Science says dogs are smarter than cats

Science has done a lot of good things for society: Penicillin, heart surgery, pills that keep you from getting pregnant... the list goes on. Today, however, marks what will surely go down as the greatest achievement yet for lab coat types, because researchers at Oxford have definitively proved that dogs are smarter than cats.

As it turns out, the whole aloof thing that makes cats seem so wily in the first place actually worked against them, as an animal's sociability correlates strongly to its brain size. Increased social interaction actually requires animals to evolve with larger brains (not all that shocking when you think about it), meaning that friendly mammals like dogs or dolphins are really smarter than loner species' like cats. Now, one might argue that this news may not be as pressing as say, border conflicts in Korea, but it is the ideal fun fact to have ready when you run out of things to say to your extended family this weekend.

Commentarium (12 Comments)

Nov 23 10 - 11:48am

I tried giving IQ tests to my cat and dog, but the cat kept chasing a bottlecap and the dog kept barking at kids and squirrels outside, so I just gave up.

Nov 23 10 - 12:25pm

Them's fightin' words, science.

Nov 23 10 - 2:06pm

It seems to me that science has known this for several decades now. "Aloof and fastidious" doesn't indicate greater intelligence among our four legged friends any more than it does at your local Starbucks.

Nov 23 10 - 2:30pm

I remember a previous study that showed cats way smarter than dogs, and cows - yes, cows! - smarter than both. As a friend pointed out, that study had the animals earn food as incentive to perform the required tricks, which is probably why the cows triumphed.

Jun 07 12 - 11:54pm

Of course the cows won, they can turn into grilled steaks and BBQ ribs!
Pigs are smarter yet as they can turn into bacon, BBQ ribs, ham, and pork chops!

Nov 23 10 - 3:21pm

Whales are obviously the genius social butterflies of the animal kingdom, then.

Nov 23 10 - 3:22pm

I would think it depends on the breed of the dog also. Dalmatians I am sure are dumber than most cats, but I would put Border Collies or German Shepards above cats.

Nov 23 10 - 4:12pm

Dogs have been specifically bred to be social (and cooperative) with humans, so if we correlate that fact to intelligence, it is not surprising that dogs come out ahead.

Nov 23 10 - 5:28pm

No fucking way. Cows are dumber than rocks. I absolutely refuse to believe this.

Nov 23 10 - 8:35pm

Soo...brain size is positively correlated with intelligence. Nope. I've met tons of blockheads with huge heads who were dumber than 4-year olds.
I <3 dumbing down science. This article included.

Jul 15 11 - 1:57pm

Having a huge head does not equal having a huge brain.

Jul 24 11 - 7:30am

i tried to get my cat and dog to have a IQ test but my og is too dumb to understand the word "sit"