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Oxford Scientists Say Dogs Are Smarter Than Cats

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the so's-yer-old-man dept.

Science 716

Velcroman1 writes "This again: scientists at Oxford University claim canines are smarter than felines. And the reason, according to the researchers, is that dogs are more social animals and therefore have bigger brains than the more solitary-inclined cats. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, charted the evolutionary history of various mammals' brains over 60 million years and found a link between the size of an animal's brain in relation to its body and how socially active it was."

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From the No-shit-sherlock department (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318760)

Anyone who's trained a dog, or attempted to train a cat, could tell you this.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318818)

You can easily make robots and computers do what you want. Does that make them smarter too?

Likewise, I wonder how well you'd have been able to train Einstein to jump over fences and run through tubes on your command.

Dogs are stupid lol.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (3, Insightful)

CCarrot (1562079) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319216)

You can easily make robots and computers do what you want. Does that make them smarter too?

Likewise, I wonder how well you'd have been able to train Einstein to jump over fences and run through tubes on your command.

Dogs are stupid lol.

Why was this modded troll? Other than that last comment (okay, that was a bit inflammatory, and not really justified) this AC brings up a good point.

Ability or desire to follow orders <> intelligence

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (4, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318850)

I think you're confused here.

When you attempt to train a dog, conditioning comes into play. The dog knows it will get rewarded if it does what it's told, and as such becomes trained. You train a dog similar to how you train a human, through a reward system.

When you attempt to train a cat, attitude comes into play. The cat doesn't care what you tell it to do, because it's a cat. Bribary doesn't work...you have to train a cat the way a mother cat would train her kittens. If you can read their body language (and learn how to physically communicate without the use of a tail), you can communicate with them on a fairly deep level.

I've had pets my whole life, both cats and dogs. In my own experience, dogs make for better companions, but cats are more intelligent.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318964)

That was what I was wondering about. Cats have convinced us to keep them around and feed them without them having to do anything for us, that seems pretty smart. Whereas we seem to expect dogs to do tricks, work and reciprocate. Cats sort of get by just by being cute and not having to contribute anything else.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (3, Insightful)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319056)

>> Cats sort of get by just by being cute and not having to contribute anything else.

I think we could all name a few co-workers who employ this same strategy.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34319146)

Me!!! :)

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (4, Informative)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319202)

Hey. Catching and eating mice around your grain stockpile has, historically, been a really big deal. (Now, cats in America in 2010, that's a different story.)

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (2, Informative)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319252)

That may be the case in urban families, but cats do have a role. The reason they were domesticated in the first place was to combat rodents. The only thing they received in return was shelter from weather and predators. Through the course of our joined evolution they've moved into our homes and become the lazy bastards they are today.

One of my cats was actually born in a horse barn where he learned to be a proper cat. When he came to live with me he provided an endless supply of mice, squirrels, birds, and even rabbits. It's only been in the past couple years that he's gotten lazy, but we forgive him because he's getting rather old.

As far as intelligence is concerned, we have another cat and two dogs. They're each intelligent in their own way. And they're each really stupid in their own way. I typically think of intelligence as the ability to solve problems. This usually requires the capacity to learn new things. My cats don't learn new things very quickly, but my dogs acclimate in a matter of hours. Though, my girl dog would rather sit in the cold rain at the back door on the off chance someone might let her in than go get in her doghouse.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (1)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319044)

Maybe more cautious or stronger willed. I haven't seen any vibrant displays of intelligence from either cats or dogs, and I've owned many of both as you have.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319058)

I think you're further confusing the issue here.

You imply the OP's claim that dogs are smarter than cats is wrong. To prove it, you describe how dog training works, go so far as to compare dogs to humans, offer no evidence that a cat can be trained, and ... then jump to "cats are more intelligent."

I don't follow.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319140)

My point was that a cat doesn't really have to be trained...they just need to be interacted with in a different way than dogs.

Cats are "pre-trained" by instinct and pack mentality. All you have to do is communicate with them on that basis (mostly through physical cues, rather than aural), and you'll be able to have things running smoothly.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (4, Insightful)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319246)

I've always considered it thusly:

If you take a human being of very low intelligence, and throw a stick and ask them to go get it for you, s/he'll trot off happily, pick it up, bring it back to you, and possibly drool in the process.

If you take a very intelligent human being, and throw a stick and ask them to go get it for you, s/he'll look at you like you're daft, and get on with doing something else.

