• Question: Are cats smarter than dogs ??

    Asked by gracerossiter to Aggelos, Andrew, Eileen, Naomi, Shane on 16 Nov 2012.
    • Photo: Aggelos Zacharopoulos

      Aggelos Zacharopoulos answered on 16 Nov 2012:


      @gracerossiter,
      I am not sure about who is smarter but the one thing I am sure is that cats think for themshleves while dogs just follow a leader. So while dogs are happy to have an owner that they follow, my cats will only bother with me if they want to get fed or be petted!!!

    • Photo: Andrew Jackson

      Andrew Jackson answered on 17 Nov 2012:


      Hi. you might like to read my answer to this similar question too https://hydrogenn12.imascientist.ie/answer/?p=1171

      Its very hard to compare intelligence between animals, and cats and dogs are so close that we could really say which is more intelligent that the other. They certainly have very different behaviours and as Aggelos points out, you only have to own them as pets to realise this! Dogs are very social animals and are good at learning who their master is and taking instructions from the dominant person in their world, while cats are more independent and do what they like when the like.

    • Photo: Shane Bergin

      Shane Bergin answered on 18 Nov 2012:


      Intelligence is really difficult to define. I know a lot of work has been done relating the brain-size to mass-of-animal ratio. If we work this out for various animals, we see that humans come first, followed great apes, porpoises, and elephants. The dog is close behind elephants… so what do they need a big brain for?

      Animals that hunt to survive tend to have larger brains (for their mass) as it requires more ability to hunt than to eat grass. Also, social animals tend to have larger brains than solitary animals – they have to reason with other pack members (takes a lot of your brain power).

      I’m guessing you’re either a cat person or a dog person; we tend to ascribe human characteristics to animals (cats being seen as independent or to some – unfeeling), (dogs as loyal, friendly or to some easily led). to asses their intelligence, we probably shouldn’t do this. i think you’d have to look at their brain function, their ability to learn and how ‘easy’ they make their lives…. not an easy one

      (you can prob tell i’m a dog person)

    • Photo: Eileen Diskin

      Eileen Diskin answered on 18 Nov 2012:


      I’ve seen some dogs do some amazing things. In particular, I’m really impressed by the dogs that are trained to do jobs, like seeing eye dogs and other kinds of assistance dogs – they can be trained to know how to open doors, turn on lights, and more, for people who are unable to do it themselves. And then there are rescue dogs, which are trained to go into burning buildings, or to rescue people in natural disasters. Its really awesome how much they can learn to do!

      Now, I’m not sure why cats don’t do these kinds of jobs – if its just that they’re smaller in size, or if they’re just not clever enough! But I am totally impressed by service and rescue dogs – I just think that its so cool what they can do.

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