Cat Ownership: Sign of Intelligence

Sam (R.I.P.) and Josh

Sam (R.I.P.) and Josh

We cat lovers all know how smart our felines are, but I didn’t think my cats had anything to do with my own intelligence. According to a Business Insider article, though, being a cat person is one of nine traits that indicate someone is smarter than average.

The article puts having a cat on the same list as being a nonsmoker, being thin and being left-handed for strange traits that can indicate high intelligence. I’m not sure if I qualify for Mensa status, given that I need to lose weight and am right-handed, but I have five out of nine traits. And if they count each cat I have, well, I’ve got that intelligence factor multiplied by five.

I don’t know the reason for this connection between cats and intelligence. On the cats’ side, I always say that felines are very street smart, much more than dogs and other animals. They are not easily fooled – it’s very hard to pull one over on a cat, and they catch on to you quickly. But what about us, the cat parents – Why are we said to be perhaps smarter than average?

Maybe we know a good thing when we see it. Maybe we realize the factual benefits of cat ownership – lower maintenance, more sensible pets for apartment dwellers than dogs, for instance – and we look beyond the simple emotional appeal of a pet. Perhaps it’s because bookstores with resident pets usually have cats, and therefore cats appeal to avid readers. Maybe like attracts like, and a geek like me who can spend hours reading about and discussing intellectual topics like the Civil War, psychology, politics, religion – and, yes, the science of the feline – feels a cerebral kinship with cats.

The Business Insider article references a previously published post called “Why Cats are Better Than Dogs.” That article cites a study from Carroll University in Wisconsin that examined the personality differences between folks who identify as dog people and cat people. While dog people won in being social and outgoing, cat people outscored their canine counterparts in intelligence. This doesn’t mean that getting a cat will make one smarter, but it does suggest that people with personalities attracted to cats are likely to score highly in intelligence. Perhaps this is related to the study’s other findings that cat people are more likely to be open-minded, noncomformist and introverted. I definitely have the first two traits, although I am quite the extrovert.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to poll Ivy League students and graduates, and see what percentage of them grew up in cat households?

By Kellie Gormly | Posted: April 15, 2015, 7 a.m. EST

Lucky aka "Lou Lou Belle"

Lucky aka “Lou Lou Belle”

Seattle Kitty Kafe




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Kitty Kafe was founded in early 2014 by three recently graduated college students from Seattle Pacific University. We all loved cats and knew much about Cat Cafes from Tokyo well before we had this idea. We were always interested in visiting a Cat Cafe when it finally hit us- Why don’t we just open our own? Then the work began! We hit the road running, meeting with all the local cat rescues and small coffee shops to learn and research all that it would take. We are excited for this new adventure!

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Medical Marijuana For Cats



Last week, a senator introduced a bill to legalize marijuana for pets in Nevada.

Democratic Sen. Richard “Tick” Segerblom, sponsored SB 372 to establish medical use for pot and pets under a vet’s supervision. Dogs or cats could get medical marijuana cards only if their owners were Nevada residents and their vets could certify the dog or cat had an illness – not necessarily fatal – that could benefit from marijuana consumption.

Some companies are set to provide pot treats to cats and dogs if that passes. In fact, Auntie Dolores Kitchen, provider of cannabis gourmet treats made for people, has already begun. They’ve created Treatibles dog treats made from Cannabidiol, an all-natural cannabinoid derived from the nontoxic cannabis hemp plant that is devoid of psychoactive elements.

“There is virtually zero THC in treatibles, and will not get dogs or other pets ‘high,’” says Treatibles CEO Julianna Carella. “The treats we make are made from hemp-derived CBD [cannabidiol] in a proprietary formula that includes all non-psychoactive compounds.”

Carella says animals, like people, have endocannabinoid systems and, like people, feel relief from symptoms of separation anxiety, pain, immobility, arthritis, epilepsy, cancer, etc., when exposed to cannabidiol. She also notes that because of marijuana’s Schedule I narcotic classification, the difficulties in securing approval for testing on animals has been limited and no official tests have occurred or been published.

People currently appear to predict the positive effects of marijuana on pets by basing it off the benefits to people. In a Green Bay Press Gazette story, Sen. Segerblom said he added the pet pot approval portion to his omnibus bill because he was looking to strengthen the current medical marijuana legislation, and heard “from numerous constituents” that they wanted to pass along marijuana’s health benefits to their pets.

The article also quotes Segerblom saying “if a veterinarian says it’s OK,” he’d give pot to his own pets.

Cat Fancy vet consultant Narda Robinson, DVM, would only say it was OK if studies agreed.

“I would be hesitant to administer anything to my cat that didn’t have evidence of safety or effectiveness,” Robinson says. “In the absence of scientific research, we do not have enough information about what marijuana and its various active components cause in cats and whether it is safe.”

Robinson, who advised the magazine on holistic and natural therapies for cat health, says part of the challenge in recommending medical marijuana for cats goes beyond the legal approval of such a treatment.

“First and foremost, cats’ systems are very sensitive to toxins and safety is paramount,” Robinson says. “This applies not only to marijuana and hemp, but to any herb, whether Chinese, Indian or Western.”

Carella agrees that safety and caution is of utmost concern. As for now, Carella says simply that cats “seem to like being pain-free and anxiety-free, which CBD can provide.”

More proof of this treatment’s positive aspects could indeed bolster belief in what is now mostly speculative palliative for pets.

If scientific studies confirmed it was safe and effective, would you give medical marijuana to your cat? By Anastasia Thrift | Posted: March 26, 2015, 6 p.m. EST