Ergo: the difference between dogs and cats, and why I consider cats more intelligent :-)

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (2, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319068)

You're both wrong. All my cats respond to voice and gesture commands, easily. The difference between them and dogs is a slightly longer training time and the realization that cats are only trying to please themselves, not both of you.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319186)

I've gotten ours to respond well to different whistles, each one noting a different message. "Food is in your bowl", "This is a warning", etc.

Still, she generally responds much better to body language.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (5, Funny)

glueball (232492) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319218)


All my cats respond to voice and gesture commands, easily.

That's easy when your commands are "sit still," "nap," "blow me off," and "lick your ass"

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (-1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319372)

Cat's are not more intelligent. Theya re unable to be trained in ost cases, and even then ti's in the csinmplest of response.

Cats are stupid, but since you are confusing there lack of intellegence with 'attitude'.

Basically you think there independent and there for more intelligent.

Stop anthropomorphizing animals.... they hate that~

YOU EXPERIENCE counts fro diddley squat. It's nearly the worse kind on anecdote.

Science shows Dogs are smarter. And yeah, I have owned both but I would llet my anecdote determine what's real

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (1)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318900)

Either that or cats just don't give a shit, and have absolutely no interest in being trained. Cats are highly intelligent from what I've observed both in terms of how they interact with their environment and also how easily they manipulate us...

Here is a list of a things a cat enjoys:
- Sleeping
- Eating
- Hunting/exploring/monitoring its territory
- Sunbathing

You won't find fetching a stick or licking your hand on that list because cats have little to no interest in that. I have seen some trained up to a fairly high level but frankly cats - like humans, have far too much free will to be easily manipulated.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (1)

orangeyoda (958347) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319128)

My cat would lick my nose to wake me up before it went to sleep on my chest, it always asked to sleep like that.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34319272)

One of the cats I used to have would play fetch with a toy mouse. He would bring it back and wait for you to throw it in some corner of the room so he could chase it.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (1)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318928)

Actually, my family's cat have learned short commands. It's just that it's not "tricks", just stuff like "no", "come", "food", etc...
She's also learned to open doors, as long as she can reach the handle. She's been trying to have a go at the kitchen sink tap, but that handle is a bit too hard to lift for her. It just has to "be relevant to her interests", which seems reasonable if you remove a lot of the social context that goes into dog training.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (2, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319020)

One of our cats plays fetch with Q-tips and has learned to jump through this tube like thing we got for them to play in when I hold it up in the air. He taught himself these tricks, no training required. All three of them recognize quite a few words of English even when said in a monotone and with no body language involved.

Trainability also != intelligence.

Having grown up with both dogs and cats I'm pretty sure they are both fairly smart species, but I really do think cats are the smarter of the two. You can train a dog, but cats train their humans.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319248)

Ours plays fetch with just about anything, but her achilles heel is a stretchy hair tie. No matter what she's doing, the moment she sees a hair tie, she focuses solely on that hair tie.

Watching her follow one when it's on my wife's wrist never gets old, lol.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318938)

Anybody not listening to you is a moron?

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319118)

I dunno, I trained my cat to play fetch with drinking straws last Sunday, wasn't too hard, he is also trained to use the litter box and only scratch on the post

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34319206)

or spent time working in Asia ;(

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (1)

Kaziganthi (824129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319274)

I would argue that your argument supports the contrary. If training implies intelligence, then why are large percentages of those employed in jobs which are not typically "trained positions" in the higher end of the intellectual spectrum (let's say theoretical physics for an example) and the drooling morons work in call centers and fast food joints where training is a huge part of the job? You could probably train a monkey to flip burgers, but I am not so sure that I would trust a monkey's insights into the universe.

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34319326)

Watch this, and reconsider:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ganKuWTiLuQ

Re:From the No-shit-sherlock department (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319328)

Indeed. The Russians trained dogs to be suicide bombers in WWII. No-one has ever convinced a cat that running under a tank and exploding is a good idea.

I think that alone tells you which one of the two is smarter.

Slashdot Crowd, Rebel! (2, Interesting)

cpicon92 (1157705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318762)

If being solitary makes you dumb, then the people around here must be pretty dumb.

Re:Slashdot Crowd, Rebel! (4, Funny)

CCarrot (1562079) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318830)

Agreed. By this logic, Facebook and Twitter users are the cream of the intellectual crop.

I weep for mankind...

Re:Slashdot Crowd, Rebel! (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318890)

If you think spending all day on Facebook makes you LESS solitary then you might have just supported the theory posed in the summary.

