Catster Quiz: How Clever Is Your Cat?


Editor’s note: Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet’s office? This article appeared in our September/October 2016 issue. Click here to subscribe to Catster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home.

Is your cat a smarty-pants, a super slacker, or somewhere in between? Take this quiz to see where she falls on the cleverness spectrum.

1. You leave a half-eaten turkey sandwich on the kitchen counter while you leave the room for a few minutes. What’s your cat’s next move?

a. Kitty’s had her eye on you. Like a ninja, she leaps onto the counter, expertly removes the turkey from between the bread slices, jumps to the floor, and eats the meat before you re-enter the room.

b. She hops on the counter, pulls the meat from the sandwich, and proudly waits to show you what she did.

c. She sloppily makes off with the entire piece of sandwich and drags it behind the sofa to devour it in privacy.

d. She’s sleeping and has no idea you’ve left the room — or even made a sandwich.

2. You’re behind a closed bathroom door (gasp!). How does your cat react?

a. Your Houdini cat opens doors.

b. Meows sweetly and slides her adorable paw under the door, hoping the cuteness will be too much to handle, and you’ll open the door

c. Pounds desperately, like she’ll certainly die if not immediately granted access
to see what she’s missing

d. Stares at the door — you’ll emerge sooner or later


3. You toss a cat toy across the room. What’s your kitty’s response to the invitation to play?

a. She maneuvers the toy into tight spaces from which she’ll have to work to retrieve it.

b. She catches the toy between her paws and stares at you, waiting for praise.

c. She fetches the toy and then stands by the treat jar — because of course.

d. She lazily extends a paw as the toy flies by and then starts detailing her rear end.

4. Your cat wants a treat. How does she alert you to this very important request?

a. No need to alert you — she knows where the treats are kept and how to open the container

b. He looks back and forth between you and the treat jar, putting on her best “aren’t I the cutest cat you’ve ever seen” look.

c. She follows and pesters you until you relent and distribute treats.

d. She waits for random food to fall on the floor. It’s too much work otherwise.

5. You’re assembling a jigsaw puzzle on the coffee table. How does your cat “help”?

a. She bats a puzzle piece, it lands between sofa cushions, and she spends the next 10 minutes rescuing it.

b. She lightly paws at a piece and then looks to make sure you’re watching her.

c. She swats an entire corner of pieces onto the floor and then madly bats them all over the house, losing several.

d. She lies directly on top of the puzzle, preventing you from continuing assembly.


6. Cats need to stay hydrated. What’s your kitty’s preferred method of obtaining liquid refreshment?

a. She likes water straight from the sink faucet. She even knows how to turn it on and control the pressure!

b. She paws at her water fountain, looking as cute as possible as she licks the water from her paw.

c. She’s an opportunist and will drink water from whatever source is closest at the time of thirst.

d. She naps near the food and water dishes so she doesn’t miss anything.

7. Which job best suits your cat’s personality and intelligence?

a. Scientist (experiments and problem-solving)

b. Stand-up comic (love me!)

c. School cafeteria worker (imagine all that leftover food!)

d. Mattress tester (always looking for overtime)

Okay. Time to figure your cat’s score and see the results.

Mostly A’s: Overachieving Smarty-Pants

Your cat’s cleverness tops the charts! Kitties with above-average intelligence often become bored and do well with lots of interactive play with humans as well as puzzle-style toys to occupy their quick minds and attention. They like to stay busy and challenged.


Mostly B’s: People-Pleasing Show-Off

Your kitty is smart but wants to perform for you and collect pawfuls of compliments and praise. This kind of performer especially enjoys one-on-one attention from her human and lots of cuddles in between.

Photo by Gina Cioli / Lumina Media

Mostly C’s: “What’s in It for Me?”

These cats usually demonstrate intelligence when there’s some sort of easy payoff for them. They don’t care as much for praise, but if they want something treat or fun related, they’re gonna use whatever smarts they have stored in their fuzzy little noggins to get it. They’d rather go after low-hanging fruit like floor crumbs than figure out how to open the pantry. These cats enjoy tangible rewards, and they don’t have to be in the form of food. A new toy or a fresh pile of nip works well.

Photo by Shutterstock

Mostly D’s: Super Slacker

The super slackers have no time for unraveling puzzles or calculating plans. They’re completely in the flow and take things as they come. Mostly, they’re super chill. The key to engaging with this cat’s cleverness is figuring out that special activity or game that gets his mental wheels turning and go with it. But hurry before he falls asleep again.

young tabby cat resting on white, wideangle lens shot
Photo by Perets/iStock

About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.

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