Summary of “Are Cities Making Animals Smarter?”

Not a lithe house cat on the prowl, nor a bony feral cat scavenging for scraps.
Ratnayaka has launched the first-ever study of urban fishing cats, identifying and tracking a small, scattered population of the animals in Colombo as they caper over roofs and wiggle through storm drains.
If Colombo is making fishing cats smarter there could be a grim twist: The animals most likely to thrive in cities may also be the first to die.
Two free-standing, fenced-in enclosures were supposed to house rescued fishing cats, but no cats were in sight.
She’s darkly pessimistic about the future of fishing cats in her unrelentingly modernizing city, whether the cats are getting smarter.
Trading notes on the cats’ behavior, the two researchers will look at how Colombo may be changing Ratnayaka’s cats, then use those insights to recommend ways to conserve the city’s wetlands and make its crowded neighborhoods more hospitable to cats and other wildlife.
Jim Sanderson, a small-cat expert and a mentor to Ratnayaka, envisions one day achieving a publicity campaign for Colombo’s fishing cats on the scale of the effort to protect the Iriomote cat in Japan.
“So far, it’s the other way: ‘Well, we need storm drains,’ then the cats take advantage of them. But we can create these idyllic landscapes for both animals and humans if we just do a little bit.”

The orginal article.