=Smidge=

Re:Slashdot Crowd, Rebel! (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318974)

Point taken. 10,000 'friends' on FB really doesn't translate to 'real life' all that well...

Okay, so how about the socialites and constant club-hoppers? Is Paris Hilton a better example for you?

I weep...but keep polishing my shotgun.

Re:Slashdot Crowd, Rebel! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34319182)

>> I weep...but keep polishing my shotgun.

Is that what the kids call it these days?

Re:Slashdot Crowd, Rebel! (2, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319000)

If Hitler were going around these days, he'd almost certainly start with the folks on MySpace followed by the folks on Facebook and finish up with the folks on Twitter, before he got to the rest of the people he wanted to remove from the gene pool.

Cat are intelligent (0)

andyh3930 (605873) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318786)

Cats are incredibly intelligent. They just like to pretend to be stupider than dogs for the free food.

Re:Cats are intelligent (1)

andyh3930 (605873) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318826)

Unlike myself who can't even get a title grammatically correct!!

Re:Cats are intelligent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34319192)

In that case, free food for you too!

Re:Cats are intelligent (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319236)

I think that 'cat' should be a valid plural form. Maybe I should stop thinking of everything as food...

Re:Cats are intelligent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34319244)

Or use a reflexive pronoun correctly.

Re:Cats are intelligent (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319336)

Unlike myself who can't even get a title grammatically correct!!

Oh, I think according to LOL-cat grammar rules, you nailed it ... "Cat Are Intelligent", and, yes, "you can has cheezeburger".

This is gonna be worse than Vi or Emacs (4, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318814)

I wonder what the "none of the above option" (MS Word equivalent) is gonna be?

That only proves the opposite point (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318840)

As Oxford University scientists, they should know that intelligence is inversely related to social behaviour!

Re:That only proves the opposite point (1)

mpthompson (457482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319234)

As Oxford University scientists, they should know that intelligence is inversely related to social behaviour!

I guess they never hung out around a typical American high school.

Cat:Dog :: Nerd: ? (1)

snotclot (836055) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318842)

Nerds are "socially disinclined" as well but popular belief tends to point to nerds as being "smarter". amirite amirite?

Yes, but in practice... (1)

Grapplebeam (1892878) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318852)

No dog I've ever had in the family or known of has been able to open doors by using the handle, nor had a personality as strong as any of the cats we've had. Dogs can be social all they want, but they still act dumb, and I really don't think it's to fit in.

Re:Yes, but in practice... (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318914)

No dog I've ever had in the family or known of has been able to open doors by using the handle

It's very dependent on the breed. I have a friend whose dog does this.

Re:Yes, but in practice... (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319194)

my old, now dead (5 years and I am still sad), dog used to open door to the computer room* when she wanted to go outside for a walk. She used to bring her leashes with her to emphasize that she wanted to walk and not only to go outside. I never saw a cat communicate as clearly... but anecdote is not evidence

* it was a door with a flat handle, not a round knob

This wasn't obvious? (0, Troll)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318860)

Dogs can pick up cues from humans and are extremely social animals.

Cats OTOH are just freeloading parasites. Occasionally they purr and rub against you to mark their territory.

I've never met a cat that could respond to its name, let alone do tasks as complex as dogs.

There's a reason you don't have "helper cats" for the blind.

Re:This wasn't obvious? (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318932)

I've never met a cat that could respond to its name, let alone do tasks as complex as dogs.

That's because people tend to communicate with cats the same way they communicate with dogs, which just plain doesn't work. If you communicate with a cat the way other cats do (primarily through physical rather than aural communication), it works quite well.

Body language makes up 80-90% of communication between cats, whereas with dogs this is closer to 40-60%.*

*Numbers taken from my own experience.

Re:This wasn't obvious? (1)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318996)

I have four cats that respond to their names and pick up my social cues very well. They also learn what is acceptable and what isn't pretty quickly. You pretty obviously don't own cats, as you've only 'met' them. They didn't give a shit about you because you weren't one of their pack. Also, my four 'freeloading parasites' are cheaper to take care of than a single dog.

My two dogs, on the other hand, can obey a few commands but largely repeat the same stupid behaviors over and over again despite all my attempts to condition otherwise. Well, one of them anyway. The corgi is great.

Re:This wasn't obvious? (2, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319050)

The reason you don't see helper cats is that cats are too smart to be exploited like that. Cats have helper humans.

