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Viral Cats Challenge Study That Says Domestication Made Cat Brains Smaller

(Picture Credit: Alena Ponomareva / EyeEm/Getty Images)

A new feline study hypothesizes that the domestication of cats actually reduced the size of their brains.

Compared to their ancestors, the nurturing of felines by humans appears to be the culprit. But, almost as if to comment upon this study, a few felines have gone viral for being smarties.

While we should hold the information provided from scientifically researched studies in high regard, the viral cats do make many entertaining points.

What The Feline Study Says


Published in the Royal Society Open Science Journal, the study simply compares feline skull sizes, reports PEOPLE. Compared to European and African wildcats, the domesticated felines of today have much smaller skulls.

“We found that domestic cats experience a reduction in brain size compared to their ancestor species, the North African wildcat,” research from the study states.

“Hybrids of domestic cats and European wildcats have brain volumes that cluster between those of their parent species.”

This study was done to confirm if previous studies on the subject still held true. According to the research team of this study, they do.

“Much of the literature that compares wild and domestic animals is difficult to access, or may have methodological issues,” Dr. Raffaela Lesch, University of Vienna, told The Independent.

She goes on to explain that “replicating old findings” helps sure up the foundational longevity of theories present research uses.

What The Viral Felines Say

A few smart, viral cats are showing that they still have plenty of brains to spare, study or no. Basically, they’re saying, “We want what we want, and we’ll be strategic in obtaining it.”

Jessica and Nikii Gerson-Neeves wrote an open letter to Vitamix recently, requesting empty Vitamix boxes for their cats. The couple told The Washington Post they’d purchased a Vitamix, and their three felines refused to let them open it.

They’d become fond of sitting upon it and took turns blocking their new spot from disruption — for days.

Max, Destroyer of Worlds, and Lando Calrissian — the names of the cats — went viral for their shenanigans after Jessica and Nikii shared them to Facebook.

But why not just remove the cats from the boxes? Jessica hilariously explains the situation in her Facebook posting.

“With three cats and only two humans in the household, the humans are outnumbered and (being giant suckers), both frightened of and unwilling to forcibly relocate the offending cats,” she wrote.

“Yes, we realize we’re absolute madwomen, and yes, we are both ashamed and sorry.”

Perhaps these particular felines understand their humans quite well. Maybe emotional intelligence sometimes outperforms that of the skull-size kind?

Our cats outsmart us in these subtle ways all the time, so maybe brain size isn’t everything when it comes to intelligence. Or maybe we humans just aren’t as smart as we think we are. Food for thought.

What do you think of the study that says cat brains have gotten smaller? Do your cats still outsmart you like these viral kitties? Let us know in the comments below.

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