Are cats smarter than dogs? Ask any cat owner, and you’ll probably get a resounding “yes.” Leave it up to the dog lovers, though, and you may well have a debate on your hands. Many pet owners want to know whether cats or dogs are more intelligent. Both species display incredible abilities to learn new skills, but are cats smarter than dogs?

First Things First: Testing Animal Intelligence?

Unfortunately, we are unable to use the same tests to determine intelligence on our furry friends that we can on fellow humans. However, scientists have been able to determine that dogs have about twice the amount of neurons than cats do. A canine has about 530 million cortical neurons, while a cat only has about 250 million. The fact that dogs have bigger brains can account for a portion of this ratio, but the study also found that a golden retriever had more neurons than even an African lion, whose brain is physically better. Scientists think the number of neurons can impact intelligence levels, but they are unsure how much. Since dogs have more neurons, their brains can probably comprehend more complex problems than cat brains. Probably.

Are Cats Smarter Than Dogs? Inconclusive Results

This research comes with a disclaimer that just because more neurons are present in dogs, it does not necessarily mean they are “smarter” than cats.

Cats have evolved to be the best versions of their feline selves. This evolution means they are experts at hunting, surviving in the wild, and avoiding predators (which they usually do on their own). Dogs have evolved to be successful pack animals that work together to find food and shelter in the wild.

Domesticated dogs and cats have learned very different skills (like opening the treat cabinet). Any animal that can adapt and flourish in such drastically different environments with such differing demands must be pretty bright.

Are Cats Smarter Than Dogs?

So, are cats smarter than dogs? There’s no definitive way to tell right now, and does it truly matter? As long as your pet is loved and given plenty of enrichment activities, you can consider them lucky. We know that animals have incredible abilities when it comes to emotional intelligence. Not only can they sense when we need a little extra love and affection, but they can also pick up on other unspoken clues about our current mood.

Even if your dog or cat couldn’t make it into Mensa, don’t overlook their form of smarts. The human-animal bond comes more from the heart than from bigger brains filled with more neurons, and we are so happy it exists.

At Union Lake Pet Services, we are committed to helping you give your pets the care they deserve. From pet boarding to grooming to behavior modification, we understand how to work with your animals to keep them cared for and enriched. To learn more about our wide range of services, please call (248) 363-6262.