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Dogs Smarter Than Cats Study Claims Flawed Part 1

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This is Thinking Gracey. When you see this image, you might want a "thinking beverage" and/or a nap.

Dogs more Intelligent than Cats?

Dogs and cats were evaluated in eleven categories in an attempt to determine which species is more intelligent.  I know, this is like trying to determine which is of greater value, a piece of limestone gravel or an emerald but try to control any hissing and fat tails.  The  New Scientist article’s shocking research results show a clear bias towards dogs  with the canines awarded 6 points and the felines a meager 5.

Research Study Demonstrates Clear Bias Towards Dogs

Dogs celebrating  the declaration that they are smarter than cats came a wee bit early in our opinion. And just like dancing in the end zone, this  display of excessive celebration usually results in a penalty. So, The Lazy Leopard Research Institute is about to blow the whistle and place a flag on the play.

While our canine compadres celebrated by fetching toys, speaking on demand,  and toasting with toilet water cocktails, their fellow felines were hard at work analyzing the data. Here is what the superior minds at The Lazy Leopard Research Institute* found out.

1) BRAINS

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 heavier 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.  We have created a chart to rub it in, we mean to make it easier to compare.

Neurons in the cortex of dogs and cats

Human Study Winner: Cats-1  Dogs-0     The Lazy Leopard Research Institute Score: Cats-1+  Dogs 0-

At this point, do we need to even go on?  We cats are not ones to kick a dog when it is down but in the interest of science we must follow through.

2) SHARED HISTORY

Due to the large divergence between dogs and wolf DNA,  scientists at the University of  California suspect that domestication of dogs occurred at least 50,000 years ago but DNA studies from the Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden estimate domestication of dogs to be around 16,000 years.

Ancient Egyptian burials and hieroglyphs tell us that cats were popular in homes from about 3,000 BC. However, comparisons of DNA of wildcats across the globe with that of house cats confirms their origins in the cradle of agriculture, the Fertile Crescent east of the Mediterranean. This is about the time we taught humans how to attract mice and other prey for easier hunting.

There is evidence of a 9500-year-old burial of a kitten with a human on Cyprus. That is all the human researchers have been able to piece together so far. Is that the feline’s fault?  And is shared history a true measure of intelligence?  We threw this category out due to human bias in favor of the dog.

Human Study Winner: Cats-1  Dogs-1     The Lazy Leopard Research Institute Score: Cats-1+  Dogs 0-

3) BONDING

Dogs put through the “strange situation” test responded the same way as a human baby. A secure baby and a dog is bold and happy while mom is around, becomes agitated when she leaves, will calm down with a stranger after a period of time but only has eyes for mom when she returns.

Adam Miklosi from Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary, whose group did the “strange situation” test with the dogs tried this experiment with cats.  The cats found the lab setting upsetting, stressful and refused to take the test.

Cats were penalized for their independence, when evolution is truly to blame.  Cats are loners and independent thinkers, whereas dogs are babies.  We threw this category out due to human bias in favor of the dog.

Human Study Winner: Cats-1  Dogs-2     The  Lazy Leopard Research Institute Score: Cats-1+  Dogs 0-

4) POPULARITY

Cats are the clear winners and even the human study agrees. In the top ten cat-owning countries there are nearly 204 million cats sharing homes with humans.  Dogs owned by humans as pets number fewer than 173 million in the top  10 dog-owning countries. See chart below.

Cats and Dogs owned by Humans

There you have it. Numbers don’t lie.

Human Study Winner: Cats-2  Dogs-2     The  Lazy Leopard Research Institute Score: Cats-2+  Dogs 0-

5) UNDERSTANDING

The human study claims that cats are cognitively similar to dogs, therefore an expected similarity in behavior patterns and abilities stands to reason. But, cats are not cooperative or motivated  to comply with the human studies so they are much harder to analyze.  Both cats and dogs are able to follow pointing gestures to find food, but when the hunt for the food is more complicated, either hidden or out of reach, dogs are most likely to ask for help from their pet parent while cats will try to figure out how to get their paws on the reward themselves.

The human study rewards the dogs for being cheaters.  We threw this category out due to its bias towards the cheating dogs.

Human Study Winner: Cats-2  Dogs-3     The  Lazy Leopard Research Institute Score: Cats-2+  Dogs 0-

Stay tuned for Dogs Smarter Than Cats Study Claims Flawed Part 2

* The Lazy Leopard Research Institute is a 100% fictitious feline biased facility.

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Comments

  1. FINALLY! A cat with enough clear and solid evidence to take on the age-old, simpleminded stereotype. Nicely done, Gracey! We could not agree with you more. Your findings give us hope for a brighter…oh, what am I saying. The dog are still gonna think they rule the world.

    But at least we know better!
    xo Katie

  2. I think you’re just a sour puss.  The study clearly shows  the dog is more intelligent.  We did get 6 points and you only got 5! I think you’re a little jealous of my brains and intelligence BOL  Just joking with you Gracey..don’t scratch me please

    • thetiniesttiger says

       Preston, did you even read the study or was your mom not around to read it to you?  I am not jealous, we are just reviewing the findings in the name of science.  I would not scratch you, I will plan a more subtle revenge.  hahahahahaha  Teasing you of course my good pal.

  3. I have to agree with The Lazy Leopard Research Institute’s scoring 🙂  Can’t wait to read Part 2!

    • thetiniesttiger says

       Elizabeth, thank you for reading.  You might need to drink some herbal tea to stay calm when you see the points awarded the dogs in part 2.

  4. Magwhisk says

    Excellent read, Gracey!  Thanks for taking so much time to study and share this information!

    • thetiniesttiger says

       Thank you Janet.  Part 2 is coming soon and I hope you will join us.

  5. I’ve always thought that when cats are tested, they are under stress, and that affects the outcome. I love that cats are independent. As you know that doesn’t mean they are cold. They just like their alone time, and don’t need to be coddled all the time.  I so identify with cats, and hold them to be the higher animal.

    • thetiniesttiger says

       Michele, isn’t it outrageous?  Just because the dogs are whiny babies that serve humans, they got more points than cats.  I bet Earl Gray has a few choice words for this study too.

  6. Interesting points. Thanks for sharing. I like to say I have fraternal twin pets. One just happens to be a cat and one a dog..lol. Both are unique “individuals” with different qualities that make them who they are…different but equally loved. 

    • thetiniesttiger says

       Malia, we love all animals too.  We just think the humans gave more points to dogs because they have not been able to figure we felines out.  Is that our fault that they are limited in their research abilities?  xoxoxo to you, Smoki and Baylie.