Re:This wasn't obvious? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319080)

I take it you suck with animals. Cats definitely do respond to their names to the extent that dogs do. What you're confusing is motivation to respond and capability to respond. Cats by virtue of being most active at night tend not to be up when we are. Which is probably one of the reasons why they were so useful at catching rats.

It varies quite a bit how much they're willing to do, but my parents did get a few "presents" from their pet cat, including a not quite dead squirrel that somehow he'd managed to catch. And this was a fluffy whit cat who you wouldn't expect to be able to catch a squirrel.

Also, it's easy to get people to like you if you're easy, it's quite a bit more difficult if you don't just give them what they want every time. It takes a lot less intellect to just do what you're told than it does to figure out if it's a good idea.

Re:This wasn't obvious? (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319178)

You're obviously a dog person. Almost every dog person I've met actively hated cats; I think it's very sad. Most cat people are neutral at worst on dogs or actually, gasp, like them too. I'm an animal person, I don't see the need to side with one particular type.

I grew up with two very loving and intelligent shepherds, farm dogs, and loved spending time with them. I also grew up with a bunch of cats we tamed, basically live mouse traps that just showed up one day, and loved spending time with them just as much.

I don't have a dog anymore because it wouldn't fit with my current lifestyle, I don't want to go outside in the winter and I'm not home a lot, so I have two cats instead. Our cats come when you call them, stay off the counters, open doors to get to the room the litter box is in and pick up non-verbal cues just as well as my dogs did. The reason you don't have helper cats is because of their social structure: they don't actively try to make the leader of the pack happy, they decide if something's worth it on a case-by-case basis.

Re:This wasn't obvious? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319210)

That's because dogs, god love them, will get fed, have a nice warm place to lay down, and still want MORE self-affirmation (given their pack nature.) They want to please you, they want you to reward them nonstop all day every day otherwise they feel left out. Cats have figured out that if they just shut up and sleep that they will be fed and tended to just fine. I would speculate that this is why you see a lot less abandoned cats at shelters than dogs (aside from a dog having a harder time living life as a feral inhabitant of an urban environment) but cats generally require so little maintenance that they are so much less likely to become a pain enough to have to get rid of.

Now which species is "smarter"?

Poor logic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34318872)

By the same logic, are pirates smarter than Ninjas as pirates are more sociable?

Back to the drawing board... (1)

Konsalik (1921874) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318880)

My pet lion is pretty social? Now what? (Lions are social animals and part of the same family as domesticated cats)

Re:Back to the drawing board... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319158)

The larger cats tend to be. I remember getting to pet the lion cubs at the zoo one time, and they're basically just big kittens.

There's just three reasons why lions aren't appropriate pets, size, habitat requirements and instinct. While they're not malicious in most cases, they do still have a strong degree of instinct left. Sort of like tigers, which is part of what happened during that incident involving Roy. I doubt the animal really meant to hurt him, but lacked the processes to avoid it.

Obviously brain size establishes intelligence (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318882)

Because whales and elephants rule the planet.

When the cat can't get to it's litter box for some reason, it holds it's bowels until it can. When the dog can't get outside because nobody is home to open the door, it craps on the floor. I'll take the dumb cat every time and twice on Sunday.

Re:Obviously brain size establishes intelligence (2, Interesting)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318980)

Because whales and elephants rule the planet.

Notice how, even in the summary, it says brain size in relation to body size. Elephants and whales may have huge brains, but their bodies are much larger.

When the cat can't get to it's litter box for some reason, it holds it's bowels until it can. When the dog can't get outside because nobody is home to open the door, it craps on the floor. I'll take the dumb cat every time and twice on Sunday.

Cats learn to use litter boxes. Dogs learn to hold it in until someone shows up to let them out. If your dog is crapping all over the house, I'd say you did a terrible job of training it.

Re:Obviously brain size establishes intelligence (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319220)

It's not my dog.

I've never had to train a cat to use a litter box. Have you? How exactly did you manage to do that? Every cat I've ever had, from the moment I've owned it (be it a 2 year old or a 4 week old) knew how to use a litter box. I just show the cat where the box is at and it knows.

I do have one particularly dumb cat who didn't know how to open the flap on the door to the litter box, but she's a special case and hardly representative of cats as a whole. Both of her sisters are quite intelligent.

Re:Obviously brain size establishes intelligence (1)

teslar (706653) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319090)

It's not about absolute brain size, it's "a link between the size of an animal's brain in relation to its body and how socially active it was". While elephants and whales have huge brains in absolute weight, they're relatively tiny when expressign the weight of their brains as a percentage of the overall body weight.

