How Smart is Your Cat?


Roll With It
We had the thread about smart dogs, and some of your dogs are amazing! I want to hear about your cats now.

Captain Morgan is no rocket scientist. Mostly he spends his day watching the clock so meals won't be missed. He is quite sure that if he does not loudly inform us it is time for his food then we will forget. He is the ONLY cat I have not been able to keep off of a table. He stays off the kitchen countertops, but doesn't feel the table is included. So we just wash it with bleach before meals or cooking or projects.

Freckles was amazing. She insisted on makeup for several years. I used food color markers for her makeup. It started because I had seen a book about painted cats. I wanted to see what she would do. She LOVED it. We lived iwth my folks and their two male cats. Her attitude was clearly "when you can make the humans do THIS then we will discuss who is boss. Until then - do what you are told, peasants.) When it was wearing off she would lead me to the drawer where I kept her markers. She purred through the entire process. I kept one set of food color markers for her and one for cake decorating. One time i didn't get to her makeup when she thought i should, and one of the ones used on food was accidentally left out. She chewed the cap off and rolled all over it to do her own makeup!

After Jess was born she was Freckles' baby. If Jess cried the cat was right there to help fix it. If I tried to let Jess cry it out, Freckles would have NONE of it - she pestered me until I got busy doing something about it. It wasn't the crying - if we were holding Jess and trying to do something to fix the problem, Freckles was fine. But if we just let her cry, nope. Not happening.

At one point she adopted a mouse. Now she was quite a good mouser. Something about this one mouse appealed to her - she would even sleep curled up with the mouse. Creeped me out and I made sure the mouse left. Freckles mourned her for about a week though. She also adored the cockatiel we had. They would sleep right next to each other with just the cage wire between them. When Freckles died the bird mourned for a long time. Finally I had to find a home with a cat who liked birds for her. I actually found one - a woman who's bird had just died and her cat was in mourning. Neither of them would eat much, but within a day or two of living with the lady I started getting pictures of them togehter - and they are both very attached.

A cat we had when I was a kid trained our dog to open the drawer where the dog and cat treats were. She somehow taught the dog to use her teeth to pull the drawer open, then the dog would get her bones and the cat would jump in and get her treats, then the cat came out and made the dog shut the drawer! My parents didn't believe me until they caught them doing it in the middle of the night!

Then there was O'Malley. As much trouble as his namesake in the Aristocats. He actually allowed 4yo Jess to color his belly green with a marker! WHen I was preg with thank you he would curl up on my belly bump and talk to thank you. Meows, little purrs, even some chirping sounds. After thank you was born he responded to O'Malley's meows just like my voice and husband's voice. O Malley also used the remote and the answering machine. When we were at work he would get lonely and push the button on the answering machine to hear our voices. Took a couple of months and three different answering machines to figure out why we NEVER got messages from anyone! We would also come home to find the tv on, or hear it come on late at night. Or leave the room to get a drink and find a different channel on when we came back. At first we thought it was the kids in the middle of the night, but they would be sound asleep.

What talents/smart things do your cats do?


New Member
After 30 years of continuos, multiple cat ownership - there are a few that stand out in memory, LOL.

Cash - my first one. Black with white markings, run of the mill thickcoated kitten. Got her at 4 weeks of age because mom got run over. I remember this little scrap of kitten standing on a slice of ham that was bigger than her, having a cow because the ham wouldn't come along with her [she was standing on it!], growling, hissing and have a fit, LOL. Cash the cat of 9 lives and literally used them all up. In 30 years I've never had another cat that got into so much life scaring trouble than this one. Rescue 1: still back in Germany - she climbed the corner post of a huge barn next door to the house I was renting - the entire neighborhood was bringing out consecutively taller ladders to try to reach her. Everytime it seemed someone was able to get to her, she'd go up another 4 or 5 feet. We ended up with the fire department and a fire truck getting her down - she also made the newspaper back then.

