Cats: Not as clever as we think
CATS are not as clever as people think, according to experts at the University of Exeter.
Psychology lecturer Britta Osthaus says cats do not understand cause-and-effect.
The Exeter expert attached fish and biscuit treats to one end of a piece of string and placed them under a plastic screen to see if the cats could work out that pulling on the string would pull the treat closer.
They were tested using a single baited string, two parallel strings where only one was baited, and two crossed strings where only one was baited.
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No cat consistently chose correctly between two parallel strings and with crossed strings they succeeded no more than might be expected by chance.
Osthaus said: "They performed even worse than dogs, which can at least solve the parallel string task."
The study helped show the limits of feline intelligence, Osthaus, who conducted the research while a teaching fellow at Exeter University, told The Guardian.
"If we know their limits we won't expect too much of them, which in turn is important for their welfare. I am not trying to say cats are stupid, just they are different."