There are never-ending disputes between dog people and cat people over who has the smartest pet. Is it true that dogs are smarter than cats?
On the one hand, dogs are pack animals who have a strong need to follow and please their “top” dog (the human they perceive as the leader). On the other hand, the cat is a loner who exhibits cleverness and adaptability in just about any circumstance.
According to Psychology Today, animals who live in groups are always more intelligent than solitary animals. Hence, dogs are smarter and more sociable than cats.
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Maybe that’s why we never hear of “search-and-rescue cats” or a “seeing-eye” cat. But before you cat lovers get all snippy with me, give me the chance to give your pet heroes the praise they deserve.
Curiosity Just Makes Cats Smarter
Felines are an intelligent bunch. Many cats can open doors and learn tricks. Heck, I once knew of a cat who would actually use the family toilet, flushing it after every visit. Yes, I witnessed this with my own eyes.
Contrary to popular belief, curiosity does not kill the cat — it just makes him smarter. If you put a cat in a strange room, he will cautiously check out every corner. This investigation provides him with valuable information about his surroundings. A cat has an enormous memory, better than that of monkeys, orangutans and, yes, even dogs.
Watch this cat’s amazing tricks in this video:
Cats learn by observing, imitating and experimenting. Many behavior specialists agree that the cat’s intelligence level is right up there with that of the average 2- to 3-year-old child.
Test Your Cat’s IQ
Show your cat a toy, then hide it behind a thick piece of paper. If your kitty realizes the toy is behind the paper, she has the IQ of at least an 18-month-old human.
According to the book Be the Cat, your kitty’s IQ can be increased by enlarging her vocabulary. Teach her to associate a word with an action to make your cat smarter.
My son’s brainy kitty, Hillary, will sit on command for a special treat. After several weeks of watching my son’s hand signals and hearing his command — “sit” — then receiving a treat for sitting, Hillary will (somewhat) eagerly perform this action.
Every Cat Should Know at Least 1 Word
Cats cannot match the vocabulary of dogs. But the simplest word your cat should learn is her name. Say it often so she will associate it with herself. Before long, as you come through the door calling out her name, she’ll be running to meet you.