Even if often they chew your slippers, sometimes pee on the floor, or devour your entire dinner the minute you are not watching, scientists say that dogs is measurably smarter than cats.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have put the debate about who’s smarter to an objective test, and have studied the number of neurons in the brains of many animals. The results show that canines surpass felines in quantifiable smartness in a way that should settle the matter for the foreseeable future.
Cats according to the study have around 250 million cortical neurons, while dogs have twice as much – as much as 530 million. (In case you’re curious, humans have around 16 billion neurons.)
Scientists think the absolute number of neurons in an animal determines the richness of their internal mental state and their ability to predict what is about to happen in their environment based on past experience. So objectively this should be considered a sure win for dogs.
The paper, which is to be published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, notes that the physical size of the brain doesn’t necessarily relate to overall intelligence. Researchers found that the brain of a brown bear which is 10 times larger than as a cat’s, has roughly the same number of neurons. (And also Raccoons, who are at the cats’ level of smarts at least when measured by the number of neurons.)
Despite the findings, we doubt the argument about smartness of cats and dogs will go away anytime soon.