SIamese cats are famous for their appearance, their social attitudes, and are also well-known for being smart, but are they really the smartest cat breed you can adopt?
There’s a bit behind this question that you will need to understand first. You will need to have a good sense of what makes a cat “smart” compared to other breeds of cat, and how their intelligence is displayed.
Once you have a better understanding of this, you may be able to see whether or not Siamese cats are truly the smartest.
Why Are Siamese Cats So Smart?
There is no denying that Siamese cats are smart, and there is good evidence to prove this.
Siamese cat intelligence does appear to be higher than many other cat breeds, as these cats quickly learn how to communicate with their people and enjoy problem-solving toys and puzzles rather than just getting frustrated by them. In fact, Siamese cats are one of the few cats that seems to truly want to show off how smart it is.
Siamese cats in particular seem to excel in communication and object permanence, which are two of the biggest areas of testing a cat’s intelligence that you can focus on.
Siamese cats tend to enjoy the idea of object permanence tests, toys, and games that you can purchase, as it gets their brains active and stimulated. This is one way to keep your Siamese cat busy as well, and most cat owners will have fun watching their feline friends check out puzzles and solve them themselves.
Siamese cats have also been shown to be able to understand and follow through with training, which is something that a lot of people struggle with when trying to teach cats things.
This only goes to show just how smart these cats really are compared to the rest of the breeds, as many breeds rarely get past the stage of learning tricks and prefer to laze about in the sun. Siamese cats, on the other hand, actively seek new challenges and new things to learn, meaning that training can be a fun bonding experience for you both.
Are Siamese cats the smartest breed of cat?
The answer to this is unfortunately a bit muddled because the research on measuring cat intelligence isn’t entirely complete yet.
Scientists and animal behavioralists are still working to find the best ways to measure something fluid and changing, such as an animal’s capability for intelligence when it cannot simply answer questions in the way that human children do.
What is known for certain is that the Siamese cat is among the smartest cat breeds that you can own, and may very well be the smartest cat breed out there.
How to Determine Feline Intelligence
Measuring the intelligence of an animal that is not a human is a little bit different than you might think.
Animals cannot converse with people and can confirm whether they understand concepts such as object permanence and whatnot, so it is up to scientists and animal behavioralists to determine a set of traits animals need to be considered “intelligent” compared to other forms of life.
There are more than a few ways to do this, ranging from more numeric-focused methods such as counting brain cells to more subjective and observant methods such as how easily an animal can grasp a new trick.
With as many different methods as there are, it can be hard to try and get a sense of whether or not cats are truly intelligent, especially because most cats are not inherent pleasers.
This means that, unlike dogs, they do not seek to please the person who is offering them treats, and generally will do as they please.
On a scientific and observer’s level, cat intelligence is focused into six broad categories and how smart a cat is depends on how well it can grasp and utilize each of these categories. The categories are the following:
- Object permanence and memory
- Physical cause and effect
- Understanding quantities and time
- Sensitivity to human cues
Object Permanence / Memory
Object permanence and memory is pretty straightforward. If your cat understands that an object is still there, even if it is not in a direct line of sight, then it has a good sense of object permanence.
Some forms of enrichment toys will explore this, as you can hide treats and watch your cat try and find them. Memory, when looked at from measuring intelligence, is focused on short-term ability, as even the smartest breeds seem to have a 30-second memory.
Physical Cause and Effect
Physical cause and effect for cats boils down to gauging how well a cat understands that an action will have an effect. When a cat knocks items off the edge of a surface, it is actually experiencing that cause-and-effect understanding, rather than just being a defiant pet. Doing this, it learns that by pushing an item off the edge, the effect is that it will likely break or make a noise.
Understanding Time and Quantity
Understanding quantities and time is a bit tougher in cats, as research has shown that while cats do seem to understand numbers and quantities, they also don’t seem to really care about them, so while they understand the subject being presented to them, they will likely act as if they don’t. Most cat owners also know that cats do develop a sense of time and schedule, especially when you are about three seconds off schedule for feeding your cats.
Understanding Human Cues
Sensitivity to human cues can also be phrased as how well a cat learns commands in the way that dogs do. While cats are far more aloof and don’t always care, they do pay attention and even more so when there is food involved. The most intelligent cat breeds can learn to sit, stay, and sometimes even more than this.
Communication is where Siamese cats really shine. Cats, by their nature, need to learn to communicate to their people through their equivalent of yelling since cat communication is primarily nonverbal. A cat realizing it needs to meow at you is a sign that it is learning and picking up on what you notice. As cats excel in communication, they will be able to tell you what they want through the tone of their meow, how often they meow, and how many different noises they make when aimed at you.
Finally, there is the concept of personality. This is somewhat disputed, as individual cats will have strikingly different personalities. It is thought that cats with more striking and noticeable personalities tend to be more intelligent, though there isn’t much evidence to support (or deny) those claims.
So, what does this mean for the Siamese cat?
Siamese cats have a strong concept of object permanence and respond well to human training and guidance. Add in their inquisitive personality and you have the building blocks for one of the most intelligence breeds of cat around.