Cats Intelligence Superior
Cats know they are intelligent. They do not need to perform tricks to remind the humans in their lives they are smart. And although treats are nice, it is not worth losing their dignity just to get a snack. Truth is, cats will get treats anyway, simply by making “the eyes” directing their humans to get them what they desire.
There is lots of chatter lately about dogs being more intelligent than cats. And as we discussed in our Dogs Smarter Than Cats Study Flawed series, the article in New Scientist was biased towards the dog’s willingness to serve humans. Now a study out of the University of Oxford claims that socializing led to bigger brains for some mammals, including dogs.
For the first time researchers attempted to chart the evolutionary history of the brain across different groups of mammals over 60 million years. They discovered that there are huge variations in how the brains of different groups of mammals have evolved over that time. They also suggest that there is a link between the sociality of mammals and the size of their brains relative to body size, according to a study published in the PNAS journal (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America). These researchers claim that dogs have developed bigger brains than cats because highly social species of mammals need more brain power than solitary animals.
The Lazy Leopard Research Institute disagrees and here is why:
1) The average dog brain weighs in at 64 grams and the average domestic cat’s brain weighs 25 grams. This stands to reason as dogs on average are much bigger than the typical house cat. What is more important than simply brain size, not a reliable measure of intelligence, is to take a look at the brains information processing capacity: the number of neurons in the cortex, known as the executive brain. Cats clearly rule with 300 million neurons compared with a mere 160 million in dogs. So you see, the house cat is small but mighty!
2) The Tiger’s brain is bigger than the African lion’s brain. When scientists compared the two big cats, on average the lion has a larger skull than the tiger based on the greatest length of the skull. However, the tiger has bigger cranial volume than the lion. Even the tiny female Balinese tiger skulls have cranial volumes as large as those of huge male southern African lion skulls. The African lion is clearly the more social among the big cats, yet their brains are 16% smaller than their Tiger cousins even though the body size is comparable.
There is a special feature in Scientific Americat, discussing how cats out-evolved the monkeys. And according to our own findings at the Lazy Leopard Research Institute, there is a good explanation as to why the dog’s brain has had to work so hard to grow bigger over time. Please refer to the Cat and Dog Smartness Chart below.
Now without rubbing the dog’s nose in it, we will attempt to explain. When you start from near zero, any growth will be seem to be phenomenal. For example, if you have one piece of chow to chomp in your bowl, and you get 10 more pieces, that is a big improvement and you might get excited. But if you have 100 pieces of chow to chomp and you get 10 more pieces, you might not notice because you already had enough chow to chomp.
In the case of the domestic canines, well, as you can see, they needed a a whole lot of brain growth to even get onto the chart. Cats braininess, on the other hand, goes way back to ancient times and thus the reason the Egyptians idolized them. The feline has enjoyed a near perfect brain for a super long time so the feline’s increasing intelligence is more subtle.
While some humans are miffed cats don’t serve them or perform tricks on command, that is no reason to create propaganda that dogs are more intelligent. And isn’t it time that humans stopped claiming cats are aloof and anti-social? Cats do bond with humans and with each other. It is simply that cats are not ones to suffer fools gladly and can’t stomach pretentious ignorance.
What do you think?