Researchers have finally figured out which species is smarter, cats, dogs… or researchers! Turns out the answer is researchers, or at least senior research fellow Alexandra Horowitz is. Here’s what she told Live Science in this story:
“Cats are smart at the things cats need to do, and dogs at dog things.”
The truth is that humans keep trying to compare cat intelligence and dog intelligence to people smarts. Of course, this makes humans feel superior, since nobody does human intelligence better than humans! They ignore the fact that neither cats nor dogs want to have human intelligence, or that of any other creature either. They just want to be good at what their own species does naturally. (Same with humans. They don’t want to be smart in the way a cat or dog is — they want to be smart humans.)
Intelligence Is Species Specific
I consider this a scientific breakthrough, if only for the admission that there is no answer. Comparing dogs and cats boils down to comparing apples and oranges. Whether you’re talking about mammals or fruits, each one developed with its own specific needs for growth, and has its own benefits to offer.
Dog and Cat Intelligence Can Be Nurtured
Plus the ways cats and dogs behave in day to day life come down to nurture, in addition to nature. People have different expectations of cats than they do dogs, and they treat them accordingly. For example, dogs get a lot more attention and socialization from their humans, while cats are left to their own devices far more often. If people took more effort to socialize cats, on cat terms, not dog terms, you would wind up with a happier, friendlier and less neurotic companion.
I know this is a stretch for humans, since they aren’t smart in the way cats are, but if they make an effort to understand and work with their cats based on cat terms, they’ll have a much better relationship with them! Thinking like a cat — it’s as simple, and as complex, as that.
Other posts you’ll enjoy:
- Who Is Better at Human Manipulation — Cats or Dogs? (Poll!)
- The Big Difference Between Cats and Dogs — and Why Humans Don’t Get It
- 5 Reasons We Cats DON’T Want to Be Like Dogs — and 5 Reasons Dogs Should Envy Cats!