Dog verses cat intelligence - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
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Dog verses cat intelligence

I grew up with the notion that dogs were more intelligent than cats due to them being much easier to train. But, now I'm wondering whether cats are just different - using their intelligence in a more manipulative (but very cute) way to get what they want while dogs 'aim to please' their owners.

I'll be interested in peoples opinions
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 07:36 AM
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Yeah, I really don't think that trainability is a standard of intelligence, but rather a standard of compliance. A lot of dog breeds get touted as "slow" or "stubborn", when really, they just don't care as much about pleasing people

I definitely think cats and dogs have about equal levels of intelligence, but they put it to use in different ways.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 07:44 AM
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I think they are both intelligent, just in different ways.

We would let the cats out in the back yard and then it was Nikki's (our border collie/husky mix- RB) job to round the cats up and herd them into the house. I would love to watch the interplay between the cats and Nikki-sizing each other up, each with a different mission- stay outside vs. get them in the house. There was no doubt that it was an equal match of wills .

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 09:30 AM
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I agree they're too different to really compare intelligence. And animal intellligence tests any are geared toward learning and task performance, which we all know are cats' weak points, anyway. I've read that while the dog's brain is larger than the cat's brain, the cat's brain lobes are more convoluted, ie more surface area in the parts of the brain responsible for intelligence and "higher" thinking. Cats are plenty smart, but their intelligence is directed toward the things that benefit them, not toward the things that their humans want.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 11:55 AM
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Im not sure how theyd compare. Each type of animal is made to survive in their world. There are some cats smarter than others that is for sure. Some of my cats are more dog like. They understand word commands. Then other cats Ive had subbornly refuse to acknowledge what Im trying to get them to do and they fully understand but it is the battle of the wills.

But then my child who has a gifted IQ is the most stubborn and only will do what he wants to do! Sooooooo...

Tim that is interesting what you said about the cats brain compared to the dogs brain.

I do know alot of people use intellegence to equate to worth. But whether it is a bird, hamster, dog, or cat they are all precious living beings. Each is worthy of our love, compassion, companionship and stewardship.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 01:13 PM
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If it's any measure of intelligence, Arianwen has taught herself to say a lot of words. She has a heavy accent , so you have to listen very carefully, but she does talk.
And, she tries to please me, too. It's a give and take relationship.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 05:41 PM
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When you think of it, would you roll over and give your paw? I dearly loved my dogs, and they were obedience trained. However, my cats learn also. They understand "no" of course, but they also know that the "love, love, love" (love seat) is the place to go to get tummy rubs and petting, and they understand routines, cause and effect, etc., but I don't teach them tricks.

They learn what they choose. Precious (bridge) taught me to play fetch, Blueberry says "Ma" on command, and Nina says "Ma Ma" on command (especially if she's hungry). They have learned a lot, but picked it up on their own, because it was useful.

I dearly loved my collies and their loving obedience, and I so love my cats with their proud indepencence. Both are bright, but cats are more opinionated. (as Craig Ferguson says, "Remind you of anybody?" )


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 06:13 PM
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I remember once seeing a show that rated dog intelligence and oddly the more trainable dogs rated lower. I guess it all depends on how you define intelligence. If you think intelligence is problem solving and "thinking" than maybe a cat or certain breeds of dog would fall into that category. If intelligence is trainablity then more dogs breeds would be your cup of tea.

If I remember correctly Afghan hounds and sighthounds rated high on intelligence on the show because they could solve problems like how to open the refrigerator or open doors. It is also said that these breeds are more "cat like" in that they are more independant and "aloof". They are harder to train because its more of a request than a command and they will get to it on their own time. Breeds of dog that have jobs that require them to work on their own seem to rank higher on intelligence on that scale. They have to perform without commands. There was a show on National Geographic that explored canine intelligence. It was very interesting.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 10:06 PM
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I too think comparing dog and cat intelligence is comparing oranges and apples. They're both brilliant in their own ways (with the occasionally brilliantly stupid exception, just like humans), but those ways are entirely different.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-05-2008, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by HersheysKiss
. If you think intelligence is problem solving
I think that, too, and based on that, my cats are pretty dang smart. Because I give them challenges to solve in order to get their treats. It's not just, here cat, here's a treat, it's the treats are here inside this box; if you can figure out how to get the treats out of the box, they're yours. And based on problem-solving, Rocket is by far my smartest cat. Mellie is a fast learner, but isn't as good at figuring out things on her own. And Twinkie is kind of a dunce. But then again, I'm not sure about that because if he just sits there and looks sad, then often I'll eventually give in and give him a few treats anyway. So maybe he's the smartest of them all.
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