If the right definition for the term “Intelligence” would be “the ability to acquire and remember information and the capability to use them while solving different problems”, then the cat is definitely the most intelligent animal from all those surrounding us.
Try to put an adult cat in a room in which she has never been before and see how she is inspecting every corner of that room. This detailed search gives her valuable information about the environment, information that can even save her life in some cases. Actually, the curiosity specific to cats never harmed them, on the contrary it gave her the reputation of having nine lives!
We all know that the ability cats have to inspect surroundings is legendary, but, at the same time it has been proven that this ability is superior to that of any other domestic animal.
The intellectual capacity of the cat is demonstrated by her ability of using information she already has to pass safely through certain situations. Cats are capable of forming “learning methods”, a characteristic that was supposed to belong only to primates.
Cats learn through observation, imitation, trying and of course, mistakes, just like people. The stories with cats being able to open draws or cupboards are many, but there are also cats that can turn on the lights or use the toilet, and this is possible only by carefully observing the ones that know how to do these things – their owners.
Considering the fact that the cat is arguably the most intelligent domestic animal, it is very important that the owner knows very clearly the limits of her cognitive processes, because conferring the pet’s “human” motives can cause damage and behavioral problems.
For example, a cat cannot reflect upon the past or think in perspective, so punishing her for something she has done only minutes earlier is useless, because the cat is not capable of connection the punishment with her actions. The same way, cants can’t claim revenge for a past punishment.
In conclusion, don’t underestimate the intelligence of your cat! Try and know your pet better and act in such a manner that living together can be a positive experience for both of you.