Rescue 2: Cash + Jenny got boarded for the first time during my honeymoon - 2 weeks. Both refused to eat, Jenny [had much better sense] started eating after 3 days, Cash went on hungerstrike. We came back after 5 days and picked her up from the boarding places vet - near dead. From there on she always associated car rides with me going away and leaving her, and meowed and screamed on wide open non-stop while the car was moving. After 2-3 hrs she'd be croaking instead of meowing but continue to keep it up for hours at a time.

Rescue 3: Cash in the USA - climbing up one of these humongous pine trees, all the way up to the lower branches. Out in the country this time. The fire department just laughed at me when I called. I went there in person, flirted a young volunteer into coming along with one of these extra long extension ladders [they wouldn't let us have a truck ;o( LOL] and I had to get up to get her down, as everytime he would go for he - she'd go up some more. Can't remember how tall that ladder was = but it was a tripple extendable one and I was standing on the top rung, hugging the bloody pine tree!

Rescue 4: Same ****** pine tree, same dang cat! Fire department said - no way, don't even try! My husband said, leave her up there - she'll come down eventually. She said in that tree for 3 days meowing. I finally got a neighbor to help me - extra long rope, a brick, and lots of throwing exercise to get the brick over that branch to shake her out. Me standing underneath to catch her - the scratches on my face and neck took about 2 years of fading creams to go away, LOL.

Rescue 5: Hurricane Hugo - we are evacuating. As I am loading all cats and dogs up, Cash realizes - oh sh** - not in the car again and dissappeared. My husband threatened to leave me behind [yeah - we are divorced, LOL], while I was searching for her. We probably were the last family leaving the area, LOL. In the process I found "Mathias" a chocolate brown manx kitten who I scooped up instead of Cash. When we came back 3 days later, a most indignant and p.o.ed Cash was sitting on the doorstep demanding to be fed right now!

There have been more Cash episodes afterwards - her last one [she was 12 at the time] and to my everlasting regret I had just chewed her butt out for stealing food again from the counter top and swiped her behind [terrible thief - you could not leave anything food related out in the open and walk away - for years we had chickens and turkeys without wings - they always dissappeared during unthawing, LOL. Sandwich - gone. Icecream, pudding, yoghurt - gone.] Cash - the raider of trashcans, and god forbid the fridge door wasn't closed tightly - all meat items chewed into, stuff pulled out and dragged through the house. There had been more than once that I got so mad with her I near took her out, but she did have my heart! Anyways = that last day I had just busted her behind again - went to the store to replace what she messed up, and came back to find her run over on my sidewalk. This did break my heart and I still hurt that we parted upset with each other! I always wondered if she was as upset with me than I was with her, and she wasn't paying attention to where she was going - don't laugh! I loved this cat more than my husband and she was the reason why I had broken off more than once with someone I was dating. That was my kid - love me love my furkids!

Quincy - a shaded silver persian - another love in my life. The announcer of sunny mornings [when it was raining he just staid in bed and snuggled under the covers, sunshine mornings - paws on chest, whiskers in face, purrs into my nose, LOL]. The bringer of daily gifts [if he couldn't find a suitable toy, he would raid my office desk and bring pens, markers, or papers. I never again had as many business cards with teeth marks on them, while I had Quince]. Always underfoot, always waiting in front of a door when he missed his chance to come into a room with me. I never managed to go to the bathroom alone while I had Quincy, LOL.

Gizzy - his chinchilla persian sidekick. A sweetfaced and easy with me beautiful persian girlie - not the brightest cookie in the jar, but always loving and affectionate with me. Did not like anybody else but Quince or me - a total 1 person cat. Rarely ever got in trouble, never took anything she wasn't supposed to, never countersurfed, stole food or raided trash. A total goody2shoes; she did have a lot of health issues all of her life, including a recurrent relapsing rectum - that poor cat had more surgery than all of my other cats alltogether. Both of them gone now.

Virgil - a white persian; my walking guide, snake warner [I can stand right next to a rattler or copperhead and not see it until it starts moving] - he walks with me on our acreage and makes sure I don't step on one, LOL. Lovely loving boy, also one of the 1 person cats. He's old now and wants to be out on the acreage, whenever I bring him into the house here in town after a day or two, he is unhappy because he can't go outside - we're living on a busy road with 45 m/h traffic], I am not going to risk him being runned over.

