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Can kitties tell the difference between cat food?

Friday, 18th February 2011

Kitties may be able to tell the difference between types of cat food, an expert has said.

Pete Wedderburn, a vet writing for the Daily Telegraph in response to a reader's question, claims that cats have a talent for remembering rewarding events.

AW emailed the newspaper because her two cats "go into an ecstasy of anticipation" when a tin opener is brought out of the cupboard, despite them being fed pouch cat food all their lives.

Dr Wedderburn wrote: "Cats have a remarkable ability to remember highly rewarding events. They are likely to have witnessed tasty tinned food being opened, such as tuna or salmon.

"The combination of the sight of the tin opener, the distinctive sound that it makes when it’s used, and the resulting delicious smell that fills the air would make a strong impression on them."

In the email, the reader asked if cats have a tin opener in their collective unconscious. The vet said it is "highly unlikely" that memories from previous generations are passed down through DNA.