A cat’s ability to adapt to new environments, follow verbal or non-verbal cues and interact with other animals are all used to measure their intelligence, rather than seeing how long it takes them to read a book. Your feline companion is sharing so many emotions and messages with you all the time, and picking up on these signals is vital to both your and your pet’s happiness in the home.
Humans don’t always automatically understand what a cat is telling them, as the two animals are very different. How your cat is feeling and what they’re thinking are all expressed through their ears, eyes, body posture and, above all else, their tail. When they feel frightened, cats tend to tuck their tails up beside or under their body. Cats who are in pain may exhibit similar behaviours.
If your cat is approaching amicably, this is often signalled through the tail-up posture: tail straight up with a slight curve at the end. If your cat bonds with another cat, the two cats may intertwine their tails. “Affiliative behaviour” is the term used to describe this set of actions. Cat tail language can seem a little complicated, but thankfully animal behaviourists have done exhaustive research to help pet owners understand it.
Today, we’re going to look at some of the smartest cat breeds out there so you can make an informed decision when choosing a brainy new companion. If you want more information about intelligent cat breeds, you may enjoy our new book: Which Cat? An essential guide to Britain’s 20 most popular breeds. It’s a real ‘must have’ book for all Cat owners and potential cat owners.
Cats are some of the most intelligent, individualistic pets out there. They may not be able to beat us in a game of chess, but these animals are far from stupid.
An air of superiority surrounds these confident cats, and for good reason. Abyssinians seem happiest when they are being mentally stimulated, and their intelligence really shines through when they interact with their humans. Cats of this breed are generally very inquisitive, playful and intelligent. They enjoy human company and are often eager to know what those around them are up to.
The Abyssinians’ intelligent nature means they can be trained to perform tricks with a little motivation. They need plenty of attention and mental stimulation, and their active nature means they’re loads of fun – even if they don’t make very relaxing lap cats. If you don’t give them enough attention or room to roam, they may become depressed. Try not to be too shocked if your cat begins greeting you from the tops of doors or high shelves – this breed loves to enjoy their environment from high up.
Siamese cats tend to have a very loud meow at a surprisingly low pitch. Many cat owners believe Siamese cats are the most intelligent breed available. These cats will explore every corner of a house and are constantly getting into mischief as a result of their inquisitive nature. Many owners report that their Siamese cats can do tricks and respond to training better than other breeds.
These elegant felines are often praised for their outgoing temperaments. Siamese cats tend to be very vocal and have “larger than life” personalities.
If you don’t give your Siamese cat all the attention they want as soon as you walk in the door, they’ll talk at you until you have no choice but to listen up. They will often form a particularly strong bond with one chosen family member, but will be inquisitive and playful around everybody. Their readiness to bond with children and other animals make them the perfect pet for even the biggest family.
It’s generally a good idea to get two cats who can keep each other company, as Siamese cats are very sociable and don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time.
Bengal cats can be a handful, so they’re generally not recommended for first-time cat owners. They want to play regularly, and love to be given as much attention as possible. One sign of intelligence is a visible enjoyment of human interaction, and the sociable Bengal cat exhibits this in spades. Owners of this breed often claim their cat “talks” to them with chirpy mews.
Cats of this breed tend to love exploring their surroundings by jumping and climbing, and some will even play fetch or play in the water if they get the opportunity! Bengal cats are generally intelligent, active and playful.
With high levels of intelligence and an appreciation for human company, Burmese cats are often described as having “dog-like” personalities. These cats are happiest when they have all of their humans’ attention. They’re highly sociable and want to be by your side. Potentially another sign of intelligence, cats of this breed are often particularly good at interacting with children and dogs.
Burmese cats thrive on excessive amounts of attention, and are generally personable and sweet-natured. Their voices are softer than those of their cousins – Siamese cats – but they are just as vocal. Left by themselves for too long, they will become lonely and begin.
to seek out attention. They are very tolerant, which makes them a great pet for families with children.
5. Scottish Fold
Puzzle toys and teasers are the favourite playthings of Scottish Folds, who love to test their own mental capacity. They will thrive on your attention and interact with their owners at every opportunity. To satisfy their boredom, they will demand playtime as soon as you come home from work each day. Cats of this breed tend to have a very endearing, sweet nature.
Scottish Folds love to be around their owners and are highly confident socialites. They love to “help” their owners out with day-to-day tasks and will happily follow you around. Cats of this breed can learn to open doors and may even indulge you in a game of fetch. They do tend to get lonely, though, so it’s best not to leave them alone for too long.
For more information about our feline friends, check out Which Cat? An essential guide to Britain’s 20 most popular breeds which helps would be cat owners avoid the pitfalls and problems that can so easily occur as the kitten grows into a cat. Need2Know have books about lots more of our favourite furry friends, including Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds and a special book on First Aid For Cats. Becoming an animal expert has never been easier!