The age old question who is smarter cats or dogs?
I know, I know I am treading on some dangerous territory here. Dog owners would say “Isn’t it obviouse dogs are smarter!” and Cat owners would say “It is cats, of course!”
From mere observation, it may be difficult to tell because dogs are people pleasers. All they want out of life is to be your BFF. Cats, on the other hand, can range from craving attention, begging for it even (depending on the cat) to being aloof. So on the surface the comparision may seem like apples and oranges.
Well suprisingly dogs come out on top for intellegence (sorry cats) and here’s why. Neurons, the basic information processing units and cerebral cortex of the brain (the crinkly outer layer), were studied in both cats and dogs because this area puts stimuli together to drive decision making and problem solving.
Suprisingly dogs had twice as many neurons as cats!
But are neurons the only way to measure intellegence? hmm a bit tough to say.
Researchers have found that dogs have the intellegence of a human 2 year old. They are capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures, can count up to five and can perform simple mathematical calculations. They also have advanced memory skills, are able to read and react appropriately to human body language such as gesturing and pointing, understand human voice commands and can act in deceiption. They can also be trained to do all sorts of tricks and tasks.
Not bad, cats what do you bring to the table?
It turns out that cats have a brain structure that’s similar to other intelligent animals, including humans. It may come as a surprise to learn that your little cat’s brain structure is about 90 percent similar to yours!
And according to Psychology Today, a cat’s cerebral cortex – where rational decision making and complex problem solving takes place – has around 300 million neurons. The cerebral cortex is involved in the planning of action, overall interpretation of language and is also responsible for storing both short- and long-term memory, which is why your cat gives you the stink eye when you pull out your suitcase. Your cat also tends to learn best by doing. Not only that, but cats also possess more nerve cells in the visual areas of their brain than humans and most other mammals.
Needless to say both bring some very valuable skills! .
I think that both are intellegent…. at being their species. Like I said dogs greatest desire in life is to be your BFF! They want to please you, help you and be man’s best friend. Needless to say that is NOT the end goal of a cat.
Cats on the other-hand seem more content with companionship. “I’m here for you” would be their motto and are content to just be there, in whatever shape or fashion that might present itself. Whether it is laying across your lap, or sleeping near you their end game is different than a dog’s.
That being said, don’t count cats out; they are no dummies! (Except perhaps my cat Tinkerbelle, but I digress)
Cats are actually pretty good problem solvers if they want it badly enough.
Also one cat can learn from other cats in the household. (Not just kittens learning from mom)
I met our cat Snickers when he was living with a client of mine and, when she could no longer care for him, I asked if I could adopt him. It worked out well since he already had known me for about a year.
Our other cat Momo on the other hand at first was not too keen on no longer being an only child and getting 100% of the attention, but once they became friends, Momo taught Snickers several things (And not neccessarily thing we wanted him to learn)
- Most human food is delicious. (He wasn’t and still isn’t a big people food eating cat but he now likes to sample)
- Laps are warm and cuddly (He was’t really a lap cat either but by Momo’s example he found the joy of a nice lap)
- If you harrass mom or dad long enough they will eventually cave and give you what you want. (Snickers is no longer a ‘quiet’ cat; he is more than willing to tell you (or demand) what he wants, certianly a Siamese trait!)
There you have it! Dogs definately have their strengths in intellegence but so do cats. So what does your cat do that makes them intellegent? Do they have a special skill or trick or just a funny way of doing something?