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Love Them or Hate Them Cats are Hard to Ignore. But are They Clever or are They Dumb?

Updated on February 25, 2018
GALAXY 59 profile image

Galaxy has had the privilege of sharing her life with many wonderful animals. Her current companion is a beautiful cat called Nikolai.


Ginger cat riding a skateboard.
Ginger cat riding a skateboard. | Source

Got to Love Cats.

I love cats, but I have often wondered about just how smart they really are so here I ask the question - Are cats clever or dumb? I’ve read or heard, many different things about our feline friends over the years, most of which are in direct conflict with each other.

For every person who thinks that their clever cat understands every single word they say to it, there is another person who believes that all cats are dumb and a waste of fur. I myself have two cats. One does seem to possess a degree of intelligence, the other makes a plank of wood seem smart. I love them both just the same, cats are like that, they worm their way into our affections no matter what they are like.

One thing that all cats do seem to have in common, be they of the clever variety or the dumb as a post type, is they all know where their food bowl is. They also seem to know the best place to hide a crafty poo inside the house so that it can take their owners days or even weeks to find it.

I have also seen some pretty amazing videos of cats doing supposedly clever things, from opening doors to playing the piano! The trouble is that speaking just for myself if I shut a door it's generally because I want it shut. As for the piano, I spent three very frustrating years as a child trying with limited success to learn to play one. The last thing I want now is for some darn cat to come along and belt out a quick few bars of Mozart. I really don't want to be dumber than a cat.

I ask you, Does This Spiky Bush Look Like a Comfortable Place to Sleep?

Cat asleep in a thorn bush.
Cat asleep in a thorn bush. | Source
This looks better, maybe he is learning from our clever cat.
This looks better, maybe he is learning from our clever cat.

Common Knowledge Concerning our Feline Friends.

It’s common knowledge that if you drop a cat it will always land on its feet. Rubbish. Our dumb as a post cat regularly falls off of things, window ledges, the sofa, the floor and he lands feet first maybe half the time - if he’s lucky. He also thinks that a plant pot in our back garden containing a spiky heather is his bed.Our other cat much prefers to sleep at the bottom of our bed quietly skinning my husband’s feet, bless him. Mind you, it did take me years to teach him that little trick.

Almost all cats think they own the world, at least their small part of it. They think that you are there for the sole purpose of providing food, shelter, nice things for them to either cover in fur or shred depending on their mood, and to give them a lap to sleep on.

Given my own experience of sitting on the sofa with a bladder fit to burst but not wanting to disturb the cat on my lap, they could be right about that one.

Caught one!

Ginger cat playing in a cardboard box.
Ginger cat playing in a cardboard box. | Source

How to Trap a cat.

Put a box on the floor to test how intelligence your cat is.

If you have any doubts about the intelligence, or lack thereof, of cats, just look at how easy they are to catch. Simply put an open cardboard box on the floor, make yourself a nice cup of coffee and then sit back and wait. Trust me, you won't have to wait for very long, five minutes - tops - and you will have a cat in the box!

Using this method outside could soon see you with a haul of a dozen or more cats. Clever? I think not!

The one exception to this trapping method is if the box has the words PET CARRIER on it, in which case no cat will go within ten feet of the thing.

Mmm, maybe cats aren’t that dumb after all.

Some Gratuitous Pictures of my two cats Tom and Chopsey.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cats playing follow my leader.Cat sleeping in a box.Ginger cat standing on a glas tableGinger tom cat sunbathing.Our cute cat Chopsey.Cat sitting in a spiky bush
Cats playing follow my leader.
Cats playing follow my leader. | Source
Cat sleeping in a box.
Cat sleeping in a box. | Source
Ginger cat standing on a glas table
Ginger cat standing on a glas table | Source
Ginger tom cat sunbathing.
Ginger tom cat sunbathing. | Source
Our cute cat Chopsey.
Our cute cat Chopsey. | Source
Cat sitting in a spiky bush
Cat sitting in a spiky bush | Source

What do you think?

Do you think cats are clever or are they dumb?

