Feline Memory Based on Experience, Sensory Perceptions

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), July 16, 2017 | Go to article overview

Feline Memory Based on Experience, Sensory Perceptions


As feline enthusiasts, we get the term "smarty-cat," because we see firsthand feline repetitive learned behavior.

Wikipedia defines feline intelligence as "the capacity to learn, solve problems and adapt to the environment." We could stop there because we understand our felines have memory. Also, that memory of repetitive bad acts or motor skills seems to be more acute in multiple feline homes because the learned behavior is shared. Yes, our felines love to teach each other.

Let's explore just how feline memory works in three easy steps. First, they must absorb the information to be able to process with what they already know. Next, they must store the information for a period of time. Then, they must be able to retrieve the information on demand for need (survival) or an activity (play or mischief).

Studies on feline health also have determined that there is no correlation between brain size, memory and intelligence. In fact, the same studies have found that our felines have short-term and long-term memory just like us. I will leave out the complicated scientific terms here. Just know cats have many of the thinking abilities we do.

A feline's memory is based on things they have seen and from their sensory perceptions regarding hearing, smell, taste and touch. Felines also have memory based on motor skills when they learn to do something.

How much closet door opening and banging, both sliding door and bi-fold door, do you have to endure to know this is true. For example, I changed out a sliding closet door for bi-fold door to deter them. It took my felines one day to figure out the new, dreaded door that impeded their way to mischief.

Our feline's memory is stimulated by doing. Does your feline come running to the sound of the pull top opening of canned food? That example may be both learned and sensory. How about opening up the refrigerator? There may be no sensory perception here, but rather positive reinforcement.

If you feed your feline a treat almost every time you open the fridge, you are creating a long-lasting memory based on positive reinforcement. …

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