I know TFS gets that wrong at the start, but not at the end. You should at least try to read that far if you can't be botherd with RTFA :)

Huge variance (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319322)

It's not about absolute brain size, it's "a link between the size of an animal's brain in relation to its body and how socially active it was".

Even in a smallish human population, you can easily get a wide variation of (brain/body mas) x (sociability factor). How big is the intelligence variation?

Re:Obviously brain size establishes intelligence (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319360)

TFA also pointed out that Cats still have a larger brain compared to body weight than dogs AND that cats have about twice as many neurons in the cortex as dogs.

So where were you going with this again?

Re:Obviously brain size establishes intelligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34319102)

I counter your anecdote with that of my own.

When my cats can't find the litter box, they go somewhere else (in the bath tub, near where the litter box used to be, etc). They don't seem look around very hard or wait very long.

When my dogs can't get outside to relieve themselves, they hold it. They will complain and make noises and try to get outside, but they will hold it. They hold it as long as they can (once or twice they lasted ~14 hours).

Of course the plural of anecdote is not data, so YMMV.

Re:Obviously brain size establishes intelligence (2, Interesting)

zennyboy (1002544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319112)

Then you have the wrong dog. Our dog, a German Shepherd has an escalating array of "I need the loo" signs.
* First he'll just stare at you, and if you say "Show me what you want" he'll lead you to the front door. ('Show me what you want' will also lead you to bread (hungry), a piece of furniture (usually a toy has gotten stuck beneath it), a toy (he wishes to play) or anything that gives The Human a clue as to what he wants)
* Then he'll whine and wander between you and the door
* After he'll pat you with his paw to get your attention
* Then he'll scratch on the door and yip
Only after this, and simply not being able to wait any more will he go to the furthest place in the house and 'do' what he has to do.

He also has the decency to look guilty when you next see him after this.

Considering this is exactly what I would do in the same situation, I think he's pretty damn smart.

Zennyboy

Re:Obviously brain size establishes intelligence (1)

diskofish (1037768) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319270)

It probably means you just didn't train your dog properly. I never owned a dog or cat that wasn't housebroken. That being said, the cats I've had were worse in that regard. When you'd go away for extended periods of time and have neighbors or friends take care of the pets, they'd get pissed and urinate in the corners.

Tell that to the cat... (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318942)

that's sitting on our garden wall right now, and appears to be rather enjoying the constant barking of the neighbours' little dog for the last 10 minutes or so.

Obligitory (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318954)

Dogs have masters.

Cats have staff.

Re:Obligitory (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319254)

Good one.

A cat and a dog are both fed, housed, kept warm, and loved.

The dog looks at all of this and, in acknowledgment of the fact that all that unimaginable power is applied to making him comfortable, decides that the owners must be gods and he must worship them.

The cat looks at all of this and, in acknowledgment of the fact that all that unimaginable power is applied to making him comfortable, decides that he must be a god and the owners are worshiping him.

Re:Obligitory (1, Flamebait)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319300)

Dogs have masters.

Cats have staff.

Spoken like someone with Toxoplasmosis. You should have washed your hands when cleaning the litter box or better yet, never owned a cat in the first place. Your judgement is affected by the parasite living in your brain.

Dogs are man's best friend (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34318958)

Cats are man's best friend that sometimes disappear for a couple days in the wilderness

smarter who? (2, Interesting)

Essequemodeia (1030028) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319004)

The co-evolution of humans and dogs is so wonderfully intertwined that canines are the only animals in the kingdom that can follow an extended finger to see where a person is pointing, rather than just staring at an extended finger. But if you point at a cat it quickly runs away. So, smarter who?

Maybe, but... (3, Insightful)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319028)

...saying that dogs are smarter than cats is still a bit like arguing over the sprinting abilities of different species of garden snails. Depending on your personal preferences, both dogs and cats can be enjoyable pets, but no one gets either one for intellectual companionship.

Re:Maybe, but... (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319374)

My dad actually used to race snails when he was little. His mother kept wondering what was causing all those slimy trails on the wall, until she found the snails one day.

So this means... (5, Funny)

pastafazou (648001) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319074)

That socially overactive bimboslut who's flunking math class is actually much smarter than the super nerd in the corner who doesn't have any friends but aces all his math tests. Yes, that's right, being social and interacting with others is the new measure of smart!

