Cats are one of the most intelligent of our domesticated animals, but did you know that they are unable to process things with human cognition? Cats do not do things out of spite for example, they do things when they are stressed which humans will read as cats doing things out of spite.
Cats alone in a room they have never been in before will scope it out like no other animal. They will search every nook and cranny and learn the spacial area of the room. This helps them to determine what to do in the room and to find their “safe spots” in the room in case of a fight or a stressor that might come in the room with them.
Cat also learn more in “learning sets”, meaning they can be taught something and retain that information and use it for problem solving and to forage for food. This is an amazing feat that many animals are unable to perform.
To learn more about just how intelligent cats are and what their capabilities are, this article explains experiments and how cats learn and retain information.