Last week, the NCSPCA highlighted some interesting facts about dog intelligence. Our focus this week is the intelligence of cats. Your finicky feline may be more like you than you know, based on the information that follows.

Research has demonstrated that cat brains have been shown to be actually more similar to human brains than dog brains, although many people equate dogs' personalities as being closer to humans'. In addition, the part of the brain for emotions is the same in both cats and humans. When your cat seems grumpy or upset, he is probably feeling much the same as you do!

It is proven that cats learn by trial and error, observation, and imitation. Your sociable cat may learn habits - both bad and good - from watching his peers. Cats retain certain information, particularly visual information, much longer than dogs. However, for short term working memory, at least one study showed that dogs outperformed cats for periods of time up to around one minute.

Some examples of cat problem-solving abilities: the ability to learn to operate a lever to open a door; learning how to open a clip on a bag of snacks; learning to use a toilet (although this is difficult to teach); and playing fetch. Wikipedia has a good description with abundant details on cat intelligence. Another great resource is www.messybeast.com/intelligence.htm.

Our featured pet this week would love to show you just how smart he is. Pharaoh is not your classic tabby cat - his markings may be familiar, but his luxurious long hair will make you want to sink your fingers into the coat of this "Egyptian god." He is a handsome, stunning fellow who loves to interact with people and be the center of attention. Pharoah will not only entertain you for hours with fun and games, but will also cuddle up during quiet times or perhaps perch high on your shoulder. Pharoah is the kind of cat who will convert you into a cat-lover! Check out our website, www.ncspca.org, to learn about Pharoah and the many other wonderful pets who are seeking forever homes.

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