Re:So this means... (1)

tycoex (1832784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319340)

I would guess that when you look at a species as a whole, humans are much more social animals than most. Even that nerd sitting in the corner most likely has family connections that many animals don't engage in, and he probably has at least a few other nerdy friends.

Not to mention many nerds get a large amount of social interaction from forums, slashdot, mmorpgs, ect. Nerds aren't really any less social than socialites, they just get their social interaction from different sources. I'm guessing that besides a few extreme outliers, even the least social human is still more socially inclined than most animals.

The League of Cats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34319086)

is troubled by these outlandish claims and will be releasing their own report within the next few days.

When asked for comment from the Order of Canines, they replied
"No bone will go un-chewed to prove we are the superior house-pet".

Dogs are smarter, huh (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319106)

I will be sure to remind my dogs of this the next time I catch them eating shit off the ground. Literally, eating random dog shit, right off the ground. If you want to get into a pissing match over which animal is dumber, the one that excitedly eats dog shit off the ground or the one that licks itself until it's throat fills with hair, you go right ahead. Just don't throw the word "smarter" in there expecting it to mean something.

Sheep Are Smarter Than Humans! (1)

mattwrock (1630159) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319110)

So all this posturing about "sheeple" means that we are getting smarter! I guess it also proves evolution too...

And the counterexample is... (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319176)

"The Situation"

Really, social ability is one thing, brain size is another, intelligence is another, there may be a correlation but the key word is "your mileage may vary"

Otherwise whales and dolphins would be much more smarter than humans.

More Social = Intelligent? (4, Insightful)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319188)

The article seems to imply that being more social implies greater intelligence. I agree there is "social intelligence"... but let's be honest here. The smartest people I know tend to be rather asocial or even anti-social. And some of the MOST social people I know are, well, kinda stupid :-) Think nerd vs party girl.

I guess they've never had a pet cat (3, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319226)

So doing what you're told is now proof of intelligence? Does not compute.

As for anecdotal evidence, one of my parents' three cats used to trick the neighbour's dog into an ambush where the other two would pounce and beat the crap out of it. Somehow I think that's a better example of intelligence than fetching a stick after a human throws it away.

But... (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319276)

But the cats write all those funny captions over at the cheezburger thing! They can't be all *that* dumb. Stop picking on the funny kitties!!!

I'd say rats are smarter than cats. (3, Interesting)

Biotech9 (704202) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319312)

I worked with rats for a while in my research, and I thought it was very striking how smart a relaxed rat is. What's immediately apparent is how varied their personalities are, and how aware they are of their environment. They take an intense interest in the people around them, and unlike cats aren't easily distracted from they are engaged in. Cats seem to have their bodies hard-wired into the part of their optic system that deals with motion. No matter what a cat is doing all you have to do is make a sudden darting motion to override everything and have them staring, hypnotised, at the moving object. Rats react more like dogs, where they seem to ponder the event rather than react immediately to it.

Another cool thing is how rats behave in research. Decades ago, research in rats involved having a big writhing mass of savagely wild animals in a cage, which were picked out with long tongs to be manhandled around for tests. This was the same with dogs and apes, one researcher told me that they used to have an ape research centre in Sweden where it took a half dozen lab techs to hold down a screaming chimp to get weighted every few days (with obviously shitty results). They eventually realised how awful and unnecessary this was and instead trained the chimps to go stand on a scale in return for a banana (research on primates is now illegal in Sweden). It worked equally well with dogs, who were given treats after blood samples were taken, so they eventually would run to their cage doors and offer a paw out in order to give a blood sample in exchange for a treat.

When we took blood samples from the rats, they would lay quietly in our arms and stretch out their back legs, which we would shave and then prick with a needle. The lab techs had been training them for weeks to do this, by stretching out their legs, pinching them slightly and then giving them strawberry jam or chocolate spread as a reward. (Even that reward aspect was interesting, the rats had their own unique preferences between strawberry and chocolate).

Corrollary: Cat people are annoying (0, Flamebait)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34319318)

No, "Snowflake" isn't a "little stinker." He's an asshole. Get a dog and stop pretending your cat is as cool as one.

there are different kinds of intelligence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34319342)

Having lived with both creatures:

* A dog is more likely to understand what you want it to do. You can communicate with it in a more people-like manner.

* A cat is more likely to figure things out that benefit it. It won't be the dog learning to turn on the kitchen faucet when it gets thirsty, or to open non-round door knobs, it'll be the cat.

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