World’s dumbest kitteh

September 16, 2009 • 10:33 am

o.k., I’m putting up a midweek kitteh because I’m cranky and need some laffs.  This is possibly the world’s dumbest cat:  look what it goes through to get a drink!

h/t: Christina Purcell


Update: I have a new theory about this kitteh. It recognizes the stream as something to drink, but doesn’t know how to access it.  In its first try, it sticks its head under the stream to try to lap it up, but fails miserably; however, it does lick up the water falling from its sodden head.  It then figures that that’s the best way to get the water. To support this theory, I adduce the fact that the cat is continuously lapping while its head is under water. It wouldn’t do that if it were just trying to cool off.

44 thoughts on “World’s dumbest kitteh

  1. I’d have to disagree. I think that is the worlds smartest cat. He clearly has figured a clever (though, totally hilarious) way of getting some water without having to have all that rushing flow right into his little mouth. He is “managing” it! ;^}

    Funny as hell, though!

    1. I agree. Moreover, he or she has managed to make the connection between the water in the faucet, the water hitting its head, and the water it is drinking, and the fact that they are all the same thing. That seems like fairly abstract reasoning to me.

  2. I was trying to figure out whether he’s doing it to get a drink of water or if likes the water falling on his head and is just licking away the water on his face.

    If he’s drinking that way, I wonder if there’s an evolutionary benefit to his method? LOL! 😉

  3. Well they claim that cat brain size has declined significantly (by a third, IIRC) during domestication. Possibly this is confirming evidence.

    Frankly, though, I think kitteh likes the water pouring over its head, with its head often beneath the rushing water even when no water is getting into its mouth. “Drinking” seems like an excuse to get its head under the water (cats can be in denial (“no, I don’t like getting wet”) too, I figure).

    Kitteh found a way to entertain itself and us.

    Glen Davidson

  4. Sorry, but I think he’s adorable. But what a humongous waste of water.

    Dummkatz hates water – I don’t think I’ve ever seen him drink out of his bowl (but puddles and the birdbath are alright for some reason). Lately he’s started drinking out the sink, though. If I set the faucet dribbling a bit he starts lapping it up. But heaven forbid he get his feet or head wet!

    If you want demonstration dumb, he’s there to help. He figured out how to get out the bedroom pretty fast (the door is selfclosing and the draught usually pushes it the rest of the way) as long as there’s still a bit of a crack. But he can’t seem to understand why he can’t get into the bathroom using the same method. The door is hinged to the other side, and he can’t think enough to know that he needs to switch paws. He just scratches ineffectually on the post.

  5. I’m almost 50. I’ve owned at least one cat, except for two years of my military service, my entire life. I used to take umbrage at the idea that dogs, those co-dependent flea-hotels, were smarter than cats.

    However, being rational and reality based… I have to admit that cats are definitely not the brightest lights in the pet pantheon…

  6. You can clearly tell by the cat’s ears that it does not enjoy ducking its head in water, yet it will do so to get some water.
    Is the cat stupid or inexperienced? I don’t think it is stupid as far as feline intelligence goes.

    1. Though the cat never shakes its head at all in this clip, even after having water pour over its ears. My cat will shake her head if I don’t scratch her ears in just the right way.

  7. OK, we need to get the owner of this cat to do a test: turn the spigot on at a slight trickle, not full blast. And if the cat again sticks his head under the dripping water repeatedly, hoping to lick the droplets from his face to slake his thirst… he’s dumb. If he instead recognizes that the water is no longer coming out like a fire hose and that he can lick the water directly, he’s as smart as I think he is. ;^}

  8. What amusing behavior! I laughed straight through it. What a comfortable, relaxed look on the cat’s face. I doubt you can come up with a more adorable, fascinating, and funny vid of a cat (Prove me wrong, I beg you). Hopefully that water was being caught in a watering can so all those plants could be watered it.

    My cat never drinks water directly, but does it by dunking her paw in the water bowl. The sopping, dripping wet paw is then licked very delicately. She repeats this gesture until there is a pool of water around the bowl and her thirst is sated. She also goes out in a downpour so she can lick the rain off her body. She then comes in, crying loudly to be dried off. She then repeats this procedure around three times.

