Have you ever wondered what your cat is thinking?
Well, I can’t honestly tell you what your cat thinks, but I can tell you a bit how he thinks.
Cats and humans share many similarities when it comes to the brain. Of course, our brain is larger (1400 grams) and a cat’s brain is smaller (30 grams), but much of the thought process is quite similar.
Researchers have been studying a cat’s thought process for many years and a study was conducted in the 1970s to see how cats processed visual information.
The visual cortex of the brain is more developed in humans, but cats, with the help of their whiskers, have fine sensory input, which allows them to navigate quite well, especially in the dark.
The “brain of the nose” of cats (rhinencephalon) is much larger than that of humans, which makes them much more sensitive to smell than we are. Many cats that have naval cavity tumors or other problems with the nose do not eat because a cat eats only what smells good to them.
Dogs are known to have a great sense of smell and are used as “drug detection dogs” and for search and rescue missions. If cats were more cooperative, their sense of smell would also be a great asset for these programs.
The limbic system that controls emotional behavior is a brain function shared by both cats and humans. Many people think that cats are not emotional, but if the truth were known, cats probably have the same emotions of anger, likes and dislikes that we do.
Cats also have memory and, like humans and other mammals, have two “seahorse-shaped hippocampi located on either side of the brain. The hippocampus may be smaller than that of humans, but trust me, a cat remembers well and associates memories with people, places and things as humans do.
Cats can also have addictions just like humans. While people tend to overindulge in food, drugs, or alcohol, cats can become addicted to catnip and stress-related activities such as hair pulling (psychogenic alopecia).
Cats can also suffer from some of the same brain diseases as humans. The most common tumors are meningiomas (usually benign) and lymphoma, epilepsy (usually caused by a tumor), and a form of dementia found in elderly cats or cats that have suffered a severe head injury.
It is said that cats are not very intelligent because they do not do tricks like dogs or try to please their owners. As a parent of cats I have to disagree, having lived with cats for most of my life, I find them extremely intelligent and I truly believe that we could learn a lot from them, if only we followed their examples.
Just think how much simpler your life would be if you followed your cat’s lifestyle.