tricks on command. In reality, it is like comparing apples and oranges. Dogs are pack animals that descended from wolves and they have a strong need to please their pack leader. Cats don’t answer to anyone and their only motivation is survival. While it might not be easy to train your feline friend, there is no denying that they are clever and highly adaptable. Self-reliant and incredibly resourceful, the species has managed to survive for over thousands of years in radically different living conditions. Even indoor cats tend to display a strong-willed, crafty and versatile nature.Practice makes a cat perfect
Most of the remarkable physical and mental abilities of a cat are dismissed as instinctive by naysayers. But that is not even remotely true. Just like human beings are born with inbuilt communication skills but have to spend time to master a language, cats also refine their inherent abilities through a lot of practice. Any cat owner who has seen his/her cat practice hunting can attest to that. The common belief that cats tend to learn by observing and imitating their mothers is now being called into question.Cats don’t forget
Once they attain a particular knowledge, cats retain it for the rest of their lives, thanks to their excellent memory. Cats are capable for recalling hunting techniques that have been buried in their memories for years if there should arise a situation in which they have to fend for themselves.Since cats are easily frightened, they retain a very strong memory of an incident that they consider threatening. It just takes one encounter with an angry dog for them to convince that the entire species is best avoided for the rest of their lives. Similarly, they store and recall positive experiences as well, especially if they have to do with play or food.As cat owners know, domestic cats respond pretty well to familiar sounds, like can openers, rattling of paper bags or the sound of their favorite toys. They also have an uncanny ability to recall their food timings and even wake up their owners if they are sleeping in.Tricks and training
As our understanding of the feline psyche grows, handlers have had more success in training them to perform in front of a camera. Although they will not perform for pats and praise, they are capable of pulling off a wide variety of tricks, from jumping through hoops and opening doors, if they are properly motivated.