Unleashing Your Cat’s Social Smarts. Fun Experiments to Try at Home

Discovering Your Cat’s Personality

Ever wondered just how socially smart your cat is?
Cats are fascinating creatures with unique personalities, and understanding their social intelligence can help strengthen your bond. Here, we’ll guide you through some fun and simple experiments you can try at home to uncover your cat’s social skills.

How Independent is Your Cat?

Testing Independence

  1. Sit in a Room with Your Cat: Settle down in a room with your cat and ignore them for about two minutes.
  2. Call Them to You: After the waiting period, call your cat to see if they come to you.
  3. Observe the Response: If your cat comes immediately, they are likely highly social. If they keep their distance, they may be more independent.

Lesson for Owners: If your cat tends to be antisocial, spending more time with them can help them become more friendly. Like humans, cats can warm up with a bit of extra effort.

Is Your Cat Tuned into Your Emotions?

Testing Emotional Sensitivity

  1. Introduce a Frightening Object: Take your cat into a room with a new, potentially frightening object, like a robot vacuum.
  2. Stay Calm and Friendly: Sit calmly on the floor and make friends with the object, talking to it in a calm and friendly voice.
  3. Observe Your Cat’s Reaction: If your cat calms down and approaches the object after you’ve interacted with it, they can pick up on your emotional cues.

Lesson for Owners: Your mood can influence your cat’s mood. Stay calm and positive, especially in stressful situations like vet visits, to help keep your cat calm too.

Does Your Cat Know Its Name?

Testing Name Recognition

  1. Say Random Words: When your cat is calm, say four random words with the same length and accent as their name, pausing for 15 seconds between each word.
  2. Call Their Name: Finally, say their actual name.
  3. Observe the Reaction: If your cat reacts more to their name than the random words (by turning their head, rotating their ears, or moving their tail), they likely know their name.

Lesson for Owners: Cats that recognize their name may be easier to train using verbal commands like “Sit!” or “Come!”.

Does Your Cat Prefer You or Food?

Testing Preferences

  1. Set Up a Choice Test: Place treats and toys on the ground and sit nearby.
  2. Observe Your Cat: See where your cat spends the most time.
  3. Repeat in Different Situations: Conduct this test in various situations to confirm your cat’s preferences.

Lesson for Owners: If your cat prefers your company over toys or treats, use your presence as a reward when training or interacting with them.


Understanding your cat’s social intelligence can enhance your relationship and provide insights into their behavior. These simple tests are a fun way to engage with your cat and learn more about their unique personality.



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