Howlee - a silver shaded persian - the most complainetive, talkative, never-shutting-up cat I have ever owned [all of my cats talked] - Howlee is the most vocal of them all - a constant running commetary - ALL THE TIME! He is with Virgil on our country place - so he only has me 3 or 4 hrs a day now, but he manages to get most of his talking needs taken care off. Also getting older now and a tad mellower. He just grumbles and chirps a lot nowadays instead of outright conversations, LOL.

These are just a few of the many that have graced my life the last 30 years or so; I'd always rather have a cat than a dog [although I have both]!

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
My cat Bruce is basically an idiot most of the time. Or he just likes me to think he is, I'm not sure which.

If he wants his litter box cleaned he starts meowing at me nonstop until I take the hint........Seriously, he'll follow me all around the house until I catch on. Drives me nuts.

If he wants water he's created a different version of Molly's banging the dish on the floor. (they share water dishes it's easier) He'll sit in it or "dig" in it. Once I found him asleep in it......I guess it took me a while to notice him there. lol

His best idiot move? He'll bolt out any outside door to suddenly freeze upon finding himself outside and hiss like crazy at any nearby cat...........which since I have a pride of strays, is always nearby. No reason for the hissing. Minnie and even the newer additions seem only to want to be friendly. It's Bruce that is freaking out. lol (he just did this idiot move again this morning)

That's about it. He doesn't know how to use a scratching post. It can take him forever to "learn" to play with a cat toy, if he ever figures it out at all.

While he's one of the most affectionate cats I've ever known (almost to the point of being obnoxious), he didn't seem to be blessed in the brains dept. lol


call 911
I refuse to respond on the grounds that I may incriminate myself.......she is a witch in a calico coat. Just NOT quite sure where she hides the wand.


New Member
Sometimes there is a blessing in cats [and dogs - especially if you have multiples] that aren't too bright. You don't have to cat proof the entire house, the cup boards, trash cans, lock the doors for privacy [hmhm], have to spell certain words so they don't catch on, etc etc. There is something to say for a furry critter you don't have to battle all the time to stay ahead of, LOL. I have had cats that would open room doors in cahoots - in Germany the inside door handle are "L" shaped and you push the handle down to unlock the door. Genny would jump up and hang on the door handle, Cash would sit in front of the door and push from the bottom if the door opened into the room, or scratch on it until the gap was wide enough to wedge a paw in to pull it open if they were on the wrong side of the door.

Most of my cats knew how to open cupboard doors. Some figured out how to open drawers. In one house I had a fridge with a very loose seal - you could open it with a toe or your pinky finger - Cash figured that one out in no time. PPl always wondered why I had a heavy cardboard box barricading the fridge [when we moved she spend endlessly long frustrated hours in front of the new fridge before she finally gave up, LOL. Even years later she'd walk by and give it a test try to see if maybe...]

Howlee can spend hours in the kitchen, and I can wash whatever in the kitchen sink. But lemme tell ya - when I run water to give him a bath - he first tries to tiptoe away and do the invisible cat, and if he knows I am on to him, runs squawking through the house trying to escape. When he gets a bath - all windows and doors need to be closed, as I am sure it sounds like I am murdering someone inside - he screams [actually sounds more ling long deep mournful howls] from the moment he realizes he gets a bath, to the exact second when I wrap the towel around him. And while I have had cats that would get seriously angry with me and hold a grudge for a day or two after they had a bath - as soon as he is done, he starts purring again and loving on me - all wet and all that [maybe trying to share some of that with me].

Calli used to freak out when I took a bath. I could take showers all the time [my preferred way of getting clean, as I am 5'10" and the typical american tub so really doesn't do anything for me]. Then I bought a house with a tub I could have drowned in - even all the way stretched out. That poor cat would sit on the toilet each time I took a bath - totally terrified and anxious and would follow me for hours afterwards to make sure I survived alright, LOL.


