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.
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Marv, Jo Jo, Kozmo, Cinnamon and Barb says
Wel. Said! Being a mixed household, us cats get the bubbles when Cinnamon tries to act like one of us when she thinks us cats are getting more attention (or treats) than her.
Katie Isabella says
Well said, Jannis and Summer. Really.
Cathy Keisha says
Certainly not humans if it took them this long.
Yes, Summer, this is exactly how we think of it. Comparing cat intelligence to dog or human intelligence really makes no sense at all.
We agree, the dogs that lived here were super smart in their own way too.
Melissa & Mudpie says
A very wise conclusion!
Ellen Pilch says
No research needed here- I know cats are superior. I always say they are God’s best creation. XO
MARIETTE VANDENMUNCKHOF-VEDDER says
Our kitties are smart because since birth we’ve talked to them and engaged with them.
IF left on their own, sure there will not be much development… We notice that with the ‘Friend Cats’ that love to linger around our home. Wonder what their conversation is all about. SAD fact that most of them miss their human interaction and obviously don’t have the inside lives ours enjoy. Being sheltered, cuddled, nourished and talked to makes quite a difference.
So sad to see them trying to steal some affection at our place…
You can see them here in two pictures: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2013/08/world-cat-day-2013.html
I had no doubt Diego-San was more intelligent than me. Theo? Not so much.
Nicely done Summer.
pat k says
Too bad cat and dogs can’t tell us what they think. They might
not even give any consideration to the topic.
If dogs and cats could speak they would probably say they’re both smarter than humans
rene s says
It is unfair to compare the two species. (though we admit cats have an edge over dogs).
Memories of Eric and Flynn says
That confirms what I have always believed. Different species are smart in different ways which is as it should be.
Mickey's Musings says
A well presented argument for not comparing cats to dogs or humans.
We should only be compared to others of our species .
Thanks for posting this Summer 🙂