This post first appeared on ProtectaPet here.
Most cat owners will have wondered what is going through their cat’s little head. Cats’ sweet and pondering expressions do make you think, what could you possibly be thinking about? Many sceptics will say that cats don’t think like humans and cannot recall memories, however, as cat lovers here at ProtectaPet, we wanted to find out if there is more to this, so we compiled some of our favourite findings on the internet about the feline brain.
Do cats think in the same language as their owner?
When thinking about your cats thoughts, it might be hard to comprehend that they don’t have an internal monologue in the same way most humans do. They do think and can recall memories, however in a totally different way to humans.
Where as humans might recall memories by remembering the words said at the time, or describing internally how we felt or what happened, cats recall memories in a totally different way!
CatWiki says, “Cat’s don’t think in any language because they don’t think in words as humans do. They can associate words with memories, but their minds are not wired to use language the same way as people. Instead, cats use their body parts and positioning to express themselves to the humans around them.”
This is because cats don’t contain Wenicke like areas of the brain. This is the region of the brain that can comprehend speech. So, whilst your cat might recognise words and associate them with memories, they cannot understand the meaning of the word, only association.
Do cats think about how they feel?
It may disappoint cat owners to know that the small amount of scientific research out there on cats’ brains leads us to believe that cats can only think subconsciously. They can draw upon memories to guide future behaviour, however they do not come up with their own thoughts or ideas about a situation.
Therefore, cats can obtain learnt behaviours and can be taught, drawing upon their past experiences, feelings and the outcomes following.
So what do cats think about?
To summarise, cats don’t think about their day or how they feel. But they do think about previous situations they have encountered. For example, when your cat is chilling out, it’s not thinking about anything in particular. But in that moment if you change your cats surrounding with a stroke, a new toy, or some food, your cat will then use its working memory to link it to a previous experience.
For example, if your cat is content, it isn’t thinking, ‘I’m content’. But from our understanding, if your cat notices its favourite sleeping spot, she might think, ‘that place makes me feel content, I’m going to sleep there now!’.
Cats are super intelligent animals, and learning how they think can help us to understand them a little bit better. Our main takeaway is that if your cat is content and happy, it’s very easy to tell! If you’re interested in enriching your cats live with a safe outside space, then you can check out our cat fence barriers, cat enclosures and catios on our website.