Is There a Link Between Learning Certain Skills and Having Smart Cats?Published November 1, 2011
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Can external factors and learning different skills at a young age affect how smart our cats are?
A recent Daily Beast article took a look at what it deemed the 15 Signs You'll Raise a Genius and discussed some of the factors which may have a positive impact on the IQ of children. As I perused the piece, I got to wondering whether similar factors might influence the IQ of our pets.
Of course, all of the suppositions on whether these factors affect our pet's intelligence are purely speculative, but since most animal lovers consider their furry feline companions as family members, in the spirit of fun and humor, I thought I would give it a go!
According to the article, “Children who play the piano or a stringed instrument score 15 percent higher on verbal skills than children who don't play an instrument.”
This statistic was obtained from a study of music students in the Boston area, and may present a strong argument for considering Zez Comfrey’s rationale for composing his famous ragtime piece, Kitten on the Keys. Purrhaps he was influenced by a kitty that caught his fancy.
With correlations being made between musical skills and language skills, it might not be so far-fetched to think that musically gifted kitties (like Nora, the world- renowned feline virtuoso) might also be honing their “vocabulary” of meows and chirps to communicate with their humans. And when it comes to playing strings, all cat lovers know that the majority of kitties are highly attracted to many varieties of string, eager to play with even the tiniest piece.
Another factor that may affect IQ was aerobic exercise. According to the article, “Aerobic exercise increases children's executive-functioning abilities by as much as 100 percent.”
This definitely is an omen which bodes badly for those couch potato felines who strongly show a preference for heavy-duty napping. Those cats in training to compete in the marathon-sleeping division of the upcoming Winter Olympics might not be so well off. But I suspect getting those kitties running around chasing a laser light or a feather flyer will certainly help them out.
The article sheds light on another interesting factor; apparently, learning to juggle can help increase intelligence. The article says, "Learning to juggle can increase the volume of gray matter in children's brains by 3 percent."
If this statistic about the correlation between juggling and intelligence is accurate, it truly explains why cats are exceptionally intelligent. While felines may not traditionally juggle three balls in the air, they are highly skilled in simultaneously “juggling” several tasks. I don’t know about your kitties, but when ours are eating their favorite food, they purr loudly while affectionately rubbing against our legs, and are always geared up to pounce on an unsuspecting palmetto bug who dares to cross their path during dinner time.
This statistical data represents just a few of the many items presented in the study. I extrapolated the ones I think are the most compelling in justifying my speculations.
What do you think? Tell us in a comment.