Present and Future Cats

Cecil in his characteristic anti-Feline hit-piece says cats are limited to the present.

The fact of cats as apex predators surviving over thousands to millions of years says otherwise.

They only have survived because they have very good predictive skills.

[li]They know where prey are likely to be found[/li][li]The can observe individual prey and predict where they will likely move next[/li][li]They can move and position themselves for the best possible attack (in some time in the future)[/li][/ul]

All of this says that cats (felines) have an innate sense of future.

Cats have a sense of the future?

Please! If that is true, then cats would realize that they could take over the world and make life miserable for humanity.

Wait a second, you have a point.

Actually, the question isn’t do cats have skills. Do they have predictive skills. Can they think “What will the future look like?”

It is true that cats can go back to favorite hunting grounds, but the question is whether they just learned that’s a good place to do hunting, or whether they’re making a prediction or imagining the future.

To see what that looks like:

In one research paper, scrub jays’ caching strategies were studied. Some food that the scrub jay cached were perishable while other types of food they cache weren’t. Perishability also depends upon the weather. Things perish faster in warmer weather.

The study found that the scrub jays would work out what food was perishable and what wasn’t. They decide what the weather was and how likely their cache would perish. In warmer weather, the scrub jays hit their perishable caches before their non-perishible caches.

This was thought to show that scrub jays were thinking of the future. They thought about their caches, how perishable they were, and whether they may rot before they could be used.

Of course, this isn’t like the scrub jays setting up a 401K for future retirement, and understanding that most analysts can’t beat the index funds which also have fewer expenses, and thus a better investment. But, then most humans aren’t able to figure this out either. Heck, scrub jays do a better job with caching food supplies than most humans do caching food in their fridge. (“Hmmm… I don’t think Kung Pow Chicken is suppose to be green and fuzzy”).