Roll With It
Leo was a cat we had when I was a tween/early teen. He would go for walks with us. I often called him BooBoo bear after the bear that tags after Yogi bear in the cartoons. If you went a block or two miles he went with you. I was able to make him go back home if he followed me to the bus stop but that was the only time. He NEVER meowed. He chirped - it was an awesome sound.

Sammy, the cat my folks lost last year, spoke. He could say water, husband's name (NOT easy like Bill or Bob or whatever. The relatives did not believe us until they came to visit and heard him. He and my Freckles did not really like each other but tolerated each other. Until we got our own place. Then they would insist on talking to each other over the phone. They would force themselves into your face and meow and paw until you let them talk. Of course Sammie was NOT the best hunter. It wasn't uncommon for him to lose a mouse behind a soccer ball in the middle of the yard! Sammie was a chest man at heart. His happiest time was to come and curl up for a snuggle and a nap on the female with the biggest chest in the house.

My folks have now had three different cats who could tell time. NOt that they ate at a specific time, but they would come inside at a specific time. NEVER more than 2 minutes off, NOT waiting on the porch until the time came and we looked outside. We would give times like 2:13 or 5:17, strange times not tied into our schedules or anything. They would just trot up from wherever when needed.

We could tell one of my parents' cats to go to M and B's house and get the mouse. They were surrogate grandparents after we moved and they lived on the other side of a big field (now a nice house). Dad would just tell him to go and do it, then either open the door and let him out and watch him trot on over or just watch him turn around and go over there. He got the mouse every time, and brought it home for a treat - he got tuna if he brought it home and didn't eat it. Though at first there was quite a struggle to get him to NOT leave his trophies on my father's pillow!


Shooting from the Hip
AngelKitten - Weasel - could climb walls. Specifically, door frames - and when she was younger, she didn't leave claw marks. She'd been declawed (front only) very young. I remember the first time husband brushed his teeth in my apartment, looked over, and spit toothpaste everywhere because she was eye level. She managed to make it to the top and hang horizontally at least twice.

She decided early on that human furnace husband was her furniture. And she LOVED peas (the weekend before she passed, I have a video of her eating peas at the table).

She learned that "ONE" meant to get the %^&* off whatever she was on - and the threat "Vietnamese food" (no offense intended to anyone) meant she was in SUPER trouble. She mostly stayed off counters and tables while we were present.

Since she has been gone, Possum has become more loving, and will scramble onto the bed (high bed + nearsighted tubby tabby = humor) as we're getting ready to sleep for his evening "fishy" (cat treat). Squirrel has taken over using people as furniture.

Squirrel also adores water. I've multiple pictures of her and husband's feet in the shower... And she's hopped in the bath with J.

The cats did not really like O... But... Shrill screaming a lot of the time will do that.

They're smart... Possum is an exceptional mouser. Squirrel, not so much... She brings them in as gifts (and moths, spiders and crickets, too)... Alive. Possum dispatches them before he brings them to us. Doesn't eat them, just breaks their necks and brings them in. Ewww.


Well-Known Member
When I first bought the house, a little gray kitten adopted us; Miss KT and I called her Stormy. When Stormy wanted in, she'd move the panels on the swamp cooler (the panels filled in the window area). Stormy disliked most people, but she was very fond of Hubby when we were dating. Guess that's why he got to stay!

Our lady Siamese rules the others with a fur-covered paw of iron. No one dares mess with her. She knows exactly what's going on and exactly how it should be, like the cats from Lady and the Tramp. "We are Siamese, if you please..."

And then...the panther boys. I don't know how smart they are, but there's a constant fight for position since they're all the same age. Onyx keeps throwing out challenges, and his brothers basically ignore him. He even dared challenge the Siamese ONCE...he learned.


call 911
WANTS THE PANTHER.................will trade one wand waving witchy calico for the one that does not Trust me - Abracadabra here will eyebrow raise ANYONE into submission - she's lived with 4 pit bulls and doesn't take "JACK" off anyone.