See results

This cat Isn't one of Mine but he can't Stop Visiting my Garden to rub Himself on the Patio Stones.

Huge spotted cat stretching in my back yard!
Huge spotted cat stretching in my back yard! | Source

The Best cat in the World Died Today.

Tom died today.

It sounds so simple. Just three little words.


It won’t mean anything to you unless you knew Tom. Tom was special. Tom was our friend. No, Tom was more than a friend. Tom was family. Tom was a ginger and white tom cat. He looked just like a million other ginger and white tom cats, nothing special, just a big old ginger and white tom cat.

Looks can be deceiving because Tom was, without a doubt, the best cat in the world. Tom was loyal, friendly and soft, soft of fur and temperament. It was not an unusual sight to see Tom being carried around the neighbourhood by this child or that, sometimes dressed in baby clothes, or simply wrapped in a blanket purring loudly and looking smug.

He had the most expressive tail; he could send semaphore messages with the damn thing. And his amber eyes talked volumes too. I need food, water, hugs, they would say. He would lay by your side all day and all night if you were sick, lending you comfort and strength, soothing you with purrs and rubs from butter soft fur.

He was never too proud, or too busy, to play with a piece of string, the end of a belt or to take a swipe at his arch enemy - the long handled feather duster.

Don’t get the impression that Tom was perfect, he wasn’t. He crapped on the carpet halfway up the stairs; he scratched gouges in the living room wallpaper and peed in the bath. He drank from my bedside glass of water for god knows how many years before I noticed. In all the time he graced us with his presence I never planted a spring bulb that remained in the ground. His breath could strip paint and his claws could skin toes but never did. He was a cheese thief and an occasional flea transporter. But he was still the best cat in the world.

We buried him in the garden, buried him deep and safe under the sun warmed earth. The ground was hard and compacted and needed a soak from the garden hose to soften it enough for digging. Not too much water, though, as Tom hated being wet.

A concrete lion, faintly tacky before but somehow dignified now, stands guard over his grave. Here lays Tom, a lion of a cat, it proclaims. King of the garden.

The world is a poorer place, because Tom, the best cat in the world, died today.

Tom was our clever cat but our dumb cat, Chopsey, has shown a depth of emotion I didn't think possible, he will miss Tom as much as us, perhaps he is a clever little cat after all.

© 2010 Galaxy Harvey


Submit a Comment

  • GALAXY 59 profile image

    Galaxy Harvey 4 years ago from United Kingdom

    Thanks for sharing that information, Castle.

  • profile image

    Castle 4 years ago

    A pregnant stray may be thin and unrrenoudished. I'd advise immediately feeding her a premium kitten food to build up her strength and stamina, and to help the developing fetuses grow strong and healthy. Pregnancy (and subsequent nursing) causes a depletion in the amount of calcium in the bloodstream. This condition can result in eclampsia, a life-threatening disease. Although it more often occurs during nursing, it can occur during the last stages of pregnancy. A calcium supplement can help prevent this potential problem, particularly when caring for a pregnant stray cat.

  • GALAXY 59 profile image

    Galaxy Harvey 6 years ago from United Kingdom

    You are so right Felicity. Cats are indeed the clever ones! In fact in my next life I want to come back as one.

  • profile image

    Felicity 6 years ago

    How much do they contribute to the rent? How much housework do they do? Hmm. Do they provide any income? I'm guessing the answers are 0! And yet you are feeding them, providing a roof over their heads, and providing free medical benefits. Even most kids are expected to do some housework, pay board etc. So a cat guess all this for nada. And they say cats aren't smart!

  • profile image

    Susannah Hammond 6 years ago

    Just like people - some cats are very clever, some just clever and some pretty stupid...

  • GALAXY 59 profile image

    Galaxy Harvey 7 years ago from United Kingdom

    Yes, I agree with you, I want to be a cat in my next life that's for sure!

  • CASE1WORKER profile image

    CASE1WORKER 7 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

    Course they are clever! the loll around all day and get fed on request and have mummys who look after them! they dont work and play on their own terms- really clever to me