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Xiphias Gladius

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Puzzles for our cat [Mar. 3rd, 2014|12:11 pm]
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As You Know, Bob, we've got two cats, Nick and Nora. Nick has more human-style intelligence, and likes problem-solving engineerish-type puzzles. Nora has more cat-style intelligence, and is a fine hunter. When we last got one of those "Solve The Problem To Get The Treat" toys, Nicky solved it in no time at all and got the treats out, and Nora stole half the treats from him. So they both won, and it summarizes their intelligences.

Anyway, Nick solved that cat puzzle so quickly that, when I was at the pet store today, I looked around for more complicated toys. And they were having a sale on dog puzzle toys. Dog puzzle toys are more complicated, with more steps, than cat puzzle toys, because dogs have lived with us longer, and therefore have, on average, evolved more human-style intelligence. With some exceptions, of course -- golden retrievers and pugs have many lovely characteristics, but brains aren't among them. Still, the point is that dog brain toys are more challenging than cat brain toys.

I picked through the toys to find one that a cat could physically handle -- a lot of them involved grabbing and lifting objects that were fine for a medium-sized dog to get their mouth around, but a cat wouldn't be able to. And I found one which required several steps to unlock and open the chamber to get the treat.

I loaded it up, and put it on the floor. Nicky looked at it for a few moments, then spun this and flipped that, and had it open in under three minutes.

Boy's not dumb. Well, he IS dumb sometimes, but not about puzzles.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: quietann
2014-03-03 10:40 pm (UTC)

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That is so funny! I think Visitor would be good at puzzles. Our other two? Probably not.
[User Picture]From: vvalkyri
2014-03-04 06:15 pm (UTC)

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shadeofnight has a tower thing with several steps to get the treat. Although it can also simply be knocked over...
[User Picture]From: nellorat
2014-03-04 07:46 pm (UTC)

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Dog intelligence varies widely within each breed, too--a student and I were just discussing that, tangential to Helprin's *Winter's Tale*. One of our springer spaniels was among my family's smartest dogs, another among the least smart. My sister's pug-chihuahua mix is so intelligent that it goes beyond what I think of as the limits of dog cognition, and I joke that he is actually a space alien. And I doubt that's because chihuahuas are such geniuses.

One test of dog intelligence is whether they will walk away from something desirable, seen through a window or glass door, losing sight of it and getting further away in order to go outside and really get the desired thing. Have you tried this with your cat? .
[User Picture]From: xiphias
2014-03-04 07:49 pm (UTC)

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Well, Nicky doesn't go outside. According to Lis, he DOES hear a car in the driveway, run to the window to see if it's my car, and, if it is me, run to the door to greet me. But that might just be association, not logic.