Cats Vs Dogs: How Their Personalities Differ
While it might sound cliche to say, there really can be cat people and dog people, its true…in a way. And thats because dogs and cats do have distinctive traits. Of course, were talking in generalizations here and every pet is unique. But, here are the ways in which cats and dogs are most obviously different:
- Dogs Are Active During The Day And Sleep At Night: Of course your pup takes plenty of cat naps during the day, but for the most part, this is when Fido is most active!;
- Cats Tend To Sleep Most of The Day: If you notice your feline hasnt moved from her cozy spot curled up in bed…all…day…its normal! Your kitty is most active at dusk and at dawn and for this reason, cats often act as an amazing alarm clock!
- Dogs Are Seriously Social: Thats right, Fido loves his people. While the extent to which your dog loves to snuggle, cuddle, and stick by your side depends on the individual pup, its generally safe to say that dogs are incredibly social creatures who love their people.;
- Your Cat Like Space: Your feline friend, on the other hand? She values alone time and needs plenty of space for herself to be happy. That doesnt mean your cat doesnt also love you, she just likes quiet time on her own, too!;
Dogs Are Smarter Than Cats And Their Advantage Is Increasing
Posted December 3, 2010
One easy way to start an argument is to announce that dogs are smarter than cats or vice versa. It seems that everybody has an opinion of our most familiar pets, yet it seems that few people have actual data to base their claim upon. However scientists have recently designed certain techniques and measures that may give us the definitive answer.
As a first comparison we see that humans have larger brains than dogs with the rhesus monkey falling in-between , and this makes sense in terms of our general impression of the relative intelligence of these species. However if we use brain weight alone we would be forced to conclude that the elephant with its 6,000 gram brain is brighter than man, and that the super geniuses of the earth are whales-for instance the sperm whale has a brain that averages 7,800 grams. The problem is that larger animals have larger brains. They need to in order to control the movements of their larger masses of muscles. They also need a larger brain to process sensory information-for example every added square centimeter of skin surface will need more cortical neurons to process the sense of touch, heat, cold and pain from that region of the body.
At the risk of starting another argument, these data may explain why we never hear about such things as a “seeing eye cat,” “police cat” or “search and rescue cat.”
Its Not What You Have Its How You Use It
All we can really determine from dogs impressive number of cortical neurons is that they appear to have the ability to process more complex thoughts, but do they actually do it? A more recent study published in the journal Learning and Behavior says no. In comparing dogs to a variety of other animals, including cats, the study found that dogs demonstrate no learning advantages over other animals, and their physical cognition is largely equal. Even their much-touted sense of smell isnt particularly better than the primary sense of other animals, and their spatial reasoning is . . . you guessed it . . . even. The only area where dogs exceeded the learning ability of other animals by a noticeable margin was in the detection of sweetness. We all love a good cupcake, but most of us would agree that being able to detect sugar isnt exactly an indicator of superior intelligence.
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Are Cats Smarter Than Dogs
The ultimate answer to this is complex, as it is difficult to compare the intelligence of the two animals.
Brian Hare, the founder and director of Duke University‘s Canine Cognition Center, put it like this in an interview with PBS: “Asking which species is smarter is like asking if a hammer is a better tool than a screwdriver.
“Each tool is designed for a specific problem, so of course it depends on the problem we are trying to solve.”
However, various studies have concluded that, overall, cats are not smarter than dogs.
One study often cited is that of neurologist Suzana Herculano-Houzel, who has spent nearly 15 years analyzing cognitive function in humans and animals. One such experiment she performed involved counting the neurons in the cortexes of a cat, golden retriever and a mixed-breed small dog.
The cerebral cortex of the brain is involved in many higher level processes, including thought, association and memory.
The cortexes of dead animals were liquified in order to measure the number of suspended nuclei from neuron cells. This meant researchers could estimate the number of neurons present.
An estimate of the number of neurons in the average huuman cortex is 16 billion, according to Herculano-Houzel’s findings. Her research found the dogs had 429 million and 623 million neurons for the mixed breed and golden retriever respectively, while the cat had 250 million neurons in their cerebral cortexes.
In What Ways Are Cats Intelligent
- Denyse O’Leary
Its hard to come up with an interspecies IQ test. We live in a world where dogs are smarter than wolves in some ways but wolves are smarter than dogs in others. So much depends on what we want to measure. So lets look at cats in relation to dogs because dogs have been studied so much more.
