Monday, January 4, 2010

Animals As Intelligent Beings

Tuning into your pet's needs - BlogPaws

Today I found out about on a new blog for pet owners called BlogPaws. There is some mention of a conference for bloggers, writers and pet supply companies. The first emphasis brought to my attention was the SEO aspect of writing a blog. is a fun blog, and though I make sure to mention others' blogs, etc. for google juice, I don't want it to end up looking like a Peruvian circus, full of multicolored flashing and dancing adverts.

The first requirement for SEO is to have content that brings readers back. I'm trying to wrap my brain around it, to come up with an idea that goes further than "funny pictures of cats."

I have an interest in evolutionary psychology and neuropsychology, so my personal focus is on animals as intelligent, rational beings. Cats and dogs have the IQ of young children, but much more impulse control.

"C'mon, admit it - we all do it. Some of us talk to them as if they can actually understand us (I'm one of those)."

Did you catch that? The writer said "as if they can actually understand us." Apparently this person has some doubts.

Eagle is EXTINCT. So what?
What is this cat saying?

Dogs (and probably cats) have a Broca's brain or Wernicke's area, meaning they are capable of understanding speech. In practice cats have a vocabulary of around 20-30 words while dogs may be able to understand 100 or more. Animal behaviorists will tell you it's "training." 40 years ago human psychologists were behaviorists too, and explained all human behavior as learned responses to stimuli. How different *are* training and learning?


  1. You are a very wise kitty to come up with this. Mom knoews I understand certain words. I don't have a vocabulary of 30, but I'm probably about 10. (I've only lived here for a year so we're still working on the language bit). You always come up with interesting subjects.

  2. We are all different. Bugs doesn't know many words but Chilipepper knows lots of them. I started understanding more words and talking right *at* my people this summer when I was turning three.

    You will have a sudden big jump in intellect at about two or three. In the meantime, ask your hoomans to very clearly apply names to things that they show you. And choose well. We know all food as "kluckers" so we don't waste our limited language ability knowing the difference between tuna and salmon.

  3. They also say that dogs and cats don't feel guilty and only act funny when they have done something bad because of human body language. I don't think those people ever met real animals! When my human says "big red bag" - a nommy assortment of doggie chews - I look right up where it is kept (and no, the human isn't looking at it). I also know the names of most of my favorite toys and mom can tell me to go get my ball or pelican and I bring the right one back.

  4. Yoda, "they" have never walked in the front door and come face-to-face with a guilty dog. LOL!


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