How Smart is Your Pet?

The answer could shed light on a deeper mystery.

How smart is your pet? The book Test Your Cat: The Cat IQ Test claims to be able to tell you ‘how smart your cat really is’. He or she might be an ‘undiscovered genius’. Using the book, you score your cat on a variety of questions, perform a calculation, and this gives you the cat’s IQ. The first question is whether the cat eats on a regular schedule. The second is whether it eats a variety of foods. There are many other questions. Now, I have no idea how seriously this book is intended to be taken. But it strikes me that there is something very odd about the idea that eating on a regular schedule and enjoying a varied diet have anything to do with intelligence, as we usually understand that term.

Similarly, you sometimes hear people say that a particular breed of dog is highly intelligent. But quite often, what people mean by this is that individuals of that breed are very obedient and can be trained to perform many tasks. This interest in ‘trainability

Continue reading

Enjoy unlimited access to the world's leading thinkers.

Start by exploring our subscription options or joining our mailing list today.

Start Free Trial

Already a subscriber? Log in

Join the conversation