Are Cats Dumb? 17 Facts You Should Know About Several Types


One question that often hovers in every cat owner’s mind is whether cats are smart or dumb. While we do not really have to do anything practical with a cat’s IQ level, it is worth exploring if cats are dumb.

One such animal that frequently chooses to live on its own terms is a cat. Some also exhibit a laid-back disposition and amuse people with absurd actions. And all of these characteristics might give the impression that cats lack intelligence. But in actuality, certain cat species have a more intelligent side than others.

CharacteristicsBengal CatsOther Domestic Cats
SmartnessVery highRelatively lower than Bengal cats but varies
Intelligence Very highVaries

Different feline species have varying degrees of intelligence. One of the world’s brightest cat breeds is the Bengal cat. Their intelligence is what gives them speed and adaptability. This does not imply that cats who do not exhibit agility are foolish.

Are Cats Dumb
Image Credit: A black cat from Pxhere

This article has been devoted to examining whether cats are intelligent. In the following parts, we shall address some of the most often asked queries to ascertain the truth.

Are cats dumb or smart?

Have you ever wondered if the furry creature you live with has a more intelligent side? Or are they genuinely dumb fools that play about all day?

Cats are certainly not dumb. Associating cats as a collective with stupidity would be absurd because feline intelligence would vary depending on breed.

It should be noted that a cat’s brain is normally smaller on average than a human’s. For example, compared to an average human’s brain size of 2 percent and a dog’s brain size of 1.2 percent, a cat’s brain makes up roughly 0.9 percent of its body mass. But in this case, intelligence level is not determined by size.

Please allow us to use the example of Neanderthals to help you gain perspective. Neanderthals, a species of sub-humans that extincted over 20,000 years ago, possessed larger brains than modern humans. But they lost to Homo sapiens in the struggle for survival. Thus their bigger brains did not make them much smarter.

What is the average EQ or encephalization quotient of a cat?

When comparing the intelligence of various animals, the EQ, or encephalization quotient, is employed as a proxy for intelligence. It is a method for connecting an animal’s physical traits with its alleged intelligence.

The experts determined that a domestic cat’s EQ ranged from 1 to 1.71. For context, an average human has an EQ level between 7.44 and 7.8. So, compared with humans, a cat’s brain is much smaller.

It is important to remember that values over one are categorized as big-brained and vice versa. So, it won’t be incorrect to think of cats as having large brains. In light of this, it is important to note that the tigers in Java and Bali have the largest brains among members of the Felidae family.

What is the average IQ of cats?

Whenever we discuss a being’s intelligence, we consider their IQ score. So, if cats are not stupid, it might be worthwhile to investigate their IQ.

According to studies, cats often have an IQ of 100. It implies that cats are as good at learning tricks, comprehending basic instructions, and resolving issues as a human infant.

Cats can link words to specific objects, according to studies. They also possess an acute sense of smell and can recall locations and objects based on their smell. Although cats have a lower IQ than humans, these traits demonstrate that they are intelligent animals (85 and 115).

Why are cats so dumb?

Image Credit: Sleeping British shorthair cat from Rawpixel

Your cat might occasionally be stupid and try to amuse you with clever antics. But does that show cats are dumb creatures?

Cats are not dumb. Although they can act silly and behave strangely, they have a good IQ comparable to that of dogs (IQ-100). In other words, felines have an IQ level comparable to youngsters between the ages of 2 and 2.5.

However, cats occasionally do exhibit absolutely idiotic behavior. But there are always some explanations for such actions. The following are some typical explanations for a cat’s foolish conduct.

Innate nature

Your cat might occasionally jump awkwardly onto your shoulder or constantly jump at items it can’t reach. However, these behaviors may be ingrained in their nature. If your cat has always acted this way, you should consider it normal. 

However, you must look into the fundamental causes of such behaviors that have just recently started.

Getting rewarded for wrong behaviors

It could happen that your cat is being rewarded for acting stupid. If you frequently treat your cat when it behaves foolishly, it will probably repeat the behavior again and again.

Head injury 

If your cat suddenly begins acting silly or abnormally, there’s a good probability that it recently suffered a head injury. Visit your vet right away if you have any similar suspicions.

Lack of training

When a cat was a kitten, it likely didn’t receive any training in good conduct, which can lead to odd or silly behavior. Bengal cats, for example, require proper training to act in the right ways. So, there is a good risk that your cat will behave foolishly or oddly if no training is provided.

