How Cats Make Associations, They’re Smarter Than You Think

Do cats care? It turns out the truth is that it does. Despite many myths about cats’ relationships with us, they care and instantly make associations and remember them, arguably even more than dogs.

For example, the association made with a box must be positive. After all, when you receive a delivery and leave the box empty, it usually doesn’t take long for a cat to jump inside. Cats are programmed to like these “protected places”.

Cat carriers are, after all, just boxes. If a carrier was left outside and open and the cat never visited the veterinary clinic, the cat would voluntarily spend part of the day inside the carrier taking a nap.

However, for many cats, a negative association – from the cat’s perspective – has been made with the carrier. The cats are forced into it in unpredictable ways (no one tells the cat that on Tuesday at 10 a.m. there is a vet appointment), the car ride is scary and even worse, what happens at the clinic – which can be downright terrifying. However, the veterinary experience is changing for the better for cats through fearless and cat-friendly practices.

Here’s how smart cats are and how they think. An injection called Solensia helps relieve cats of arthritic pain. The injection is administered by a professional veterinarian and cats often feel better fairly quickly. Some cats, previously terrified of a trip to the vet and literally having to be put in their carrier, now willingly jump inside because they know what awaits them. They made the opposite association: understanding that being inside the transporter means that soon they will no longer suffer.

If my cat is so smart, why is my cat unresponsive?

Cats recognize their names, even if they don’t respond. However, unlike dogs, who (often but obviously not always) run when their name is called, cats make associations and make considered decisions about how to react. Unless they think the mad sprint has an advantage for the caller, it probably won’t happen.

The benefit could be attention, petting or – of course – food. Many cats are more sensitive to the opening of the refrigerator door than to their name. In fact, it’s the same for many dogs. Typically, a cat can sleep soundly as far away from the kitchen as possible, but when the lid is opened on the wet cat food, the cat appears within seconds.

Cats, like dogs, also recognize and differentiate between the different voices of individual family members. They are more likely to respond to certain household members.

Just as cats often communicate with each other in subtle ways, they are extremely perceptive. It’s not easy to fool cats. And if you cheat on your cat, unlike most dogs, trust can suffer for a long time.

For example, for cats who hate having their nails trimmed, stand several rooms away with clippers and call Kitty. Cats often know that this time it is not beneficial to respond. How do they know you’re holding the nail clippers?

Cats cannot be easily fooled. Worse yet, if you trick your cat, the few hundred or more times you call, the cat probably won’t respond because trust has been compromised, and cats don’t forget quickly.

Furthermore, many cats regularly respond to calls from their loved ones. If these cats are less enthusiastic or unresponsive, it is unlikely that “the cat is just a cat,” as some say. Instead, it indicates that the cat is not feeling any sensations or may be in pain. Cats are experts at hiding discomfort, and sometimes the first clue may be that the cat is not responding.


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