Dogs are often seen as smarter than cats because they can do more jobs for humans. But humans bred dogs for millennia to do those very jobs. Cats have also made themselves useful to humans by killing pest rodents. But we best help the cat kill rodents just by getting out of his way. Thus, to assess cat intelligence vs. dog intelligence, we need points of true comparison:
The cat brain vs. the dog brain. Cats have smaller brains for their size than dogs. The cats brain accounts for 0.9 percent of its body mass. The brain is about 1.2 percent of an average dogs body mass and about 2 percent of the average humans body mass. But thats not the whole story:
These structural features are not a definitive argument about intelligence but they are better indicators than mere size. To whatever extent that intelligence depends on the sophistication of the nervous system, the cat has the means to be intelligent.
Cats engage in complex social behavior. According to folklore, cats are solitary creatures. But careful research has shown otherwise:
It is possible to teach cats complex routines, provided their need for safety and routine is respected and understood:
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Which Cats Breeds Are The Smartest
If you’re a smart cat owner in need of a particularly talented feline, there are a few smart cat breeds with particular dispositions that might make a fabulous fit for you. Some cats, like Siamese, are big talkers. Other breeds, like the Abyssinian, Scottish fold, and Savannah cats, are addicted to play. And Tonkinese cats love attention. This doesn’t mean every member of these breeds match these exact characteristics, but you may have a better shot at a better fit.
Not Just A Case Of Bigger Brains
Results showed that the dogs, having larger brains to begin with, had more than twice as many neurons in their cerebral cortex as the domestic cat, with around 530 million cortical neurons to the cats 250 million. Because the brain relies on neurons to process information, the more neurons an animal has in its cerebral cortex, the more information it can process, and the richer its mental capabilities likely are. This means that dogs have the potential for more complex and flexible behavior than cats.
But it wasnt simply a case of the dog having a bigger brain than the cat. The Golden Retrievers brain, in particular, had even more cortical neurons than the African lion and brown bear also included in the study, even though the lion and bear had far larger cerebral cortices than the dog. In other words, the dog packed more neurons into a smaller space. It seems that thousands of years of living domestically with humans hasnt hurt our canine companions intelligence.
Before dog people start saying, I told you so, to their cat-loving friends, its important to keep in mind that the researchers looked at a very small sample size. There was only one cat and two dogs in the study. However, its almost certain that the trend would stay the same, even with more animals included. The neuron counts were too far apart to simply be a case of individual variation.
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Different Kinds Of Cat & Dog Intelligence
While Chasers abilities represent a huge step in the understanding of the canine brain, its difficult not to wonder if he is simply an anomaly. After all, most dogs dont appear to understand 1,000 words or even 100. Chaser lends her extraordinary abilities to the huge amount of time and energy her owner spent working with her to develop her vocabulary. As John Pilley tells Anderson Cooper on;60 Minutes,;plenty of dogs have the potential to display higher levels of intelligence if their owners take the time to work with them.
;Thats not to say that every pet contains untapped genius. Much like with human beings, dogs and cats come in all shapes and sizes, as well as varying levels of intelligence. Some animals may be excellent communicators, while others show greater intelligence in memory or reasoning. Thanks to Brian Hare, you can find out for yourself just how smart your dog is through his website;Dognition. The website provides pet owners with science-based cognitive games that can assess your dogs specific abilities. Any information that is collected is added to Hares research database to help further insights into canine cognition.
;Do you have any stories of your own that prove just how intelligent dogs and cats truly are? Share with us in the comments!
Cats Have An Internal Clock
Yet another early study looked at whether cats have an internal clock. It stands to reason that they would, Vitale says, because felines are active during dusk and dawn. Having natural cycles, knowing when they need to hunt and need to rest, makes sense for them, she says. Notably, when cats live alongside us, theyre smart enough to readjust their natural behaviors. He got out of bed. Thats a signal. Its light outside, so its time to eat. Many of these things get associated, and cats track them that way. This is called associative learning. One thing you wont find them eating are cucumbers! Learn why cats are afraid of cucumbers.
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Are Cats Smarter Than Dogs Scientists Answer Age
Cats and dogs have historically been at odds, leading to pet owners categorizing themselves as either dog or cat people. Each side argues that their favorite pet is the smartest, trying to outdo the other.
Scientists have also tangled with this issue, applying their expertise to see whether one of these animals truly triumphs over its rival.
Do Cows Have Personalities
Cattle, just like humans, have personalities that are formed based on past experiences. They can remember both positive and negative encounters and associate objects or individuals with them. For example, cows that have directly experienced wolf attacks showed signs of stress when they saw wolves again.
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Which Are Smarter Cats Or Dogs We Asked A Scientist
Its a debate we can never seem to settle: Are cats smarter? Or are dogs? Dogs learn and respond to commands; cats usually dont. But cats are cunning hunters with a boundless curiosity.
To settle this debate, PBS NewsHour posed the question to three scientists a neuroscientist, a dog cognition expert and a cat behavior and cognition researcher. When one of these scientists counted the brain cells in these animals, there was a clear winner. Still, the latest behavioral research on animal intelligence challenges all our old-school notions on what it means to be smart.