Are cats smarter than dogs?

Dogs are intelligent; there is no doubting that. They can perform tricks, comprehend commands, and socialize better if properly trained. But are cats smarter than dogs? Let’s explore.

Cats can be both smarter and dumber than dogs. Cats excel at some things while falling short of canines in other situations. At this point, it should be noted that both cats and dogs have an IQ of 100. 

Studies have shown that in some situations, cats are smarter than dogs. For instance, Budapest’s Eötvös Loránd University conducted a study that revealed that cats are more adept at solving puzzles than dogs. Moreover, they remained committed to the challenge until it was resolved. Dogs, on the other hand, asked their owners for assistance. Also, most cats possess a sharper memory than most dogs. 

Cats are less adept at counting or recognizing quantities than dogs, according to another research conducted in 2008 on these two animals. As a result, it isn’t easy to choose one animal over another based just on intelligence.

What type of cats are dumb?

Considering cats as dumb animals is one of the most wrong things one can think of. Yet, the level of smartness or intelligence varies among different breeds of cats. 

Let’s start by detesting the word “dumb.” While some tests are used to assess feline intellect, their results might not be entirely reliable. Yet, some cats are seen as less intelligent by human standards. These cats are listed below in ascending order.

  1. Exotic Shorthair
  2. Persian
  3. Himalayan
  4. Birman
  5. American Shorthair
  6. British Shorthair
  7. Snowshoe
  8. Serengeti Cat

However, how these cats are classified as less intellectual still needs to be addressed. These cats do, however, share some characteristics, such as a diminished capacity for reasoning and a diminished capacity for grasping concepts (such as litter training). All these lacking often contribute to making them less smart.

But remember that these cats are “less intelligent,” not dumb or unintelligent. And if trained early on, all of these cats can exhibit good and acceptable behavior.

Are orange cats dumb?

Image Credit: An orange cat licking its paw from Rawpixel

Are you aware of the widely held belief that “orange cats are dumb”? But is it the entire truth or a myth? Let’s unearth the reality.

In the first place, orange cats are not dumb. However, these cats are indeed thought to be at least averagely intelligent.

While evaluating their intelligence, it is important to keep in mind that orange cats are simply cats with an orange coat. These cats are referred to as tabby, which refers to particular coat markings rather than a particular breed. Furthermore, a cat’s IQ has more to do with its breed than its coat color.

The ultimate conclusion is that because different cat breeds can have orange fur, it is difficult to say whether orange cats are generally “dumb or less intelligent.” So, whether or not an orange-furred cat is intelligent would depend on its breed and genetic make-up.

Why are orange cats so dumb?

If you own an orange cat, you may have noticed it occasionally acting foolishly, making you look foolish. But have you ever considered the reasons for its foolish behavior?

First of all, orange cats are not stupid. But several things might be causing them to behave foolishly. They may exhibit that behavior naturally or due to their breed being a less intelligent variety of feline. A head injury may occasionally be the cause of the problem.

It is erroneous to assume that your orange cat is inherently foolish or dumb, regardless of how they act. No cat is totally dumb but can vary in possessing smarter genes.

Are Persian cats dumb?

One of the most popular domestic cats is the Persian. These cats are renowned for their easygoing demeanor. However, does that make them foolish or naive?

Persian cats are not dumb, but they are considered to be among the cat breeds with the lowest intelligence levels. These cats prefer to relax and observe what others are doing than actively engage in any activity. These cats don’t appear to get excited much.

The poor comprehension and grasping abilities of Persians are another problem. For instance, some Persians experience trouble using the litter box at eight weeks. But with consistent and proper training, they can overcome these problems. 

Additionally, these cats exhibit a complete absence of chasing and hunting, which renders them couch potatoes. Persian cat lovers typically refer to their pets as “fluffy furniture.” However, due to these traits, they are a lazy breed, not a blatantly stupid one. That said, you’ll have to put in more work to get Persians moving.

Are ragdoll cats dumb?

A ragdoll cat is among the biggest and cutest cat breeds available. This breed of cat is also the most docile one there is.

Ragdolls are not dumb. They are simply a laid-back breed of cat that enjoys cuddling on your lap. They are as trainable as any other breed of feline. However, they are not particularly energetic. On the other hand, this breed is also quite active in adjusting and communicating.

However, ragdolls are completely naive when it comes to hunting and surviving. So, they are pure indoor cats. It’s vital to remember that how much intelligence your ragdoll exhibits will also depend on how effectively they’ve been trained. It’s important to highlight that these cats are clever and like to learn tricks and games.

