Can Cats do Math?

Christina Sng for Maths@Singapore

As a long-time cat lover and someone who has lived with cats all of my life, I can argue that cats can do math. Certainly not on paper, but definitely in their heads.

Often, I can tell when my cat is calculating how much distance and speed she needs to reach the top of a shelf and at what angle to leap. 

She always reaches it, which makes her mathematical calculations a success. (I wish I could say the same about the devices we humans try to build with the same rate of accuracy.)

Cats understand the concept of ‘more and less’. There’s enough food or water in the bowl or there’s not enough, the latter of which is speedily alerted to the cat parent, the official provider of refreshments.

Mother cats have the ability to notice if one of their kittens is missing. This implies counting is present, especially with bigger numbers and sometimes cat litters can be large enough to warrant counting.

Math is one of the driving forces of our lives and existences. Why wouldn’t it be the same for cats?

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Thanks to The Lucky Neko @theluckyneko for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