It weighs less than half of a plum.
That teensy brain is also pretty lightweight. The average cat’s brain weighs in at a mere 30 grams or about 0.06 pounds. Compare that to a great white shark’s brain which is only a little heavier at 34 grams (0.07 pounds) or a newborn baby’s brain—which is already over eleven times as heavy as a cat’s brain at 350 grams (0.77 pounds).
Cats’ brains are oriented front-to-back rather than top-down.
Think of it this way: Cats and dogs stand on four feet on a horizontal plane, while we stand on two feet on a vertical plane. As such, it makes sense that the sections of our brains would be oriented top-down while cats’ and dogs’ brains would be front-to-back. Cats and dogs also have more elongated brains while ours are more round or oval-shaped!
The overall anatomy of a cat’s brain is pretty similar to ours.
While our brains are different in size and shape, cat brain anatomy resembles ours in many ways. To name a few structures, cats, dogs, and humans all have a cerebral cortex (for cognition, memory, planning, emotions, motor function, and more), cerebellum (key for balance and regulating movement), and brainstem (which helps regulate essential body functions like temperature and heart rate).
A cat’s brain shares similarities with the brain of a brown bear.
Cats have about the same amount of brain cells in their cerebral cortex—the information-processing center of the brain—as brown bears. Despite having cerebral cortexes that are ten times smaller than those of brown bears, cats have about the same amount of brain cells with 250 million to brown bears’ 251 million.
Cats can recognize your voice.
Often, cats get a bad rap for ignoring their pet parents while dogs are eager to please, no matter the command. But your cat is listening to you—they just might not show it!
Cats seem to dream.
If you’ve watched your cat’s paws twitch as she snoozes, you’ve probably lovingly imagined them dreaming of chasing mice or kneading dough. Like us, their eyes flutter and their muscles relax as they sleep, presumably to prevent them from acting out whatever wandering or hunting they may be up to in their little dreamworld.