Are calico cats dumb?

Image Credit: Calico cat from Pixino

The first thing to remember is that calico is a coat color, not a breed. Additionally, cats of various breeds can have calico coats.

The calico cat is intelligent. However, because cats of different breeds might have this coat color, there would be a range in their intelligence. In addition, since calico cats vary greatly from one another, so too would their intelligence.

Having said that, all cats with calico coats have the same characteristics.

  • Endearing personalities
  • Affectionate
  • Warm-hearted
  • Social 
  • Playful 

When judging the intelligence of their cats, cat owners should keep in mind that breed, not coat color, determines the cats’ level of intelligence. So, one shouldn’t determine their cat’s cognition just based on their coat color.

Are Siamese cats dumb?

One of the most preferred domestic cat breeds is the Siamese. However, some Siamese cat owners consider their cats to be stupid. But does this apply to the entire Siamese breed?

Siamese cats are intelligent and not dumb. Therefore, the top 10 breeds of cats with the lowest intelligence levels do not include this breed. Instead, it is generally believed that this breed has at least average intelligence.

Having said that, Siamese cats communicate well with people and quickly pick up tricks if trained from a young age. The majority of Siamese, for instance, can be taught to fetch, walk on a leash, leap through hoops, give high fives, and other behaviors.

Are tuxedo cats dumb?

When we hear “tuxedo,” we probably never imagine a cat but a gentleman in a crisp black suit. However, a feline coat color called tuxedo exhibits elegance in black and white coats. 

One of the weirdest things to consider about a tuxedo cat is to picture them as “dumb.” On the contrary, these cats are sassy but also amiable and amusing. You would be aware of how communicative and devoted these cats can be if you had one at home.

It’s interesting to note that some tuxedo cat owners think their pets are smarter than other cats. However, confirming the claim is tough, almost impossible. We say this because the tuxedo is a particular coat color, not a breed. So, it would be impossible to assess the true degree of intellect in these cats because that would require assessing the intelligence of every tuxedo cat from every cat breed.

Are black cats dumb?

There is no cat as misunderstood as black cats. Unfortunately, several perceptions exist regarding black cats, most of which are complete myths. 

Black cats are not dumb. Black is one of the base coat colors in felines, the other being red. Black cats are not a specific breed, and around 22 feline breeds can have a pure black coat. So, whether a black cat would exhibit intelligence would depend on the breed it belongs to.  

Are white cats dumb?

Image Credit: Van Kedisi by Estin Giç Giç (CC BY-SA 4.0) from Wikimedia

If you have owned a white cat, you would be aware of its beauty and majesty. Furthermore, the white coat color is one of the less common cat colors.

There is no correlation between a white cat’s intellectual level and the color of its coat. However, due to a somewhat higher percentage of deafness, these felines are usually seen as less intelligent. They might appear foolish since they can’t hear properly.

But it’s important to remember that even deaf cats are not stupid. They are also intelligent to a certain extent. Additionally, whether your cat demonstrates its intelligence will depend on how you raise it. 

Are tabby cats dumb?

Rather than referring to a particular breed, the word “tabby” describes a coat color. Both domestic cat breeds and wild cat species have tabby coats.

Since tabby cats do not belong to a particular breed, it is impossible to say whether they are all less clever. However, depending on the breed they come from, tabby cats’ intelligence levels will differ.

Consider that some smartest cat breeds, such as Bengal and Abyssinian cats, carry the incredibly diversified tabby gene. Therefore, it is incorrect to assume that tabby cats are totally ignorant or idiotic.

Conclusion

Before we wrap up, we’d like to list the criteria used to assess a cat’s intellect (usually).

  • Memory
  • Trainability
  • Social abilities

All cats, however, share these characteristics, even though they can vary in degrees from one feline breed to another. Therefore, it would be absurd for us to assume that cats are inherently “dumb” animals. Every cat has a certain level of intellect, and how they are raised will determine whether or not their smart side comes out.

Atrayee

I am Atrayee, I have extreme passion for the Animal Kingdom and I have written a large number of articles for animal behaviors. I am an Animal Lover by nature and own two Cats.
Exploring new things through learning and unlearning is something that intrigues me a lot. I spend my free time with my husband and two cats. I must say I get to learn a lot of wise things from them! You can catch me on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/atrayee-samaddar-06886567/

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