Cat Intelligence: How Smart Are Cats
When you hear about animals being trained to assist humans, the stories often involve dogs or maybe even a less common breed, like a miniature horse. After all, its rare to hear stories about bomb-sniffing cats or guide cats for the blind.
Why is that? Are other species, such as dogs, smarter than domestic cats? Thats a complex question with no easy answer.
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Cognition Versus Intelligence In Cats
Vitale is attempting to correct that lack of research. Shes one of a small number of researchers studying feline cognition, which, she says, differs from cat intelligence. She says that cognition is how an individual cat is thinking about something. Intelligence, by contrast, is more how they are using what they think about something to act upon it in an intelligent waya way that we perceive as being smart. Its a fine line between the two.
Until now, researchers have focused mainly on cats physical cognition, for example, hearing, sight, and smell. All these senses play an important role for cats from birth, especially smell, since kittens are born blind but with functioning olfactory systems. Cats strong sense of smell is definitely a source of their intelligence and a major means by which they perceive the world, according to Vitale. Your kittys scent preference may be one of the reasons your cat sleeps on you.
How Cat And Dogs Are The Same
Though there are many differences between cats and dogs, they do share some things in common! Both are excellent pets and can make an incredible addition to your family. Here are some of the ways cats and dogs are the same:
- They Are Both Good For Your Health: Its no secret that pets are an enriching presence in our lives, but its more than that. Your pets are actually beneficial to your health. And thats because they provide emotional support, theyre excellent companions and they help motivate you to get plenty of exercise.;
- They Thrive On A Healthy Diet: Both cats and dogs need to eat healthy food to feel their best! Sure, their nutritional needs are a bit different. But, in general, they both thrive when fed fresh, whole foods, plenty of protein, and all the essential vitamins and minerals their bodies need.
- You Can Train Both Cats And Dogs: Your dog is likely much more motivated by praise and wants to learn a new trick just to make you happy, but that doesnt mean you cant teach your cat a few tricks, too. You can train both pets, you simply need to ensure youre using a reward thats high-value for your cat, or your dog.
- Theyre Both Incredibly Intelligent: When it comes to cognitive function, both cats and dogs are seriously impressive. But, that doesnt mean theyre equally as intelligent! Sure, theyre both smart creatures, but there are some key differences when it comes to their mental capacity.
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What Makes Cats Smart
Anna Foster, DVM with the national hospital chain Veterinary Emergency Group, says it comes down to what you value. When it comes to loyalty and the smarts behind social connection and bonding, maybe dogs win. But if we’re talking about hunting in the wild, cats win.
Cats don’t need you to have a good time, according to Foster. The ability to think and act independently? Cats have this. They wait for you to walk away before they do stuff.
Dr. Kelly St. Denis, current president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, thinks cats independence rules their roosts: Dogs have masters. Cats have staff.
This obviously suggests that cats are smarter, because they employrather than servehumans, St. Denis jokes.
Dogs seem to win out in these discussions because they learn what we want and do it. Cats are different.
Cats have a specific agenda and seem to require that we mold ourselves to their plans, not the other way around, St. Denis says.
The alluring aloofness and independence cats display doesn’t mean they need less medical care than more vocal, more attentive pooches. Cats independence can mask disease and illness, says St. Denis.
Who Is The Winner
So even after counting all those neurons, maybe determining whether a cat is smarter than a dog should be decided on a cat by cat and dog by dog basis? Depending on the amount and types of skills each animal learns, they could become smarter, right? Well, it seems that the who is smarter argument will probably go on forever. Besides, does it really matter when they curl up next to you on the couch?
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Cat Intelligence Versus Dog Intelligence
First of all, cat memory span is a lot longer than they are given credit for. Cats are well known for remembering the time of day that they are supposed to be fed or that their human parents do certain things around the home. A cats memory span has also shown to be able to remember certain phrases and what they mean, such as dinner time meaning for them to come to eat.;
Some cats have great cognitive abilities and have also been said to learn how to perform tricks like fetch or to come when they are called. Cat lovers may argue that cats dont always catch on to learning tricks due to their independent personality in addition to endless laziness. Cat intelligence more so aligns with their desires rather than to please their humans.;
Dogs do have a larger brain to boast compared to cats, in addition to many more years of domestication and adapting to human behaviors than cats do. There is also a specific personality component that should be considered. Dogs, by nature, are people-pleasing. Not all breeds of dogs, but many of them learn tricks and behaviors so easily because of their drive to please their humans.;
In this same study, the brain of a dog was compared to an African Lion. Of course, the lion had a larger brain, which means the lion had a larger cerebral cortex proportionally. However, the golden retriever had more cortical neurons than the lion. Long story short, size doesnt always matter when it comes to intelligence.