Better than great apes, some say.
From Marianne Freiberger at PlusMaths:
It’s a question that has recently received a partial answer in a (refreshingly simple) experiment conducted by scientists in Japan. The study showed that cats know what it means when a container rattles when shaken, and that they expect something to fall out when the container is turned over. This may not appear hugely impressive, but our relatives, the great apes, have failed similar tests. Cats themselves haven’t fared well in other tasks testing their causal understanding (for example tests involving the pulling of strings) and were therefore thought a little unsophisticated in that respect. The new study appears to vindicate them.More.
The cat is not in fact abstracting anything; he is learning from experience. Odd that apes aren’t much better.
See also: Nonsense watch: Cats don’t grasp laws of physics
Are apes entering the Stone Age?
Furry, feathery, and finny animals speak their minds
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