    I think it would be dumb for a human to drink water this way (perhaps), but for a cat, it is just too clever.

  9. Youtube doesn’t seem to want to take my comment. Maybe it’s in “moderation” because I put URL links in there? We’ll see, I guess. (tried twice)

  10. Ooooh. . .adorable, precious “special” kitteh I wantz to eatz up!

    Jerry, I love that you love kittehs. Not everyone understands.

    Speaking of dumb, I can’t get either of my two cats to figure out the cat door to the cellar. The damned thing is clear, and they’ll sit on the inside and scratch and yowl, never figuring out that they can move it, even though I flap it with my hands. I’ve had it taped open for three weeks now. Any suggestions folks?

    1. I had that problem once. Pull the cat’s head and shoulders through and make them walk the rest of the way through. Worked for me.

      1. Really, Jerry – pull them through? Everyone else is telling me that’s the worst thing; it’ll make them hate it. Maybe I’ll give it a try.

      2. Josh, sorry, I didn’t mean to grab the kitteh by the head and yank it through. PUSH IT, gently, halfway through the door and let it walk the rest of the way! If it can’t figure that out after a few tries, it’s time for the CAT WHISPERER.

    2. Ah, that makes more sense Jerry. I’ll try that approach. Kittehs no like rough pushinz or pullinz.

      Um, and you know the Cat Whisperer is you Jerry Coyne. It is your destiny. Bwa-ha-ha-ha.

    1. I should add that I have one cat that will turn her head sideways to lap (still a stream, but not that forceful) and one that will wait for you to fill the sink enough that she can reach it.

  11. Sure it’s cute to watch for a little while, but after that I keep wanting to reach in and turn off the faucet. How very wasteful!

  12. A few years ago I read an exchange between a cat owner and a vet. The cat’s person wanted to know why the cat insisted on standing in front of the fridge door to get bonked on the head when the person opened it to get the cat food. The vet explained that cats have a very direct way of thinking and since he first got bonked, then fed, he thinks that the bonk is part of the food aquisition process.
    Is the cat stupid? Hard to say when I think of all the stupid things that I do to get fed.

  13. Except for a kitteh hanging off its mother’s teats, cats drink by lapping and not by gulping. If the cat looked up into the stream it could get a lot of water forced down its nostrils. I just see a cat doing what it thinks it must to get its water, and without drowning itself. The cat probably thinks it’s really neat.

  14. mk’s got it right and Jerry’s getting it. The point is that the stream of water is just too forceful to drink from without getting water up the cat’s nose nose and into its lungs. This cat is actually smart enough to find a workable though unpleasant solution. I’ll admit I’ve never known a cat willing to get its body wet but apparently this is the only solution available. My own cat loves to lick the spout of the faucet when it’s turned off but scorns even the most drinkable trickle of water when it’s turned on.

  15. First off, in Australia you’d get lynched for wasting this much water.

    Second, that cat’s not being dumb at all. It’s actually ‘scratching’/massaging it’s head (something my cat uses my big toe for in almost the same way as this cat is using the stream of water) and at the same time it is getting a drink. If it just wanted the drink it would have lapped with its tongue just in front of the stream of water.

  16. I totally agree with kanootcha. The cat is clearly enjoying the massage. I’ll bet this cat is an only cat or doesn’t get much grooming from other cats.

    Just think, the top of it’s head is one place a cat can’t really groom well or at least vigorously.
    I have seen just that look on cats when they are being vigorously groomed by other cats, dogs or human hands.

    I’ve bathed lots of cats (not a fun thing to do) and they ALWAYS lap like that when water pours over their face.
    Ears are down simply to keep water pouring in–and they tend to do that when being massaged on their crown. See if it doesn’t happen when you scratch your cat’s head in just the right spot.

    I agree too, that’s a terrible waste of water. How about a recirculating pump?

  17. That cat does it because he likes having water flow over his head. He’s not only dumb, he’s weird.

    Note that he keeps his head in the flow for extended periods of time. The licking? A reflexive action.

    It is true that most cats don’t like the feel of water on their heads, but there are evidently exceptions. Sometimes you get American Crocodiles who have a human friend, a snake with a leg, and cats who like water on their heads. If it is possible it will happen.

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